In August 2009, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski struck a blow with a sledge hammer to begin the task of demolishing the blighted building at 1613 Page St. Demolition crews from Penmar Systems Inc. of Northampton completed the job. Building owner Charles J. Miller, Jr. had been inducted in the city’s Landlord Hall of Shame in April 2009.
The Page Street property was included on the Allentown Redevelopment Authority Blighted Property List initiated in June 2008. Following a roughly year-long administrative process, the ARA filed a Declaration of Taking against the property in June 2009. The authority had no response from Mr. Miller other than receiving confirmation that he has accepted its various notices.
An inspection of the property found that vandals had punched holes in exterior walls, making the building unsafe and resulting in the order to demolish the building. Inspectors also determined that a common wall existed with an attached building requiring delicate hand demolition. The building was located on a narrow alleyway making it difficult to get heavy equipment into the area.
Before and After Pictures:
At this induction ceremony, Mayor Pawlowski said,
“Mr. Miller is not being a good neighbor nor is he meeting his financial obligations to the city,” said Pawlowski. “At last check, he owes water and sewer bills on three properties in the city totaling more than $32,000. He owes more than $4,000 in fines for code violation cases. He owes more than $1600 in SWEEP violations on his three properties. He does not have an active rental license.”
Mr. Miller owned other properties that had been tagged Unfit for Human Habitation.
Pictures of 1613 Page Street Prior to Demolition