Mayor's Welcome Letter
Welcome to Allentown, a city of arts and parks, a city in transition, a city on the move. Allentown is Pennsylvania’s third largest city and the largest of the three cities in the Lehigh Valley. We have a broad range of year-round activities for residents, including Mayfair; Blues, Brews & Barbecue, Sportsfest, and summer band concerts in West Park. We cap the year with our Lights in the Parkway Christmas display in the world-famous Lehigh Parkway.
Arts and cultural activities are the core of our downtown, anchored by the Allentown Art Museum, Symphony Hall and the new Arts Park. The Arts District promotes the Valley’s largest community, a community that also features the 19th Street Theatre, Civic Theater, MunOpCo Music Theater and The Theater Company. In addition, Muhlenberg College and Cedar Crest College also offer their own arts and theater programs throughout the year.
Allentown’s parks enjoy worldwide recognition, and the city boasts one of the highest square-footage of park space per resident marks in the nation due largely to the foresight and generosity of Gen. Harry C. Trexler, the father of the park system and the Trexler Trust, which continues to provide funds to maintain this expansive park system. A century after Trexler donated land for West Park – and later Lehigh Parkway, Cedar Creek Parkway, the Allentown Municipal Golf Course, and of course, Trexler Park – his legacy remains one of Allentown’s strongest assets.
Sports enthusiasts will also find plenty to do here. The golf course, opened in 1952, sports greens that challenge even the most talented player. A new minor league stadium on the East Side hosts the Philadelphia Phillies Class AAA affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the top minor league affiliate of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers, will begin play in a brand new downtown arena at the start of the 2014-2015 season. For more meditative activities, I highly recommend a visit to the renowned Rose Garden.
As Allentown maneuvers into the 21st Century, this former industrial city is moving ahead with a transformation to a modern American downtown that is home to PPL Inc., a Fortune 500 company with worldwide holdings. Our other major employers include Good Shepherd Home and Rehabilitation Hospital, and Sacred Heart, Lehigh Valley and St. Luke’s hospitals, and Lehigh County. PPL Plaza, a modern, environmentally friendly building, offers Class A office space. Our restaurants and nightclubs provide a strong entertainment base for downtown employees and local residents.
As Mayor, I welcome you to our city and invite you to discover the many great things Allentown has to offer.
Ed Pawlowski, Mayor