Oct 7, 2022

Allentown's Quickly Vanishing History

For the last twenty years or so I have been a soldier for Allentown's history. As a long time advocate for the park system's WPA structures, I've harassed numerous mayors and park directors. I recall interrupting Joe Daddona jogging in Hamilton Park to complain about a repair necessary at Union Terrace, now named after him. I recall interrupting Bill Heydt and his wife walking by their former home near Cedar Beach. 

By the Afflerbach/Pawlowski era, in addition to park advocacy, I became politically active as an independent. The reason for this Reader's Digest condensed personal history is a revelation that while we all know how much Allentown has changed in the last decade, among its latest victims is its very history itself.

As the new administration embraces the changes and discards one tradition after another, I realize that soon neither those traditions, nor the memory of them, will exist. With the Morning Call building now being a cigarette warehouse, even their archives are limited to some rented space on the data cloud, wherever and whatever that is.

A few like minded people such as myself peck away on our Smith Corona typewriters, hoping we can save some of those memories before the ink on the ribbon dries out.


  1. Keep up the great work! Born and rasied in Bethlehtm then Allentown. Now NYC. ( was a neighorhood activist that pushed to have the Highline built In allentown. Other examples ROuse developed Boston and NYC Soouth St, SoNo, Meat Packing District. are examples of cities who have reinvigorated blighted "historic neighborhoods liImagine what they could do for the Allentown Lehigh RIver waterfront Neuwiler Brewery neighborhood. https://www.baltimoremagazine.com/section/businessdevelopment/bill-struever-revives-baltimore-city-renovation-harbor-neighborhoods-maryland-charm-city/ (My grandfather was the contractor for the 7 st Monument) Have developers like Rouse been called in for ideas?

  2. anon@1:02, Allentown has it own unique development scheme. A special state law was formulated that enables new private property to be paid for with state taxes. Almost of the new buildings are owned by one man, and essentially nothing looks the same on Hamilton St. The new buildings are without architectural merit (IMO), and the street is deserted, despite over $1 billion dollars of new construction. It's a long story you can follow by using my search engine with the term NIZ. Furthermore, besides myself, there are no critics of this program.

  3. Allentown needs to be stuck with the proverbial fork!!! Stand by sports fans... from the river to 12th, and from Hamilton to Tilghman... the wrecking ball is in your future and we get to foot the bill via our purloined taxes. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, what was done to Lawrence Street is the plan for the downtown area!!! AND, the "city" is helping it along with next to zero policing. OH, and we pass laws, LOTS of laws, that are enforced sporadically... No quicker way to turn residential areas into rent-idential areas!!! And, when the wrecking ball arrives, renters are so much easier to "disburse"...