Jul 27, 2011

Allentown Post Office 1934

In the 1930's, the "New Deal" was good to Allentown. As I noted on earlier posts, our park system was enriched by monumental stone construction under the WPA. We also received one of the architectural gems of our area, the magnificent art deco post office. Constructed during 1933-34, no detail was spared in making the lobby an ageless classic. The floor is adorned with handmade Mercer tiles from Doylestown. Muralist Gifford Reynolds Beal worked thru 1939 portraying the Valley's cultural and industrial history. This incredible 74 year old photograph is the contractor's documentation of the project's progress. The back of the photo states; Taken Sept 1 - 34 showing lobby, floor, screens, desks, completed & fixtures hung

UPDATE: I have reinstalled the photograph with a version that will enlarge when clicked.

Reprinted from Jan.15, 2010


gary ledebur said...

MM writes, "in the 1930's, the "New Deal" was good to Allentown."

The "New Deal" was good for America. Why is it that the tea b......rs don't want any money spent on anything except guns and bombs? They are apposed to federal spending so much that they are willing to risk another recession.

Like Molovinsky we should remember the past and learn from it.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, apparently you cannot help yourself about both politicizing and provoking. it was obama who approved the surge in Afghanistan and is supplying the weapons for Libya. the national ills are a bipartisan problem. your tea b.....rs rant is getting old.

Mike Schware said...

MM -

I visit the Allentown Post Office every day. Every so often, someone makes a comment about the "swastikas" on the occasional floor tile.

I usually try to explain that the post office was constructed well before WW2 (though the nazis were coming to power when the PO was built) and that the "swastikas" are actually the reverse of the Nazi ones.

I usually add that I think the symbol is actually an American Indian symbol.

Hopefully I have that all correct. Either way, it usually calms people down who are initially upset by it.

Anonymous said...

Ledebur is full of it----ban him from this blog. He fails to see the fact that government handouts are the problem. The post office in this picture pays for itself and we don't need government in our lives except to wage wars and control liquor and gambling. Personally I like the lottery a lot and won $34 last week. This is government at its best. Pawloski should start an Allentown lottery.

gary ledebur said...

MM: You may think the tea b...gers rants are old but if they do not compromise on the debt ceiling we will have a serious double dip recession and interest rates will rise to double digits.

Preserving the beauty and history of the WPA will be on the very bottom on our priorities.

Anonymous said...

Can't ANY historical articles and pictures of Allentown be presented on this blog without turning it into a political discussion? I only wish that I had the forsight to accumulate photographs of prior generations to retain as evidence of their lasting accomplishments, and then share them with others. MM could well post pictures of the Mayan ruins and someone would find a way to politicize it. For gosh sakes, sometimes a flower is just a flower!

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:31, I could not agree with you more. this blog has several unrelated themes; among them, allentown politics and allentown history. architecturally, the post office is the gem of hamilton street. It has been threatened in the past, by both the federal government and city hall. regardless of it's historical importance, it's well used and needed as a center city post office.

gary ledebur said...

Perhaps there should be two separate blogs-----one for pictures and no politics and the other for pointing out the doltishness of local politicians and school superintendents. The mix confuses me particularly when you reference the WPA which most of your readers would have aggressively condemned if they were around then.

Less than 7 days to debt crisis. Keep some cash on hand.

Anonymous said...


Exactly who is the complete ideological nutcase?

Anonymous said...

I think the complete ideological nutcase is Ledebur but just in case I am taking out $1000 in cash for next week.

Anonymous said...

Hey GL! "tea b......rs don't want any money spent on anything except guns and bombs?"
I'll bet you know nothing about tea party members ans what they are all about. I'll also bet you know nothing about the ATF program called "Fast and Furious"! You apparently know little of what the "right" is all about, only what the left wants. That's the problem with leftists, they always want but don't give! Join a tea party and find out what they stand for and you will find members of all political parties there wanting to hold our run away government responsible for their actions. Speak from experience and maybe you will have a few facts instead of innuendo.

gary ledebur said...


You are correct I know no Tea Ba..ers well. i have met several at the KOP Mall where they protest every Saturday morning. Those guys like guns and bombs and hate liberals and intellectuals.

My wife's first cousin is an ATF agent and he keeps me posted on Fast and Furious--a total disaster.

I would love to have more dialog with the ba..ers. But I doubt that they can convince me that Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman are what we need in America.

gary ledebur said...

.....by the way, my daughter lives in Los Angeles and is friends with several tea ba..ers. As you would expect in LA they are much less strident. In fact they are known as the Green Herbal Double Decaf Tea Party.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the Tea Party and want to inform everyone that my party insists that the federal government control its spending. With over a trillion dollars in debt it is time to end government hand-outs and give-aways. As Molovinsky pointed out Obama has brought us two wars and socialized medical care. I saved my money while working and I can afford to pay for my own health care. I do not need the government to take care of me in my old age. FDR brought us social security. LBJ brought us Medicare and Obama brings us socialism.

If we have to risk some high inflation and a delay in social security checks, so be it. No taxes on the rich or real job creators. No ending of tax deductions and certainly no revenue enhancements of any kind.

Anonymous said...

Gary, you normally have something to say here. And now you're sullying yourself with the sexual references. Please clean it up.

And by the way, the difference between government in the 1930s vs. government today is that legislators back then gave 1/2 a crap about their constituents. Today's legislators only care about themselves, reelection, and never having to work a real job.

Big difference.

Anonymous said...

"Those guys like guns and bombs and hate liberals and intellectuals."

In that case, you have nothing to worry about, intellectually, that is!

Anonymous said...

G.L. So you hate Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman but love Obama? Hmmm, I don't know how to take that!

gary ledebur said...

What is the sexual reference?

Anonymous said...

Always have loved this building and still do.

Back in the day I saw a number of friends off who left from this location to go to boot camp on their way to Viet Nam.

Have not been in the building for a while. Generally it is a rather long wait for service.

I used to pick up packages here, but lately have been routed to Airport Road.

I understand the second floor is in poor shape. I only hope this building can be restored and maintained.

It is magnificent architecture, the likes of which will probably never be replicated, regardless of cost.

Anonymous said...

tea b....rs. Obvious what you intend, and obvious what it means. If you're unsure, please look it up.