Things to do
Get A Great Deal If You Buy A House in Allentown, PA
In a city known for many things, including its beautiful park system, a fantastic AAA baseball team and its rich Pennsylvania Dutch history, Allentown is a great place to buy a house.
Before looking at Allentown houses for sale, let’s see how the city has developed. Originally an agricultural community settled by German-speaking Pennsylvania Dutch people, the geographic area that today comprises the center of the city was initially laid out in 1762 by William Allen, a wealthy shipping merchant and former mayor of the city of Philadelphia. The town was officially named Allentown in 1838 after years of popular usage of that name and was formally incorporated as a city in 1867. The Lehigh Canal, along the east side of the Lehigh River, was completed in 1829 to transport recently discovered coal to major markets. The opening of the canal transformed Allentown and the Lehigh Valley from a rural area dominated by German-speaking people into one America's first urbanized industrialized areas and expanded the city's commercial and industrial capacity greatly. In 1855, the first of many railroads was built which led to a decline in canal traffic. With the discovery of iron ore locally, Allentown became a major center for heavy industry and manufacturing. In addition to iron and railroads, Allentown also developed a strong brewing tradition and was home to several notable breweries, whose successors now make Samuel Adams beer. Other significant businesses over the years were brickworks, silk and rayon mills, Mack Trucks and electronics. However, with industrial decline, the 1970s saw the hollowing out of the downtown retail sector and the middle-class left for the suburbs where newer shopping malls had become established. The city was often cited as a leading example of 20th century Rust Belt challenges. At the beginning of the new century, the state legislature created a 128-acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone to encourage development and revitalization, particularly Center City and the Riverfront. An Economic Development Corporation was set up as a business incubator to attract and support young commercial and manufacturing businesses. The Central Business District was redeveloped, including the construction of a 10,500-seat indoor arena that hosts a professional American Hockey League team and other sports, entertainment and concert events. The redevelopment included a full-service hotel and office buildings.
Things to do in Allentown
Things to do in Allentown
After you settle into your new Allentown house, you’ll want to discover some of the exciting sights available around your new home.
Coca-Cola Park is home to the winning triple-A baseball franchise, The Iron Pigs, and hosts a number of special events and community gatherings.
The PPL Center is an 8,500 seat indoor sports arena, home to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League, the primary development team for the Philadelphia Flyers.
The America on Wheels Museum opened in 2008 as a tribute to the country’s over-the-road transportation systems. The 23,000 square feet of exhibit space divided into three main galleries and several smaller exhibits is in a former meat packing plant and part of the revitalization of its community.
Merchants Square Model Train Exhibit has over 40 model trains rolling down 18,000 feet of track, more than 1,000 miniature structures, 30,000 lights illuminating the stars, sky, moon and buildings and a real thunderstorm.
The Da Vinci Science Center is a science museum which has been a leader in bringing science to life and lives to science. Especially fun for the young and young at heart.
The Liberty Bell Museum is located in Zion’s Reformed United Church of Christ, a hidden gem in Center City. The site of the first church in Allentown, it was used as a refuge during Indian raids, a Revolutionary War hospital, a gathering place for the reading of the Declaration of Independence and a hiding place for the Liberty Bell. It now houses an exact replica of the bell, which visitors can ring.
Much of Allentown's park system is attributable to the efforts of industrialist Harry Clay Trexler, who helped create West Park in an upscale area of the city, featuring a bandshell, home to many community bands. He facilitated the development of Trexler Park, Cedar Parkway and the Allentown Municipal Golf Course.
Other city parks include Bicentennial Park with a 4,600-seat stadium for sporting events, Cedar Creek Parkway, Irving Street Park, Kimmets Lock Park, Lehigh Canal Park and Parkway, Jordan Park and Joe Daddona Park.
Allentown straddles the Lehigh River, in Pennsylvania's coal region, with the adjacent cities of Bethlehem, Middletown and Easton immediately to the east. It is about 48 miles northwest of Philadelphia and 78 miles due west of New York City. Allentown Neighborhoods Center City Center City comprises several distinct neighborhoods. 7th Street, an excellent retail and residential corridor just north of downtown, is Allentown's fastest growing commercial corridor. Service establishments and family-owned ethnic restaurants dominate. Downtown is the central business district, home to several large employers and city, county and federal government centers. An ongoing effort to revitalize this area is progressing partially through the introduction of high-end loft apartments and townhouses. Jordan Creek is mainly residential. Properties here are especially affordable and in recent years this neighborhood has seen an influx of working artists. The Old Historic District was laid out in the original city plan in 1762. Now a revitalization strategy for established residential neighborhoods is being implemented. Jordan Heights was developed in a mixture of housing styles with Victorian the most common. Dutch Hill On the East Side, Dutch Hill is a mainly residential area at a higher elevation. East Allentown is a mix of both residential and industrial. Midway Manor is a residential area with mostly detached and relatively larger houses for sale. Overlook Park is a mixed income residential area containing privately managed low-income based rental housing as well as owner-occupied single and multi-family houses for sale. Rittersville is mainly residential but has a small recently remodeled shopping center. Alton Park On the South Side of Allentown lies Alton Park. This is a predominantly residential area with some forest and park land. Cumberland Gardens is a public housing area. Lehigh Parkway is a residential area and includes the Jefferson Street corridor as well as the Queen City Airport. Mountainville contains a mix of businesses, industry, and residential areas. The Wards In The Wards, the 1st Ward was the first section annexed to the original city, where abandoned industrial sites are slowly undergoing redevelopment. The 6th Ward is a residential area with a mix of cultures. Houses are spaced farther apart closer to the city border. The Waterfront redevelopment will transform approximately 26 acres of abandoned industrial land along the west side of the Lehigh River into a unique and vibrant waterfront featuring offices, retail, restaurants, residential and other commercial uses. The West End The West End includes Hamilton Park, a residential area, Trexler Park and the Theater District, the city’s most promising mixed-use neighborhood. The opening of several boutique small businesses over the past several years has enhanced the neighborhood’s appeal as a specialty shopping destination. The West Park Historic District has historic Victorian and craftsman-style houses. Union Terrace is a small community of row houses, small apartment complexes, bungalows and Victorian style houses.
Allentown has a population of about 125,845. It is the fastest-growing major city in Pennsylvania and the state’s third largest city, behind Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
In the new era, one leading industry provides atmospheric and specialty gases. Others range from furniture manufacturing to pharmaceuticals, data processing and computing businesses. Finance and banking are leading employers, along with care homes and healthcare, medical laboratories, food services and restaurants.
Arts in Allentown
Arts in Allentown
The Allentown Symphony Orchestra performs at Miller Symphony Hall. The city also has a musical heritage of civilian concert bands and is home to the Allentown Band, the oldest civilian concert band in the US. The Allentown Band, Marine Band of Allentown, Municipal Band of Allentown and the Pioneer Band of Allentown all regularly perform at the bandshell in the city's West Park.
Youth Education in the Arts, the sponsoring organization of The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, is headquartered in Allentown.
The city's J. Birney Crum Stadium annually plays host to the Drum Corps International Eastern Classic, which brings together the top junior drum and bugle corps in the world for a two-day event.
The city houses a collection of public sculptures, including the DaVinci Horse, one of only three in the world.
The Allentown Art Museum in Center City has over 13,000-pieces in its collection.
The Baum School of Art offers credit and non-credit classes in painting, drawing, ceramics, fashion design, jewelry making and more.
Nineteenth Street Theater has an 80-year history of producing theater and is a professionally directed, managed and run theater that utilizes community actors in its live theater productions. Civic Theater also operates the only full-time cinema exclusively showing art, independent and foreign films and a theater school that has served the area's youth for more than 50 years.
Schools in Allentown
Schools in Allentown
The Allentown School District maintains two high schools, four middle schools and 16 elementary schools. There are two independent day schools, CAI Learning Academy and The Swain School, both of which are ranked among the best in eastern Pennsylvania. There are two charter schools, the Roberto Clemente Charter School and the Lincoln Leadership Academy Charter School, and two parochial high schools, Allentown Central Catholic High School and Lehigh Valley Christian High School, as well as more than half a dozen other parochial junior schools. There are Montessori pre and early elementary schools, as well as the private Jewish Day School. Cedar Crest College, Muhlenberg College and a satellite campus of Lehigh Carbon Community College offer four-year programs.
A quiet architectural revival has bloomed in the city, whose convenient location, commitment to healthy living and celebration of the arts make it a great place for active folks to live. Its charm comes from a significant collection of historic homes and buildings, where each neighborhood has its own unique identity and flair, making Allentown, PA, a very good place to buy a house.
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