On Friday, 11/11, my husband and I visited Allentown – the purpose of the trip was to drop off artwork to be included in the Baum School of Art’s holiday sale. We decided to walk around downtown while were there – the day was a sunny, breezy one and perfect for a little tour.
I have written about Allentown many times here and on my art blog – I’ve shown my artwork in the area for a couple of decades. Allentown is one of my favorite places for a lot of reasons. In my acquaintance with it, the city has gone through hard times and now is reinventing itself. The changes in the past couple of years alone are striking. As circumstances altered and industry left town 30-40 years ago, the downtown fell into decline; however, the new arena has changed the whole picture. The main street, Hamilton, is full of new businesses and restaurants; I also saw a new hotel and apartments. The Baum School and the Allentown Museum of Art are in this section of town and art events continue to be added. This is not to say the story is complete. There are still empty buildings outside the core area around the arena. But I notice that many of these are for sale or are being renovated; development is spreading. I felt happy to see these changes and look forward to more.
We went up Hamilton Street a few blocks, around the block and behind the arena, and back to the museum area. I took pictures along the way. I think I’ll post them a little at a time over the next few days. I focused on details and interesting moments I encountered along the way. I hope you will take a moment to absorb what the pictures have to say. I think the story of a place is in the small unexpected things that are revealed when you look a little below the surface.
There are many stately buildings lining the street. The detail work in each façade gives the buildings dignity and identity.
This relief is part of the PPL (formerly Pennsylvania Power and Light) Building, the tallest building in town. I think the image is characteristic of the time when the structure was erected, 1928.
A street view and detail of buildings along Hamilton Street.
A gracious façade. I think that a stately outside has to elevate whatever goes on inside? Working on paperwork at your desk in an office in this building might feel just that little bit more of consequence, maybe?