Jun 23, 2021

Allentown's Vanishing History


Years ago a reader sent me the above image.  It looks down the hill from 7th and Hamilton, north, toward Linden Street. He had been attempting to locate the old Lafayette Radio store on 7th street, because of a pleasant memory from his childhood. By my day the store had moved onto the southern side of the 700 block of Hamilton Street. History is quickly succumbing to the wreaking ball in Allentown. All the buildings shown above, on the unit block of 7th Street, have been knocked down for the arena and Reilly's Strata complexes.  When Salomon Jewelry departed,  Tucker Yarn remained one of Hamilton Street's last remaining businesses from the glory days.

Phil and Rose Tucker opened their first yarn store on N. 7th St. in 1949. That first store can be seen on the left side of the above photo. The Tucker Yarn Company had been at its current location at 950 Hamilton Street for over 50 years. For knitting enthusiasts the endless inventory was legendary. Phil told me years ago how even in May, traditionally a slow month for the industry, Hess's annual flower show kept Hamilton Street and his store busy. A busy Hamilton Street is a memory now, shared only by a couple of surviving merchants. Although many of Tucker's customers were elderly, the business was much more than a time capsule. His daughter Mae, nationally known in the trade, gave classes and operated a large mail order web site.

Tucker Yarn has closed.  In the near future you will see the building replaced by one more new office building.  This blogger will continue his downtown recons, but I will no longer be sitting in a familiar place with familiar faces.

The above image can be found in Doug Peters' Lehigh Valley Transit

reprinted from November of 2019

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