Nov 28, 2012

Allentown Becomes A Monarchy

Park and Shop Lots
Downtown Allentown boomed for about 100 years. During the prosperity years following World War II, the two car family emerged. Several business leaders of Allentown realized both the parking problem and the potential to enhance sales. Park and Shop was begun by Harvey Farr, Donald Miller and John Leh. The current small parking deck at 10th and Hamilton, above the current uptown police substation, was the first deck in the country. To make the parking lots, shown in the postcard above, houses were purchased and torn down. Although the gentlemen mentioned in this article profited from their influence, they always provided solutions for the betterment of the community. They seemed to be a benevolent oligarchy. As the viability of the Park And Shop enterprise declined along with the intercity shopping, The Allentown Parking Authority was conveniently formed by local politicians, and it purchased the lots using Municipal bonds; The process allowed the aforementioned gentleman to land on their feet, in a downward market.

Flash ahead thirty five years to another downward market, and we have one gentleman, J.B. Reilly, buying up center-city with municipal bonds backed by state taxes. Reilly has purchased far more property than ever owned by Park and Shop. He has purchased virtually the four square blocks surrounding the arena, a significant portion of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone(NIZ). Again the process was facilitated by our elected officials. Let us hope that the new monarchy will be as benevolent as the old oligarchy.


Anonymous said...

Oh I'm quite sure it will be.

Anonymous said...


Try legitimate People's Democratic Workers Paradise, Comrade Molovinsky.

And they really DO have honest-to-goodness, secret ballot elections tht are NOT blatantly rigged and involve multiple political parties in this City With No (Spending) Limits.

Damn, we could just not be any more jealous!

When does ice hockey season start, we'd like to patronize?