Preserve Allentown State Hospital
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Allentown State Hospital was built in 1912 and closed in 2010. It was a cornerstone of the community, treating 2,012 patients at its peak. Since it’s closure, the buildings have sat empty, yet upkept. Current photos of the inside show little to no damage or decay.
The pavilion plan styled buildings sit on 209 sprawling acres. Currently, demolishion will cost more that 15 million dollars. There are many other ideas to preserve these beautiful buildings; nursing home, community living, hotel, shelter, offices, museum, school - the list is endless.
Some other abandoned hospitals in the US have successfully been restored, starting in even worse condition. A perfect example of this is is Middletown State Hospital in Connecticut. That hospital and it’s grounds sit on 232 acres. Some of the property has already been converted into municipality buildings and public recreation. The city has proposed for an $11 million dollar state regional economic development council grant. This would fund the planning and infrastructure to be converted into a mix of commercial, light industrial, and educational sights. Their goal is to create a community campus.
This would be possible for Allentown as well, and would likely cost less than its demolishion.
It is important to salvage the history that we have, rather than to demolish and build over it when it could be saved and repurposed. These beautiful and historic buildings can still serve the community which it was originally built for, but now in a different way.
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