There's a long history to everything that appears new in Allentown. The American Parkway, with it's new bridge scheduled to begin, goes back to Joe Daddona's era, 35 years ago. Some of the things that were to be serviced by that road no longer exist, others never materialized, and are long forgotten. All the while mayor after mayor obsessed on this new bridge, the existing ones have accumulated more neglect. While we accelerate the American Parkway Bridge, 15th Street receives another delay. The concept of a hockey arena goes back to Bill Heydt, when he tore down the former Hess's Store, and attempted to secure private investors. Thanks to the new Neighborhood Improvement Zone, we have found an effective financing mechanism, the taxpayer. In the real world, it seems the Sands Event Center will dominate the local entertainment market. I believe that the Allentown Arena and office buildings will have some success with foot traffic. The actual cost to bring those people here, will never be known.
rendering of proposed Corporate Plaza*, 1984/The Morning Call Archives
*destroyed by sinkhole in 1994