Nov 22, 2011

2nd and Hamilton


Up to the mid 1960's, before Allentown started tinkering with urban redevelopment, lower Hamilton Street still teemed with businesses. The City had grown from the river west, and lower Hamilton Street was a vibrant area. Two train stations and several rail lines crossed the busy thoroughfare. Front, Ridge and Second were major streets in the first half of the twentieth century. My grandparents settled on the 600 block of 2nd Street in 1895, along with other Jewish immigrants from Russia and Lithuania. As a boy, I worked at my father's meat market on Union Street. I would have lunch at a diner, just out of view in the photo above. The diner was across from the A&P, set back from the people shown on the corner. A&P featured bags of ground to order 8 O'Clock coffee, the Starbucks of it's day.

above photo taken by Ed Miller in 1953, and included in Pleasant Family Shopping. Gratitude to LVCI for the link

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike, No more stories related to the hockey arena. Possibly you can do articles on merchants that left, how well the city helped them if they relocated there business in Allentown. Any news on Rite Aid and Atieyh lawsuit. keep your readers updated on what is happening,the morning call is failing their Allentown subscribers and advertisers by reporting very little on what is happening in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Telling you what to write in your own blog is over the top. This reader appreciates your take on old Allentown, especially the photos, Jewish history as well as the current circumstances in the Middle East, boxing, the arena, and other related/unrelated musings. Keep it up, it is the first thing I read each day. In addition, it is "their" business, not "there" business.

Anonymous said...

Mike, My comment should of read. are there any more stories on the hockey arena that you can provide on your blog

Anonymous said...

Michael,
Thanks for the photo and posting about 2nd and Hamilton Streets. My wife and i were having dinner with friends last night and we were discussing grocery stores - large and small. I specifically brought up the "small" A&P at 2nd and Hamilton and my fond childhood recollections of that store. The smell of the freshly ground 8 O'Clock coffee is a permanent part of my olefactory memory bank. I went on to tell them that a larger A&P store was built on 19th Street - it became the Shanty Restaurant and then the ill-fated and now closed TC Salon. The next progression for A&P was an even bigger store at 19th and Hamilton Streets. It also closed and is now medical offices for St. Luke's Hospital. Throug it all, I still remember the smell of freshly ground 8 O'Clock Coffee. Thanks for the memories. The Hamilton Street of the 1950s is becoming a distant memory, unfortunately.
8 O'Clock Poster

Guy Williams said...

Just a thought but in my view this whole arena project is being put forth to bolster the prospects of the americus hotel.No downtown renewal can happen without the rebirth of the hotel and no rebirth of the hotel without a major arena type development.You will do this city a great service by keeping the 'players' on notice that shenanigans will not be overlooked.Keep up the good work.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"A&P featured bags of ground to order 8 O'Clock coffee, the Starbucks of it's day."

A&P, America's fist supermarket, is a story unto itself. And 8 o'clock coffee is still quite popular.

Anonymous said...

I remember a coffee named "Nujoy". I also remember a well known restaurant (close to Hamilton and seventh) that blew up (gas)early in the evening. I believe it was in 58 or 59. I was going to night school at RTTS at the time.