Aug 28, 2012

Allentown Memories

click on photo to enlarge
From low income sections of center city, to expensive suburbs, Allentown and the Lehigh Valley is becoming home to more and more outsiders. I'm afraid the time will soon come when local memorabilia will have little appeal. Fortunately, for those interested, some impressive collections still exist. This past year Robert Bungerz published Allentown Remembered, documenting his outstanding collection of historical postcards and other objects. David Bausch, former County Executive and authority on Automobile Art, is also a expert on things Allentown. Then there are the many small collections, home of the hidden treasures. Above is an early aerial photograph of the Allentown Fair. Those interested in the recent commotion concerning the 19TH Street Theater District may find the upper right of the photograph interesting. There is no theater, there are no houses on Saint George Street and most of the buildings seem to to garages and automobile in nature (don't tell Auto-Zone). This gem is probably from the late teens or early 20's, and comes from the Thomas Reed Collection. Thomas is aka Z1pyro, long time expert shooter for Zambelli Firework Company. He retired several years ago, and we who appreciate fireworks, notice his departure.

reprinted from previous years


Anonymous said...

Check out all those beautiful tall trees.
That's really something!

Anonymous said...

Great photo and proof positive that the explosive growth and expansion probably only started slowly at first, then picked up steam after WWII. The automobile made Americans mobile. In a few short decades, people who settled in one area and who spent their lives in one area began to see a bigger picture. The automobile and subsequent highway system made it more likely that Americans would move away from central cities, but it also helped to slowly kill these cities.

Would love to see more like this.


Anonymous said...

Great picture. Always enjoy those and seeing where this city came from.

Even though times were tough then, I am sure there was a more cohesive community and a little more thoughtful consideration in decisions affecting the community.

Now we have a bunch of intoxicated (with delusional visions of power) cowboys in charge and anything goes. What ever idea is on the radar of "these are the things to do" discussion at the last mayors conference is implemented.

Allentown is deteriorating fast and the cowboys are in the process of the great shoot em up at the OK Coral. They will invariably mount their palomino ponies and ride out of town when they are done and have their bag of gold.

A start is to follow the lead of Cleveland and some other cities. Start razing the blighted properties, too expensive to rehab anyway, create a land bank and find alternative uses.

How about a system of community gardens and a centralized location to hold a market. Sure sounds a lot better to me than this ridiculous idea of a fools palace sic arena.

Anonymous said...

The fond memories are blacked out by all the here and now destruction?


Anonymous said...

What destruction?

It's a $ 233.7 million dollar positive transformation and, as both The Morning Call and "local" blogger What-Am-I-Gettings-From-Big-Government? proudly point out, NONE of the enormous risk is being assumed by the City With No (Spending) Limits?

Get on board already.



Bob Grim said...

I believe the original site was what is now Fair Street, between 6th and 5th streets. (An alley).
Thanks for sharing.
It's sad to see where we've come.

ironpigpen said...

Here's an Allentown Memory :


July 23, 2009 ... by Matt Assad of The Morning Call

"Developers of what could be an $ 80.0 million dollar hockey arena have tentatively chosen the Allentown riverfront ...

... The Phantoms owners say they'll front 20% of the costs."


Upon further review, it looks as if the Brooks Group do not have to put up 20%, after all, for the transformative $ 179.5 million dollars the construction costs have skyrocketed to.


Anonymous said...

So true about the auto making America more mobile. Muhlenberg College began in the 1840s in what is not Trout Hall. Imagine how it must have seemed when they built the campus on 24th St. Wow, from
4th to 24th St....with a 'name' street in between them. That's 40 blocks 'out west'. Allentown surely benefited from Muhlenberg's presence through the decades.

Anonymous said...

You must be a former freind of the mayor being brutally honest.

Pastsy's icecream at 7th and allen had the checkered stripe across the street in front of it, maybe a start or finish line.