Jul 11, 2011

The Union Street Train Tower


The Union Street crossing was a busy place. It was located between the Jordan Creek and south 3th Street. Virtually all the train lines serving Allentown converged here. The Lehigh Valley Railroad's old main line also crossed Union Street further east, toward the Lehigh River. Allentown was at this time served by two train stations, the Lehigh Valley Railroad Station which was built over the Jordan Creek, and the New Jersey Central, which still stands as a closed restaurant and bar. This photograph, from 1930, is first in a series which will chronicle both the demise of our railroad era, and manufacturing base. Today, the tower is long gone and only one track survives. It is used by a private short line operator.

photograph from the Collection of Mark Rabenold

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Remembering the past is not a bad thing. Making comparisons between what used to be and what is now, is also a good thing. It's a way to judge our accomplishments and our failures, a necessary thing for improvement. If improvement isn't made, you can bet that the greed of money and/or power has taken precedence over the concerns of the people! I don't speak for MM, but I believe this is what he is attempting to show. He has a right to do that! The present local government has shown to be more like parasites living off the taxpayer instead of the leaders we thought we have elected. This is what we get when we elect the people that promise us the most. Greed begets greed!
Stealth.

michael molovinsky said...

sleath, steelbreast's comment makes little sense to me. we wouldn't have many historical societies or museums or history courses with that viewpoint. likewise, you assign too much meaning to my purpose here. this post is simply allentown history, nothing more. as a boy, i often sat in my fathers car waiting for a long train to pass.

gary ledebur said...

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” Like an immigrant from that country I am eager to describe its landscape to people who have never been there, to draw maps of its fantastic geography, to recount its strange vocabulary and customs."

-----------------L.P. Hartley

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky's desire to share his historical knowledge and vast photo collection with the general public is a good thing. Like they say, however, "no good deed goes unpunished."

Patrick McHenry said...

Anonymous said...

yes we appreciate his old stuff but he also puts in diggs as to the present

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When the present deserves it, it should be pointed out.

michael molovinsky said...

between the cyberstalker and the partisanship, the comments have become burdensome

Anonymous said...

I too remember the past,fondly but i dont have a disdain for the changes. Allentown was a major center for silk mills and ribbon factorys.The public changed to cotton and synthetic clothing.Factories moved to the cotton producing south.Iron and steel left for many reasons.Labor intensive plants here plus construction changed to concrete and lighter metals plus plastic instead of iron and steel in cars and smaller items.Hess'was done with the death of Max hess.The public went to the Mall's in droves and 2 Guy's,then K mart then Walmart putting out of buisness many smaller stores. The interstate highway system of the 50's was death to the freight trains not to mention of buses to the trolleys.Now everthing is made of plastic and in China.Seems like theres bigger forces involved then just blaming our local leaders of the moment.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:29

You are correct however I feel underestimate the depth and breath of the changes we have gone through since the industrial revolution began.

Paramount to the economic change is the cultural change. Our local leaders, stuck on stupid and his buddy sutpider does, fail to see these changes.

They see progress only in economic growth. A paradigm that increasingly is fading into the past and history.

They trade the wishful spectre of economic success for the well being of the community. That is sad.

Their ideas are unoriginal and they seem to lack the basic fortitude to make changes that fit the community and the culture that has developed.

Too bad. So much is lost. The mis-allocation of our increasingly scarce resources by these wayward do-gooders will be the death knell to Allentown.

Anonymous said...

12:16 am Your absolutly right.I guessit boils down to the fact that no one has come up with a reasonable cost effective way to retro fit the vacant retail and manufacturing buildings that resulted from the changes we spoke of.We are caught between a rock and a hard place with all these white elephants.A few bright spots over the last 20 years but just not convinced we could expect any better with different political players.