Jan 19, 2015

Old Allentown's Inconvenient Truth

                                                   click photograph to enlarge
The merchants who built Hamilton Street counted on architecture to attract shoppers into their emporiums. Large neon signs wouldn't appear for another fifty years. The soffit and fascia shown above, halfway between 7th and 8th on Hamilton, is one of the most elaborate facades in Allentown. One thing you can say about Allentown City Hall, they never let culture, art, or history get into the way of their plans. As successful cities come to value and profit from their history more and more, Allentown keeps using the standard catalog of proven failures. I know from other projects on Hamilton Street that Pawlowski isn't big on history. The Cityline Building in the 800 Block was permitted to stucco over beautiful brickwork. Sad that the puppies, who are directors at the Art Museum and Historical Society, remain silent on the planned destruction. It's hard to describe the magnificence of the skylight shown below, also in the targeted block. It's very large in three sections, in pristine condition. Should be quite a snack for Pawlowski's bulldozer.
The bulldozer prevailed, and the former architectural treasures of our mercantile history were not preserved, save for this blog's archives. Above is reprinted from May 2011

UPDATE:  The post above, reprinted from May of 2013, was then titled Stealing Allentown's Treasures. This past weekend, a member of Old Allentown Preservation Association, and an active local Democrat, bragged on facebook about how he had recycled an old second floor office door from the demolished buildings in the arena zone. In truth, Old Allentown also turned a self serving, callous eye to the destruction noted in the above post. Although I'm glad the door was recycled, allow this post to note the irony and hypocrisy of the Association.


Julian Kern said...

We need to preserve the historic buildings and housing in the city. Instead of just knocking down all the history how about we restore it and maintain it to our advantage. Allentown has a lot of history behind it and to destroy that history is a dumb move in my opinion. If we can restore and maintain these historic buildings it will give the city advantages that other cities may not have.

Anonymous said...

That was my glass ceiling in my office when I was above NEW YORK FASHION. I was there for a year. Beautiful space.

Alfonso Todd