Jan 16, 2012

Whine and Cheese


Decades ago I could be found at an Allentown Art Museum opening. As the years passed and I became more cynical, I started referring to those events as Whine and Cheese. Now of course, I call those people yuppies, and have long since been removed from their mailing lists. In the last several months my regard for them, and the Old Allentown Preservation Association, has grown even lower. Both groups sat silently by, while the architectural and historical gems of Allentown were destroyed. Allentown only had a few significant facades. I captured the above image this summer. We need not speculate if the new arena will last 80 years, or if people in the year 3000 will consider it's architecture significant; It will be long gone.

destruction image from the Rebellious Evil Brothers Film

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

With the little regard for the preservation of architectural beauty in center city Allentown the present administration has shown, is there any wonder why they place such little interest in preserving the Schriebers bridge, Fountain Park, and other historical WPA structures?

John.Jay said...

I am sad that some of the facades came down as well. However, it is my understanding that the two nicest buildings on the block, the Dime Trust and the Farr Building are to be spared.

Anonymous said...

Glad someone writes about Schrieber's Bridge because the way the traffic flow directional signs are right now if an 18-wheel truck is coming down Lehigh Parkway East, following the directions posted by the city, it will begin decent towards this tiny antique bridge and the only see a weight limitation sign (think it's 5 tons. So folks, tell the driver how he is to proceed? Go backwards up a hill with no visibility and endanger others or go forward and risk destroying the bridge as well as dropping into the stream below.

michael molovinsky said...

john, taxpayers contributed significantly, by way of a grant, to the conversion of the farr building into loft apartments.

anon 9:33, if you scroll down to Dec. 29, you'll find a post on schriebers bridge.

Anonymous said...

You continue to post about OAPA as if the organization can actually do anything. It is a shell of its former self (the answer: you don't like historic district and they advocated for one). Again, I ask, why not attempt to hold the Allentown Preservation Association to some account. They are focused on the entire city (so they say). And the Lehigh County historical society seems to be remarkably silent too.

not sure why you would like the art museum to this. the art museum does not have a mission related to historic preservation. the best possible links are that they are located downtown and they are in an historic building. fair enough, but then so is every church located downtown... are they guilty too? Are you going to start hammering on Bob Stevens at Zion b/c the Liberty Bell Shrine didn't do enough to stop this? Of course you won't... you have some kind of agenda to carry out.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 2:05, first off, i have no agenda. although only a few people i spoke to favor this arena project, almost everyone thinks that it's in the wrong place, if not the wrong time. why the silence?

art is more than two dimensional. the allentown art museum has the frank lloyd wright room. in this and previous posts, i have documented architectural gems being sacrificed for this project. before neon signs, merchants built impressive emporiums to promote their goods. this block best represented that mercantile history.

Anonymous said...

Longtime lurker here, finally had to comment. I am young former allentown resident. I grew up in center city and graduated from high school in 2002. My dad worked at the steel company, and we stayed put in our row house while the neighborhood turned into multiplexes around us. I grew up staring upwards at the hidden beauty in the older buildings in Allentown - I fell in love with those facades because they were beautiful in their own right, but also because they were in such contrast to everything else that was dirty and bleak. I went on to get a BA in historic preservation (like I said, those facades mattered to me) and an M.Ed. in education. I live far from pa now, and I fear for my parents' safety in the old neighborhood, but watching that video broke my heart all the same.