Nov 16, 2017

Treasures Lost On Hamilton Street

                                                   click photograph to enlarge
The merchants who built Hamilton Street counted on architecture to attract shoppers into their emporiums. Large neon signs wouldn't appear for another fifty years. The soffit and fascia shown above, halfway between 7th and 8th on Hamilton, is one of the most elaborate facades in Allentown. One thing you can say about Allentown City Hall, they never let culture, art, or history get into the way of their plans. As successful cities come to value and profit from their history more and more, Allentown keeps using the standard catalog of proven failures. I know from other projects on Hamilton Street that Pawlowski isn't big on history. The Cityline Building in the 800 Block was permitted to stucco over beautiful brickwork. Sad that the puppies, who are directors at the Art Museum and Historical Society, remain silent on the planned destruction. It's hard to describe the magnificence of the skylight shown below, also in the targeted block. It's very large in three sections, in pristine condition. Should be quite a snack for Pawlowski's bulldozer.
The bulldozer prevailed, and the former architectural treasures of our mercantile history were not preserved, save for this blog's archives. Above is reprinted from May 2011

ADDENDUM:   This past weekend, a member of Old Allentown Preservation Association, and an active local Democrat, bragged on facebook about how he had recycled an old second floor office door from the demolished buildings in the arena zone. In truth, Old Allentown also turned a self serving, callous eye to the destruction noted in the above post. Although I'm glad the door was recycled, allow this post to note the irony and hypocrisy of the Association.

reprinted from January of 2015

UPDATE NOVEMBER 16, 2017: Although there's always some group bestowing some award on any new development, the Allentown NIZ is certainly no architectural destination.  Although I've taken hundreds of photographs in Allentown, including the ones shown here,  I have yet to buy film for any new building in the NIZ.


Fire the incompetants said...

Pawlowski on the history of Allentown; what a joke! This guy is from Chicago, hates Allentown [by his desire to run for governor and senator], and embraces urban decay that his fife's live in downtown. However, he'll be part of history as the first mayoral candidate who has been indicted on 54-felonous counts and won reelection.

Scott Armstrong said...

Mike, The new buildings are colossal bores. Nothing about any of them, in my opinion, differentiates them similar buildings springing up in other urban areas. Modern cookie cutter is the word I hear quite often. Worse than Hamilton is what has become of Linden, it is now a barren gloomy concrete canyon.

When Heydt ripped down the canopies a beautiful urban street was revealed to outsiders such as myself. The city then proceeded to tear much of it down. We rarely go down there now. It is quite frankly depressing to us.