Jul 14, 2016

Allentown Planning Puppies Make LIttle Barks

The Allentown Planning Puppies are adorable. Although, they approved Reilly's Tower of Condo Speculation,  they are concerned about Hamilton Street losing its historical character.  I have no idea what these puppies are talking about;  there hasn't been any historical consideration on Hamilton Street since the Pawlowski era began, and certainly there is no character.

Allentown's Preservation League also chimed in.  They don't mind historical buildings  being demolished for new development, but they don't think that buildings should be demolished for speculation, like the former Elks Club on South 8th Street.  Of course,  those enablers didn't protest at the time. Understand that the arena complex demolished 37 buildings, of which 34 were historic, and several were unique, one of a kind in Allentown.  Reilly just demolished another square block for his now, put on hold,  twin mega towers.

When the Hamilton Street treasure shown above, in the 700 block,  was demolished for the arena,  save for this blogger, there was no concern for its loss.  There wasn't a sound from any of the puppies mentioned here.

The current office condo project must still go in front of Allentown's zoning board, and Historical Architectural Review Board.  Oh, the suspense,  will the Reilly project get the final go ahead from the city?


Robert Burritsch said...

If cronyism, and I dare say gross miscalculations weren't what defined the NIZ, I for one wouldn't be opposed the modernization of Allentown. But even in an ideal world (the context in which I opine), can historical preservation and modernization truly be achieved? I guess it's a matter of opinion, taste and compromise; you simply can't please everyone. For example, I view the Dime Bank building being incorporated into the arena and the Renaissance Hotel as a blight. On the other hand, the preservation of the Allentown Trust building is something that's aesthetically pleasing amid the new buildings. Will I miss the buildings at Sixth and Hamilton where Tower Six is to be built? No. I do however agree with your assessment that the new buildings are lacking architecturally. City Center Three and the Strata Flats in particular are as generic as they come.

Dave said...

Historical preservation and the NIZ are opposite ends of a magnet. Never let a historically significant building get in the way of a glass and steel box.

So much has been lost of our old central business district the photos of Hamilton Street during the 1962 Bicentennial parade are unrecognizable today. Starting at 12th street actually and the work of the wrecking ball can be noted all the way to the Lehigh River where A&B used to be.

The magnificent Rialto Theater - gone, now a parking deck
The Allentown Library - now a Holiday Inn, was a Hilton, who knows what will be next
Hess's - PPL Plaza
Union Bank Building - gone
etc etc etc....

What gave our city character has been demolished. What's an old boot shop at 6th & Hamilton anyway? Can't get in the way of the latest glass and steel box.

Atown Assassin said...

I would like to know where all of these jobs created are. How many people in Allentown are benefiting from this great revival? Reading this makes me feel like I'm in a bad episode of the twilight zone.