I was surveying and photographing demolished Hamilton Street yesterday. My thinking is that there is less asbestos floating around on the weekend. While I worried about the hypothetical, some Allentonians were devastated by the all too real; But first, The Family Dollar story. In the Allentown of my youth, the building held the McCrory Five and Dime. Considering that history, it wasn't inappropriate to end up a dollar store. The building's landlord just had a lucrative 14 months. Purchased for $325,154.00 in November of 2010, the City ponied up $1,100,000.00 in the beginning of this month. There has been a number of such home runs involving the arena, but not within such a short time frame. Meanwhile, Easton Express Times reporter Colin McEvory was checking out the homeowners displaced by last month's water main break and sinkhole on 10th Street. While the City was prepared to exhume graves in the adjoining cemetery, the homeowners have learned that Allentown will not assist them. We were going to treat the dead better than the living.
Through no fault of their own, they have been made homeless, and in some cases, penniless. While this City can spend $35million to acquire and demolish properties for the arena, we leave the sinkhole victims clinging to the edge of the precipice. Allentown is serviced by water pipes over 100 years old. It is City policy to never admit that a water leak caused a sinkhole. While I won't debate their legal strategy, it's apparent we could do much more for these victims; It's a matter of priorities.
photo: The Express Times