Apr 23, 2014

Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?

On the entire square block of the arena complex, only two former buildings were spared, the Farr Building and The Dime Bank. The former Farr Shoe building, currently loft apartments, has been continuously occupied since being constructed. The Dime Bank has spend most of it's 90 years vacant. The bank closed in 1931, only six years after being built. It remained mostly vacant until the early 1990's, when the monumental 1st floor room was restored, and housed an antique market for a few years. Since then, ownership changed hands several times, but the building remained vacant. Because of a leaking facade, the arena owners decided to strip the brick off, down to it's steel structural skeleton. Lost was the iconic attic story, in classic art deco style. Also lost was the beautiful ornate ceiling in the monumental banking chamber.

As I begin the mission to provide residents of northern Lehigh and Northampton Counties with a new kind of representation in Harrisburg, this blog will continue to scrutinize the Allentown area. Please follow the campaign on my Facebook page,  Mr. Molovinsky Goes To Harrisburg.  If you live anywhere in the 183rd District, from now on,  I'll be looking out for you.


Anonymous said...

What was the point of even keeping the facade? It looks ridiculous.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:21, i like the first story facade, it is a small tribute to the history of the former block. would they have spared the building had they know the complications, I doubt it.

Robert Strobel said...

Allentown has fared miserably at most preservation efforts. It always amazes me that the new is better thinking always seems to win out. History of an area, by the structures left standing should be encouraged to preserve, preserve, preserve. New buildings, while wired for every conceivable technology coming down the pike, have no soul.
I just saw this blog tonight. I had no idea they had to tear off the whole facade. Oh, that hurts. I was actually proud of them for incorporating the dime building into the plans. Have you heard the exact plan on how it will look when its done? The hope would be at least a close replica of what was there. The reality is they"ll probably throw up a lot of shiny glass and a few brinks and say "perfect". So sad.