Jan 6, 2017

McHistory In Lehigh Valley


Readers of this blog know that I'm upset about what little value history is given in this community.  Yesterday's Morning Call story on the Lehigh Valley Trust Bank building goes a step farther, and significantly alters the story of an important structure.  After reading the Morning Call article, one would think that the bank closed,  Abe Atiyeh purchased it and then sold it to the Jaindls,  who are now opening an event center after restoration.  The real story is so different,  I can only conclude that this current article was only meant as another NIZ promotion, not a serious background of the building.

When the building was purchased by Seigfried Braun, unmentioned in the article,  it had been modernized.  He and his family spend years and most of their assets lovingly restoring it.  The famed skylight and other adornments were covered over decades earlier, by a massive new lowered ceiling.  What you see now is the fruit of his labor. Restoring the skylight alone took over a year.  In addition to that bank,  he also purchased the Dime Bank and the Elks Club.  The Dime Bank has now been incorporated into the new Renaissance Hotel.  The Elks Club was demolished to make way for J.B. Reilly's aborted massive Two Towers project.

Unfortunately, illness forced Mr. Braun to quickly sell these significant structures for pennies on the dollar, to Abe Atiyeh.  We should thank Braun for saving these magnificent structures.  Although, I like to think that my local political opinions have merit,  my better calling is to defend and advocate for local historical structures, when I have the needed endurance.  Meanwhile, I use this blog to present local history, and occasionally point out misconceptions about it.

This piece was inadvertently posted for several minutes yesterday during revisions. 

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