Oct 1, 2013

2nd and Hamilton

Up to the mid 1960's,  before Allentown started tinkering with urban redevelopment, lower Hamilton Street still teemed with businesses. The City had grown from the river west,  and lower Hamilton Street was a vibrant area.  Two train stations and several rail lines crossed the busy thoroughfare.  Front, Ridge and Second were major streets in the first half of the twentieth century.  My grandparents settled on the 600 block of 2nd Street in 1895, along with other Jewish immigrants from Russia and Lithuania.  As a boy, I worked at my father's meat market on Union Street.  I would have lunch at a diner, just out of view in the photo above.  The diner was across from the A&P,  set back from the people shown on the corner.  A&P featured bags of ground to order 8 O'Clock coffee, the Starbucks of it's day.
please click on photo
photocredit:Ed Miller, 1953
reprinted from September 2012


Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,
A few comments from someone (me) who lived as a kid in the early 1940's at 234 and 214 Hamilton St. which were located in the middle of the block on the left:
Right around the corner from the A&P on 2nd St was a horse trough. Larry and Jimmy Whitman lived with their parents in the apts. above the A&P. Queen City,known to us as "Queenies" is the luncheonette directly to the right of the trolley. On the left,on the corner of 3rd St. is a sign,"Taylor" a large plumbing supply store, which today is named, I believe, Weinsteins. Can't say I know the 3 people standing on the left!

Best wishes,
Arnold Fein

Anonymous said...

From studying the history of Allentown I learned one of the main interferers to the natural development of the center city neighborhoods has been City Hall. City Hall has knocked neighborhoods down, widened and narrowed Hamilton St., added and removed awnings, trees, and light posts. Citizens must demand and elect council members and a mayor that will remove City Hall from micro-managing center city.

-Steven Ramos

Anonymous said...

Really great to see the efficient mode of transportation. But then we got smart and changed to the inefficient automobile. Ya gotta admit technology reins. Oh well back to my typewriter.
Thanks Mike