Jul 23, 2013

The Sign of Hypocrisy

Very early this morning I was amused by the article in The Morning Call speaking of something new coming to downtown Allentown, an electronic billboard. I thought I had put the soon to be demolished Monument Building to rest, but now it features in yet another story of Allentown's double standards. Before the Mayor forced the owner to lock the doors, he had installed the exact type of new billboard coming to Allentown. I apparently was not the only one shaking my head over this story. Before 7:00AM I received the following comment.
  In regards to the future digital billboards: The sad part is that a business man had this same idea and placed a beautiful sign on the side of the 645 Hamilton Street building only to have ut turned off due to City politics.. Everything that is being thought of as new and innovative was proposed and DONE by individuals 6-10 years ago who took it "upon themselves" to make Allentown a better City. Unfortunately, we received no support so many have left or became apathetic... SMH Alfonso Todd
There is actually a proud tradition of signs in center square.  For many years during the golden era a large illuminated Neuweiler Beer sign stood atop the Whelan Drugstore, on the northwest corner.  Back to the hapless Monument owner and his innovative sign.  The sign was up for a number of months and being tolerated by the city, until one faithful day.  As a favor to the coffee shop owner,  the sign company programmed an ad for Lou Hershman running for office, just as Mayor Pawlowski was walking down the street.  The Mayor blew his fuse, and the sign shortly thereafter, when the city threw every sign law on the book at the owner.

 The billboard is actually still mounted to the building, as a testament to this hypocrisy.   Is it the same billboard firm now hired by the city to place billboards on certain streets, including N. 7th? I'll leave some meat on the bone for the paper to discover, when they adopt this story.

reprinted from August 2012

UPDATE:The post above is from August of 2012. Since that time the building shown, The Monument Building, has been demolished, and a new building is being constructed by J.B. Reilly, using state tax dollars under the NIZ. Last night, Abe Atiyeh challenged the exception clause to the new zoning law, in regard to the new electronic billboard contract with the city.  Although that story is expertly covered by both Bernie O'Hare's Ramblings and The Morning Call,  this blog is uniquely positioned to add some  historical perspective and irony.


  1. You have to pay to play in Allentown ussr

  2. @3:39, although i'm a critic of many of the administration's policies, i have never subscribed to that allegation.

  3. It truly is pointless to protest.

    The battle IS over. It WAS lost.

    Very sorry all the same,


  4. Ahhh, the memories, the memories...

    Alfonso Todd

  5. Wow!

    See the pictures from the Shootout at the 7-11 Corral right across the street from the Pawlowski Palace of Sport?

    That can't be too good for the NIZ's fairy tale image ...

    More pixie dust, please!!!


  6. Personally I called to advertise on that sign However, based on economics in downtown then it was not affordable...I did not know the reason for it's non-display was a targeted Paw-Low-ski vendetta...I heard rumors in town that he targeted people he perceived to be against him or enemies with retaliation using, code, zoning & city ordinances...Until now I did not really think he could get away with doing that...Thanks for the validation of what a low character this mayor operates from...What happened to his Christian Morals & Ethics???

  7. patrice @9:06, i reported the sequence of events as they occurred, but i make no allegation of vendettas or such.

  8. Wow. I remember that building was featured in the 1962 Bicentennial Memorial booklet as the proud home of the 1st National Bank of Allentown. What a come-down.