31 S. Penn Street
The Homeopathic Healing Art Plaque is a bronze plaque on a stone that marks the location of the world's first medical college exclusively devoted to the practice of homeopathic medicine. Called "The North American Academy of Homeopathic Healing Art," it was founded on April 10, 1835.
The technique of homeopathic medicine - the idea that a drug which will produce certain symptoms in a healthy person will cure a sick person with the same symptoms - was developed in Germany by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann and carried to America. A pioneer in this field was Dr. William Wesselhoeft of Bath, Northampton County. Wesselhoeft, who started a small school in Bath, was one of the founders of the Allentown institution. The Academy flourished until 1843 when it was discovered that its treasurer, Allentown banker John Rice, had embezzled the school's funds. It then moved to Philadelphia and developed into what today is the city's Hahnemann Hospital.
Along with City Hall, this court house was built in the 1960s also as part of the Redevelopment Authority's civic center program. The architect of this eight story building chose granite (sunset red granite, quarried in Texas and charcoal gray quarried in Minnesota), one of America's oldest and finest materials, for the exterior of the building. The building houses the Judge's quarters, County offices, courtrooms, and a cafeteria.
Lehigh County Government Center
15 S. 7th Street
The former H. Leh & Company Department Store property was renovated by Lehigh County to expand and create much needed additional office space.
Lehigh Valley Bank and Trust Company
600 Block Hamilton Street
The Lehigh Valley Bank and Trust Company was built at the turn of the century. With its ornate columns and Beaux Arts festoons of stone garlands, it is the late 19th century's image of everything a bank should be - solid, conservative, and respectable. It is currently being considered for a new use.
Old Allentown Cemetery
The Old Allentown Cemetery was created in 1846 and contains the graves of many 19th century citizens. Among them, under a large monument, are Tilghman Good (1830-1887) and his wife Mary. A very popular local figure, Good was commander of the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers for most of the Civil War and was elected mayor of Allentown for two terms.
Old Court House County Museum
Corner of 5th and Hamilton Streets
Open: Monday through Friday 9 am - 4 pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm, Sunday 1 pm - 4 pm
Local history exhibits in the museum's 1st floor provide a background history of Lehigh County from prehistoric times up to the present. The Scott Trexler II Library is a vast source of historical and genealogical information. In the rear is the Geology Garden, which explains the mineral history of the Lehigh Valley.
Pennsylvania Power and Light Building
9th and Hamilton Streets
The Pennsylvania Power and Light Building (now PPL) was built between 1926-1928. This classic Art-Deco skyscraper was designed by architect Harvey Corbett (1873-1954) of the firm of Helme & Corbett. A pioneer in skyscraper design, Corbett was one of several architects who planned Rockefeller Center in the 1930s. His assistant, the late Walter K. Harrison (1895-1984), who later went on to design the United Nations Building, Lincoln Center, and many other projects for the Rockefeller family, was the on-site architect. At the time it opened on June 30, 1928, the building had the fastest elevators in the world. It was featured in the 1930 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica as the best example of a modern office building.
Among the building's outstanding exterior features are bas-reliefs by the Ukrainian-born sculptor Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964), a pioneer of modern sculpture. Archipenko was one of the leading figures in the so-called "School of Paris" that flourished in that French city in the pre-World War I years. He came to America in 1923 and the building may have been one of his first public commissions in this country. According to architect Harrison, Archipenko came to Allentown to supervise their installation. Those over the doorway show two eels pouring water over cog wheels as symbols of the uses of hydroelectric power. Other reliefs combine a mixture of birds and flowers, reflecting Ukrainian folk themes.
700 Block of Hamilton Street
Portland Place was formerly known as the Lehigh Portland Cement Company. The building served as the company's headquarters. It was also known as the Young Building after one of the company's founders, Edward M. Young. Built in 1902, it was extensively remodeled in the late Art-Modern style in 1939-1940. Over the front door is a glass relief sculpture designed by the Italian American artist Oronzio Maldarelli (1892-1964). At that time it was the largest glass mural panel in the world. Cast at the Pittsburgh Corning Company's glass works, its three stylized allegorical figures represent the strength, durability, and permanence of cement.
Revolutionary War Plaque
N. 8th Street between Hamilton & Linden Streets
On the east side of North 8th Street is a large bronze plaque set into the wall of the Farr building -the Revolutionary War Plaque. Placed there in 1926 by the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, it marks the site of a hospital for Revolutionary War soldiers used in the period 1777-1778. Across the street is a more recent monument to the city's past. The facade of the old Strand movie theater, built in 1917, still survives from the era when downtown Allentown was a movie mecca.
414 Walnut Street
Open April through November:
Tuesday through Saturday noon - 3 pm
Sunday 1 pm - 4 pm
Trout Hall was built as a summer home in completed in 1770 by James Allen, son of the community's founder, William Allen. The Allentown property had been given to him by his father. In the later part of the 19th century, the home was completely encased in the walls of Muhlenberg College. Trout Hall was restored in 1905 as the first home of the Lehigh County Historical Society
. Today it is a house museum maintained by the society.
Edward N. Cahn U.S Courthouse & Federal Building
Southwest corner of 5th and Hamilton Streets
This Federal Court House, the largest federal court facility outside of Philadelphia, opened in 1995 at a cost of $18 million. This facility serves the 10-county Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The building provides courtrooms and office quarters for a district Chief Judge, Magistrate Judge, and Superior Court Judge. It also houses a clerk's office for filing federal lawsuits and bankruptcies, quarters for pretrial services, probation, marshals, the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, both U.S. Senators and the Department of Labor.
Zion's Reformed Church of Christ & Liberty Bell Shrine
620 Hamilton Street
Open: Monday through Saturday noon - 4 pm
Sunday by appointment
The Zion's Reformed Church of Christ & Liberty Bell Shrine was built in 1886 and is the fourth to bear that name. Its roots go back to a log structure that was built to the rear of the current site in 1762, and it is one of the two oldest congregations in Allentown. The log church was shared with the Lutherans until the 1770s. In 1773 Zion's Reformed congregation built a brick church on the lot it occupies today. The Lutherans remained in the log church until 1794 when they moved to South 8th Street off Hamilton. This congregation known as St. Paul's Lutheran, built their current Gothic style church in 1905.
From the fall of 1777 to the summer of 1778 the patriots of the American cause hid the Liberty Bell, which had been smuggled up from Philadelphia just ahead of the British Army, under the floor of the second Zion Church (1773-1838). Created by local history buffs in the 1950s, the shrine showcases the site where the Liberty Bell was hidden and includes an account of its journey to Allentown. A full size replica of the Bell is also on view.