Jan 17, 2013
Urban Renewal and These History Posts
Urban renewal projects are nothing new to Allentown. Every couple decades some Mayor thinks he has a brighter idea. In a previous post, I showed the historic Lehigh and Union Street neighborhood, totally destroyed by city planners. Today, an under used Bank calling center sits awkwardly alone on that Lehigh Street hill. The picture above shows another hill of merchants and residents, fed to a mayor's bulldozer. The picture is from 1953, and shows Hamilton Street, from Penn Street down toward the railroad stations. At that time we still had two stations, The Lehigh Valley Railroad and The New Jersey Central. The current closed bar and restaurant occupies the Jersey Central. Everything on Hamilton Street, west of the bridge over the Jordan creek, with the exception of the Post Office, was demolished up to Fifth Street. Government Center would be built on the north side of the street, and a new hotel on the south, to accommodate the many anticipated visitors. Recently we had to remove and replace the facade of the county courthouse, which leaked since it was constructed. The hotel is now a rooming house.
Unannounced plans are underway for a new hotel to service anticipated visitors to Pawlowski's Palace of Sports. It will be up to some future blogger to document how that hotel becomes a rooming house.
reprinted from March 2012 UPDATE:In the time since this blog was first written, we have learned that the new arena hotel may well end up being apartments instead, an option which even the arena students didn't know about. To those who think that these history posts have no relevance to today's Allentown, or that our esteemed leadership is reinventing the wheel, your blind support is indeed appreciated at City Hall.