Allentown, Pennsylvania

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Infobox Settlement
name = Allentown
official_name = City of Allentown
nickname = "The Queen City" [Citation |last=Whelan | first=Frank | title='Cement City' Moniker Is A Mystery American Heritage Says Label Was Allentown's. | newspaper=The Morning Call | pages=B.03 | year=1991 | date=May 7, 1991. "Queen City's origins as an Allentown nickname are obscure. It is believed to come from a turn-of-the-century competition hosted by the Allentown Chamber of Commerce. The winning entry was said to be Queen City."] . , "A-Town"" [Citation |last=Wholberg | first=Julie | title=The New Main Street? A-Town's 19th Street Experience | newspaper=The Morning Call.] ., "Band City USA" [Citation |last=Salter | first=Rosa | title=Two in tune with the times ** At 175, Allentown Band, America's oldest, preserves best of tradition. | newspaper=The Morning Call | pages=E.01 | year=2003 | date=April 20, 2003. "1967: Allentown named Band City-U.S.A"] ., "Peanut City"Citation |last=Whelan | first=Frank | title=Hamilton Street used to be thick with peanut shells ** And Allentown's Army Camp Crane once had a popular commander. | newspaper=The Morning Call | pages=B.04 | year=2002 | date=March 13, 2002. "Allentown's title as the Peanut City goes back to the late 19th and early 20th century when large amounts of them were eaten in the Lehigh Valley. From the 1880s to the 1920s, vendors lined Hamilton Street, singing jingles in Pennsylvania Dutch about the superior quality of their peanuts. Former "Call-Chronicle" Sunday editor John Y. Kohl recalled in 1967 that the peanuts were eaten mostly by young men and boys who would walk Hamilton Street on Saturday nights flirting with girls and 'throwing the shells about with complete abandon.' Sunday morning sidewalks were 'not quite ankle deep' in shells. Merchants would get up early to sweep them into the gutter so churchgoers would not have to wade through them.'"] , "Silk City" [Citation |last=Whelan | first=Frank | title=Cement City' Moniker Is A Mystery American Heritage Says Label Was Allentown's. | newspaper=The Morning Call | pages=B.03 | year=1991 | date=May 7, 1991. "Silk City for example, is a throwback to the late 19th and early 20th century, when Allentown was known for its many silk mills. Although the last mill closed a few years ago, the name hangs on in the minds of older residents."] .
motto = "Sic Semper Tyrannis"

imagesize =
image_caption = Downtown Allentown in 2007
View looking southeast from N. 8th Street between Hamilton and Linden Streets.


mapsize =
map_caption = Location in Lehigh County

pushpin_map_caption = Location in Pennsylvania
pushpin_label_position = left
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = Commonwealth
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = USA
subdivision_name1 =
subdivision_name2 = Lehigh
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Ed Pawlowski (D)
established_title = Founded
established_title1 = Incorporated
established_date = 1762
established_date1 = March 12, 1867
founder = William Allen
named_for = William Allen
area_magnitude =
area_total_sq_mi = 18.0
area_total_km2 = 46.5
area_land_sq_mi = 17.8
area_land_km2 = 45.9
area_water_sq_mi = 0.2
area_water_km2 = 0.6
area_urban_sq_mi = 289.50
area_urban_km2 = 749.79
area_metro_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
population_as_of = 2000
population_note =
population_total = 106632
population_metro = 740395
population_urban = 576408
population_density_km2 = 2320.8
population_density_sq_mi = 6011.5
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
area_code = 610, 484
latd=40 |latm=36 |lats=06 |latNS=N
longd=75 |longm=28 |longs=38 |longEW=W
elevation_m = 103
elevation_ft = 338
website =
footnotes =
area code = 610

:"For the song by Billy Joel, see "Allentown (song).":"For the neighborhood in Pittsburgh, see Allentown (Pittsburgh)"

Allentown is a city located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is Pennsylvania's third most populous city, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 106,632. [Cite Web | title = State & County Quick Facts: Allentown, Pennsylvania | publisher = U.S. Census Bureau | Date = January 2, 2008 | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-08] It is the county seat of Lehigh County. [Cite Web | title = About Lehigh County | publisher = Lehigh County official website | url = | accessdate = 2006-06-08]

Located on the Lehigh River, Allentown is the largest of three adjacent cities that make up a region of eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey known as the Lehigh Valley, with the cities of Bethlehem and Easton nearby. Allentown is convert|60|mi|km|sing=off north of Philadelphia, the sixth most populous city in the United States, and convert|90|mi|km|sing=off west of New York City, the nation's largest city.

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, a highly popular amusement park, is located just outside Allentown. Two four-year colleges, Cedar Crest College and Muhlenberg College, are located in the city.

Air transport to and from the city is available through Lehigh Valley International Airport Airport codes|ABE|KABE.

Allentown history


The area that is today the center of Allentown was laid out as Northampton Town in 1762 by William Allen, a wealthy shipping merchant, former mayor of the city of Philadelphia and then-Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania. The property was part of a convert|5000|acre|km2|sing=on plot Allen purchased in 1735 from his business partner Joseph Turner, who had acquired the land from Thomas Penn, son of William Penn. Allen hoped that Northampton Town would displace Easton as the seat of Northampton County and also become a commercial center due to its location along the Lehigh River and its proximity to Philadelphia. Allen gave the property to his son James in 1767. Three years later, in 1770, James built a summer residence, Trout Hall, in the new town, near the site of his father's former hunting lodge.Cite Journal | last = Roberts | first = Charles R. | title = William Allen, the Founder of Allentown, and His Descendants | journal = Proceedings of the Lehigh County Historical Society | issue = 1st | pages = 22–43 | publisher = Lehigh County Historical Society | location = Allentown, Pennsylvania | format = pdf | url =| date = 1908 | accessdate = 2008-08-17]

On March 18, 1811, the town was formally incorporated as a borough. On March 6, 1812, Lehigh County was formed from the western half of Northampton County, and Northampton Town was selected as the county seat. The town was officially renamed "Allentown" in 1838 after years of popular usage. Allentown was formally incorporated as a city on March 12, 1867.Cite Web | url = |title = Lehigh County - 4th class | accessdate = 2007-06-03 | publisher = Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission ]

Liberty Bell

Allentown holds historical significance as the location where the Liberty Bell (then known as the Pennsylvania State House bell) was successfully hidden from the British during the American Revolutionary War. After George Washington's defeat at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, the revolutionary capital of Philadelphia was defenseless, and that city prepared for British attack. The Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ordered that eleven bells, including the State House bell and the bells from Philadelphia's Christ Church and St. Peter's Church, be taken down and removed from the city to prevent the British, who would melt the bells down to cast into cannons, from taking possession of them. The bells were transported north to Northampton-Towne, and hidden in the basement of the Old Zion Reformed Church, in what is now center city Allentown. Today, a shrine in the church's basement marks the exact spot where the Liberty Bell was hidden. It features a full-size official replica of the Liberty Bell, flanked by the flags of the original thirteen colonies.

American Industrial Revolution

Prior to the 1830s, Allentown was a small town with only local markets. The arrival of the Lehigh Canal, however, expanded the city's commerce and industrial capacity greatly. With this, the town underwent significant industrialization, ultimately becoming a major center for heavy industry and manufacturing. While Allentown was not as large as neighboring Bethlehem at the time, the local iron industry still brought many jobs to the city. Railroads, such as the Lehigh Valley Railroad, were vital to the movement of raw materials and finished goods, and employed a significant workforce during this time. This period of rapid economic growth in the region was halted by two events, the Panic of 1873 and the Long Depression.

In addition to the iron and railroad industries, Allentown also had a strong tradition in the brewing of beer and was home to several notable breweries, including the Horlacher Brewery (founded 1897, closed 1978), [cite web |url=|title=Horlacher Brewing Company |accessdate=2007-06-01] the Neuweiler Brewery (founded 1875, closed 1968) [cite web |url= |title=Neuweiler Brewery |accessdate=2007-06-01] and Schaefer Beer, whose brewery was later sold to Guinness. [cite web |url= |title=$44 Million Guinness Investment Will Create 250 Jobs at Pennsylvania Brewery|accessdate=2007-06-01]

Early 20th century to present

Bird's-eye" view of Allentown in 1901.
Economic recovery in the early 20th century was brought about by the silk and textile industry. The Adelaide Silk Mill, one of the largest in the world at the time, opened in Allentown in 1881. By 1928, there were over 140 silk and textile mills in the Lehigh Valley, making it the second largest industry in the region. By the 1930s, the silk industry was in worldwide decline, as synthetics were taking the place of silk. Catoir Silk Mill, the last silk mill in Allentown, closed in 1989. In 1905, Mack Trucks moved to Allentown, beginning Allentown's focus on heavy industrial manufacturing. Today, Allentown's economy, like most of Pennsylvania's, is primarily based in the service industry.



Allentown is located at 40°36'6" North, 75°28'38" West (40.601697, -75.477328).GR|1 According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 46.5 km² (18.0 mi²). 45.9 km² (17.7 mi²) of it is land and 0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) of it is water. Bodies of water include the Jordan Creek and its tributary, the Little Lehigh Creek, which join within the city limits and empty into the Lehigh River. Other bodies of water within the city limits include Muhlenberg Lake in Cedar Creek Parkway and a pond in Trexler Park.

The city sits within the Lehigh Valley, a geographic region bounded by Blue Mountain, a ridge of the Appalachian mountain range, which varies from 1,000 to convert|1600|ft|m in height about convert|12|mi|km north of the city, and South Mountain, a ridge of 500 to convert|1000|ft|m in height that borders the southern edge of the city.

The city is the seat of Lehigh County. The adjacent counties are Carbon County to the north; Northampton County to the northeast and east; Bucks County to the southeast; Montgomery County to the south; and Berks County and Schuylkill County to the west.

Geographic Location (8-way)
Centre = Allentown
North = Whitehall
Northeast = Bath
East = Bethlehem
Southeast = Hellertown
South = Center Valley
Southwest = Emmaus
West = Fogelsville
Northwest = Schnecksville


Allentown's climate is considered to fall in the humid continental climate zone. Summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is cold. Precipitation is almost uniformly distributed throughout the year.

January lows average convert|-6|°C|°F and highs average convert|1.3|°C|°F. The lowest officially recorded temperature was convert|-26.7|°C|°F in 1912 . July lows average convert|17.6|°C|°F and highs average convert|29.2|°C|°F, with an average relative humidity (morning) of 82%. The highest temperature on record was convert|40.6|°C|°F in 1966 . Early fall and mid winter are generally driest, with October being the driest month with only 74.7 mm of average precipitation. [cite web| url= | title=Normal Monthly Precipitation, Inches | accessdate=2006-11-04 ]

Snowfall is variable, with some winters bringing light snow and others bringing numerous significant snowstorms. Average snowfall is convert|82.3|cm|in per year, [cite web| url= | title=Snowfall - Average Total In Inches | accessdate=2006-11-04 ] with the months of January and February receiving the highest at just over convert|22.86|cm|in each. Rainfall is generally spread throughout the year, with eight to twelve wet days per month, [cite web| url= | title=Average Days of Precipitation, .01 cm or more | accessdate=2006-11-04 ] at an average annual rate of convert|110.54|cm|in. [cite web| url= | title=Average Monthly Precipitation | accessdate=2006-11-04 ] Allentown Pennsylvania weatherbox


While many of Allentown's major industrial businesses have disappeared over the past two decades, the city continues to serve as the location of corporate headquarters for several large, global companies, including Mack Trucks, PPL and others.cite web |url= |title=Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation - Largest Lehigh Valley Employers |accessdate=2007-06-01 |format=PDF]

There is plenty of renewed interest in Allentown on behalf of business owners. About $488 million in development is finished or under way in and around downtown and more than 80 percent of Hamilton Street storefronts are full between Third and 10th streets. The city has 6,420 licensed businesses, the most in a decade cite web |url=,0,7302110.story?page=2] .

The largest employer in Allentown is Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network, with over 7,800 employees. [cite web |url= |title=100 Best Companies to Work for 2007: Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network |accessdate=2007-06-01]



1890= 25288
1900= 35416
1910= 51913
1920= 73502
1930= 92563
1940= 96904
1950= 106756
1960= 108347
1970= 109871
1980= 103758
1990= 105301
2000= 106632
estimate= 107294
estyear= 2006
footnote= US Census Bureau [cite web| url= | title=US Census Bureau Population Finder| accessdate=2007-10-09 ]

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 106,632 people and 25,135 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,320.8/km² (6,011.5/mi²). There were 45,960 housing units at an average density of 1,000.3/km² (2,591.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 72.55% White, 7.85% African American, 0.33% Native American, 2.27% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.37% from other races, and 3.55% from two or more races. 24.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino.

There were 42,032 households in the city, of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18, 39.4% had married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% had non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The city's average household size is 2.42 and the average family size was 3.09.

The city's population broken down by age ranges was 24.8% under 18, 11.2% from 18-24, 29.8% from 25-44, 19.1% from 45-64, and 15.1% 65 years or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there are 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.

Median household income

The median income for a household in the city was $32,016, and the median income for a family was $37,356. Males had a median income of $30,426 versus $23,882 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,282. 18.5% of the population and 14.6% of families were below the poverty line. 29.4% of those under the age of 18 and 10.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


The city uses the "strong-mayor" version of the mayor-council form of government, which is headed by one mayor, in whom executive authority is vested. Elected "at-large," the mayor serves a four year term under the city's home rule charter.cite web |url= |title=City of Allentown - City Controller |accessdate=2008-06-19] The current city mayor is Democrat Ed Pawlowski, who replaced Roy C. Afflerbach after his single-term in office from 2002 to 2006. The legislative branch, the Allentown City Council, consists of seven council members elected at large for four-year staggered terms. City Council holds regular public meetings in order to enact legislation in the form of ordinances and resolutions. The current president of the City Council is Michael D'Amore.cite web |url= |title=City of Allentown - City Council Members |accessdate=2008-06-19] The City Controller, who is responsible for the oversight of the city's finances, is also elected and serves a four-year term.cite web |url= |title=City of Allentown - City Controller |accessdate=2008-06-19]


In 2006, the known criminal offenses in Allentown, as reported to the FBI, included around 800 violent crimes and over 7,000 property crimes. With the exception of aggravated assault, Allentown exceeded national averages in all criminal categories. Most notable, cases of arson in Allentown were nearly double the national average. [cite web|url=|title=Allentown, Pennsylvania at] Other crimes in Allentown that substantially exceeded national averages were robbery, murder and forcible rape.

Crime is down, with violent crime dropping by 18 percent in 2007, and all crime dropping by 9 percent [cite web |url=,0,7302110.story |title=Image overhaul |publisher=The Morning Call |date=2008-05-29 |accessdate=2008-05-29 ] .

The total reported violent crimes in Allentown was comparable to the 2003 national average (1.01 times the average). Individual violent crime rates per capita compared to U.S. national averages were: robbery (1.54 times avg.), murder (1.47 times avg.), forcible rape (1.32 times avg.), and aggravated assault (0.57 times avg.).

The total reported property crimes in Allentown exceeded the 2003 national average by 1.21 times. Individual property crime rates per capita compared to the U.S. national average were: arson (1.71 times avg.), burglary (1.23 times avg.), larceny/theft (1.22 times avg.), and automobile theft (1.08 times avg.).

Gang presence

The city's crime statistics are heightened by gang-related crime and gang rival violence. The Allentown region is one of several national strongholds for MS-13, considered the nation's single most violent gang. [ [ "Writing on the Wall: Grafitti Gives Into Gang Activity Occurring on Streets," "Easton Express", December 23, 2007.] ] The Bloods and Crips, two notoriously violent gangs, also have a presence in the city. These and other gangs have been responsible for gang signal graffiti, which typically is a reference to their presence on a certain block and sometimes an advance warning of forthcoming retaliatory gang violence or other crimes. [cite web |url= |title=They're Here, Violence and Fear Have Followed |publisher=The Easton Express |date=June 1, 2003 |accessdate=2008-05-29] Allentown also has seen a growth in drug trafficking and prostitution in recent years.

Notable residents

Allentown is the birthplace of, or home to, several notable Americans, including:

*Leon Carr, Broadway composer and television advertising songwriter
*Michaela Conlin, actress, Fox's "Bones"
*Peter Gruner, professional wrestler known as Billy Kidman
*Lee Iacocca, former chairman of Chrysler Corporation
*Keith Jarrett, jazz musician
*Michael Johns, health care executive and former White House speechwriter
*Brian Knobbs, former professional wrestler
*William Marchant, playwright and screenwriter
*Lara Jill Miller, voice actress, Cartoon Network's "The Life and Times of Juniper Lee"
*Andre Reed, former professional football player, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins
*Amanda Seyfried, model and actress, The CW's "Veronica Mars", HBO's "Big Love" and "Mamma Mia!"
*Richard A. Snelling, former Governor of Vermont
*Walter O. Snelling, chemist and explosives expert who discovered propane gas
*Christine Taylor, actress and wife of actor Ben Stiller
*Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell, fantasy and erotica artists
*Donald Voorhees, Emmy-nominated orchestral conductor
*Lauren Weisberger, author, "The Devil Wears Prada"

Allentown in popular culture

Allentown's reputation as a rugged blue collar city has led to many references to the city in popular culture:
*The city is the subject of the popular Billy Joel song, "Allentown," originally released on his "The Nylon Curtain" album in 1982. Joel's song uses Allentown as a metaphor for the resilience of working class Americans in distressed industrial cities during the recession of the early 1980s. After "Allentown" became a hit, the famed singer-songwriter returned to the Lehigh Valley for a special concert stop at Lehigh University's Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, where he was awarded the key to the city by Allentown's mayor, who praised the song as "a gritty song about a gritty city." [Cite Web | last = Neuhaus | first = Cable | title = He Sang of Their Troubles, but Grateful Citizens Say Thank You Anyway to Billy Joel | publisher = People Magazine (Vol. 19, No.1) | url =,,20084021,00.html | accessdate = 2008-06-08]

*Allentown features prominently in the famed Broadway musical "42nd Street" as the hometown of up and coming showgirl Peggy Sawyer. When Sawyer is asked to fill in for the show's star, who breaks her ankle prior to the show's debut, Sawyer tells director Julian Marsh that she would prefer to return to Allentown. In an effort to keep her with the musical, Marsh then sings to her perhaps the most famed lyrics in Broadway theatre history: "Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway," which convinces Sawyer to stay. On the musical's opening night, just before the curtains rise, Marsh tells the fictional Allentown native the famous, now often repeated Broadway line: "You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" Sawyer is a surprising smash hit, and Marsh's musical, starring Sawyer, goes on to great success.

*In the musical "Bye Bye Birdie", character Rosie Alvarez is from Allentown. In the song "Spanish Rose," she sings: "I'm just a Spanish Tamale according to Mae/ Right off the boat from the tropics, far, far away/ Which is kinda funny, since where I come from is Allentown, PA."

*Allentown's Dorney Park was a film location for John Waters' "Hairspray" (1988) and James Neilson's "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows" (1969). In 2006, The All-American Rejects, a power pop group, filmed the music video for their song "Dirty Little Secret" at Dorney Park and several other Allentown-area locations.

*Allentown is referenced as the secret location of a bomb planted by The Joker in Frank Miller's "" (1986).

*Allentown is mentioned in the opening lyric of the Frank Zappa song "200 Years Old," which appears on his 1975 album "Bongo Fury".

*Allentown was the subject of the Irving Gordon song "Allentown Jail," which has been recorded by several artists, including The Kingston Trio, The Lettermen, The Seekers and Jo Stafford.

*Allentown was home to the character Duane Doberman in "The Phil Silvers Show", a CBS comedy series that ran from 1955 to 1959.



Allentown-based print media include "The Morning Call", the city's daily newspaper, and "Pulse Weekly", an arts and entertainment newspaper.


Allentown is part of the Philadelphia DMA (designated market area). [Cite Web | title = TV Market Maps | publisher = website | url =| accessdate = 2008-06-08] The four major Philadelphia-based network stations serving Allentown include: KYW-TV (CBS), WCAU (NBC), WPVI (ABC) and WTXF (Fox).

Additionally, the city is served by three Lehigh Valley television stations: WFMZ Channel 69 (independent) and WBPH-TV (Christian), both in Allentown, and WLVT Channel 39 (PBS) in Bethlehem. [Cite Web | title = About WFMZ-TV | publisher = WFMZ-TV official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-08] [Cite Web | title = About Us | publisher = WBPH-TV official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-08] [Cite Web | title = Home Page | publisher = WLVT-TV official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-08] Besides local and Philadelphia stations, the city and its suburbs also receive numerous stations in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and New York City, primarily through cable and satellite television services. Two cable systems, RCN Corporation (originally Twin County Cable) and Service Electric Cable TV, Inc., have served the city since the 1960s. [Cite Web | last = Moss | first = Linda | title = In the Keystone State, Service Electric Thrives" | publisher = Multichannel News | date = August 1, 2005 |url = | accessdate = 2008-06-08]


Allentown's radio market is ranked the 68th largest in the United States by Arbitron's ranking system, and most major New York City and Philadelphia stations also can be heard within the city. [cite web| url= | - Allentown/Bethlehem, PA | accessdate=2008-05-11 ] Stations licensed to Allentown include:

*WAEB-AM, a news, talk and sports station.
*WAEB-FM ("B104"), a contemporary Top 40 music station.
*WDIY, public radio, including alternative rock, blues, classical, folk music, jazz, local news, local talk, National Public Radio news and talk shows and world news.
*WHOL, a Spanish tropical station.
*WLEV, a contemporary soft rock music station.
*WMUH (Muhlenberg College radio station), heavy metal, hard rock, rock music, alternative rock, national and local talk.
*WSAN ("The Fox"), Lehigh Valley affiliate for Fox Sports Radio and all Philadelphia Phillies radio broadcasts.
*WZZO, a hard rock music station.


Public schools

The City of Allentown is served by the Allentown School District, which is the fourth largest school district in Pennsylvania, with 17,521 students (based on 2004-2005 enrollment data). [cite web| url= | title=National Center for Education Statistics | accessdate=2007-03-20 ]

The city maintains two public high schools for grades 9-12, William Allen High School, which typically serves students from the southern and western parts of the city, and Louis E. Dieruff High School, which serves students from the eastern and northern parts. Although not located within the city limits, five large suburban high schools, Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Parkland High School in South Whitehall Township, Whitehall High School in Whitehall Township, Salisbury High School in Salisbury Township and Catasauqua High School in Catasauqua also serve the Allentown area.

Each of these Allentown area high schools competes athletically in the Lehigh Valley Conference with the exception of Salisbury and Catasauqua which have slightly smaller student populations. Allentown's high schools play their home football games at J. Birney Crum Stadium, a 15,000 capacity stadium in the city that once held the distinction as the largest capacity high school stadium in the state of Pennsylvania.

Allentown School District's four middle schools, for grades 6-8, include: Francis D. Raub Middle School, Harrison-Morton Middle School, South Mountain Middle School and Trexler Middle School. The city is served by 16 elementary schools, for kindergarten through fifth grade, including: Central, Cleveland, Hiram W. Dodd, Jackson, Jefferson, Lehigh Parkway, Lincoln, McKinley, Midway Manor, Mosser, Muhlenberg, Ritter, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Union Terrace and Washington. Several middle schools also house fifth graders.

The Roberto Clemente Charter School, also located in the Allentown School District, is a Title I charter school which provides educational services to mainly Hispanic students in grades 6 through 12.

Private schools

Allentown has two parochial high schools, Allentown Central Catholic High School and Lehigh Valley Christian High School, though both schools draw students from both Allentown and the city's suburbs. Other Allentown-based parochial schools (serving all grades) include: Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena School, Holy Spirit School, Lehigh Christian Academy, Mercy Special Learning Center, Our Lady Help of Christians School, Sacred Heart School, Saint Francis of Assisi School, Saint Paul School, and Saint Thomas More School. Parochial schools in Allentown are operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown. The Grace Montessori School is a pre-school and early elementary montessori school run as an outreach of Grace Episcopal Church. [ The Swain School] , a non-sectarian private school founded in 1929, is also located in Allentown.

Higher education

Two four-year colleges are located in Allentown: Cedar Crest College and Muhlenberg College.

Professional Sports

Minor League baseball

Allentown has a history in the sport of professional baseball that dates back to 1884. In 2008, Allentown unveiled Coca-Cola Park, a $48.4 million, 8,100-seat stadium. [cite web |url= |title= Coca-Cola Park Info, IronPigs Baseball Official Website|accessdate=2008-05-05] The stadium was constructed in east-side Allentown to serve as the home field for the Philadelphia Phillies' AAA-level Minor League baseball team, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The IronPigs, a member of the International League, are the first Major League-affiliated club to play in the city since 1960. [cite web |url=,0,4139387.story |title="Minor league park was a major hit," "Morning Call", March 30, 2008 |accessdate=2008-05-05]

Minor League basketball

Allentown hosted the Allentown Jets, an Eastern Professional Basketball League team, from 1958 to 1981. The Jets were one of the most dominant franchises in the league's history, winning eight playoff championships and twelve division titles. The team’s home games were played in Rockne Hall at Allentown Central Catholic High School.


Allentown is also home to the Stoners, a professional soccer team. From 1979-1983, the Stoners were members of the American Soccer League. The team had a five-year league record of 76-49-25, and won the league championship in 1980.cite journal|last=Long |first=Ernie | year=1999 | month=December 13 |title=The Popular Stoners Were Hurt By League: ASL Got Away From What Made It Successful, Which Destroyed Allentown Team |journal=The Morning Call ] Due to increasing competition from other soccer leagues, and decreasing attendance, the team folded in 1983. The team was resurrected in 2007 as the Pennsylvania Stoners, and competes in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). J. Birney Crum Stadium is the home of the current inception of the Stoners, and was home to the ASL Stoners. The Easton-based Northampton Laurels FC, of the Women's Premier Soccer League, also play at J. Birney Crum Stadium.

Transportation infrastructure

Air transit

The city's primary airport, Lehigh Valley International Airport Airport codes|ABE|KABE, is located three miles (5 km) northeast of Allentown in Hanover Township. The city is also served by Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport, a two-runway general aviation facility that was awarded General Aviation Airport of the year by the Eastern Region of the Federal Aviation Administration in 2006. Queen City is used predominantly by private aviation. [ cite web |url = |title = Queen City Airport Designated General Aviation Airport of the Year by the Federal Administration Eastern Region |accessdate = 2007-06-22 |publisher = Lehigh Valley International Airport ]

Bus transit

Public transportation services provided within Allentown is provided by LANTA, a public bus system serving both Lehigh County and Northampton County. Several private bus lines provide bus service to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and other regional locations.


Four expressways run through the Allentown area, with associated exits to the city:
*Interstate 78, which runs from Harrisburg in the west to New York City's Holland Tunnel in the east.
*The Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which runs from Plymouth Meeting outside Philadelphia in the south to Interstate 81 at Clarks Summit in the north.
*Pennsylvania Route 309, which runs from Philadelphia in the south to The Poconos in the north.
*U.S. Route 22, which runs from Cincinnati, Ohio in the west to Newark, New Jersey in the east.

There are nine major inbound roads to Allentown: Airport Road, Cedar Crest Boulevard, Fullerton Avenue, Hamilton Boulevard, Lehigh Street, Mauch Chunk Road, Pennsylvania Route 145 (MacArthur Road), Tilghman Street, and Union Boulevard.


Allentown is a major regional center for commercial rail traffic. Currently, Norfolk Southern's primary hump classification yards are located in Allentown. [ cite web |url =;jsessionid=Cff4GgpYGNc11LGyG1zMtKX0vKpN91jFcThnpFYFSTffvyYhY1YY!-697845123 |title = Norfolk Southern Corporate Profile |accessdate = 2007-06-22 ] The city is also served by R.J. Corman Railroad. [ cite web |url = |title = R.J. Corman Railroad Group Allentown Lines |accessdate = 2007-06-22 ] Historically, Allentown has been served by Central Railroad of New Jersey, Conrail, Lehigh and New England Railroad, Lehigh Valley Railroad, and Reading Railroad. While Allentown currently has no passenger rail service (the last public rail service, which was part of the Bethlehem-Philadelphia service provided by Conrail under contract with SEPTA, ceased operating in 1979), several of the Allentown-area stations once used for passenger service have been preserved through their current commercial use.

Parks and recreation

City parks

Much of the city's park system can be attributed to the efforts of industrialist Harry Clay Trexler. Inspired by the City Beautiful movement in the early 1900s, Trexler helped create West Park, a convert|6.59|acre|m2|sing=on park in what was then a community trash pit and sandlot baseball fieldCitation |last=Whelan | first=Frank| title=West Park the iconic home for Allentown bands. | newspaper=The Morning Call | pages=E.1 | year=2005 | date=May 29, 2005 | url= ] in an upscale area of the city. The park, which opened in 1909, features a bandshell, designed by noted Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer, which has long been home to the Allentown Band and other community bands. Trexler also facilitated the development of Trexler Park, Cedar Parkway, Allentown Municipal Golf Course and the Trout Nursery in Lehigh Parkway. Trexler was also responsible for the development of the Trexler Trust, which to this day continues to provide private funding for the maintenance and development of Allentown's park system.cite web |url= |title=Allentown, PA - Parks |accessdate=2007-06-02]

City parks in Allentown include Bicentennial Park (4,600 seat mini-stadium built for sporting events), Cedar Creek Parkway (127 acres, including Lake Muhlenberg, Cedar Beach and the Malcolm W. Gross Memorial Rose Garden), East Side Reservoir (15 acres), Kimmets Lock Park (5 acres), Lehigh Canal Park (55 acres), Lehigh Parkway (999 acres), Old Allentown Cemetery (4 acres), Jordan Park, South Mountain Reservoir (157 acres), Trexler Memorial Park (134 acres), Trout Creek Parkway (100 acres), Joe Daddona Park (19 acres) and West Park (6.59 acres).


Mayfair Festival of the Arts, an arts and crafts festival established in 1986, is held each May at Cedar Beach Park in Allentown. The Great Allentown Fair runs annually, in early September, on the grounds of the Allentown Fairgrounds, where it has been held since 1889. The first Allentown Fair was held in 1852, and between 1852 and 1899 it was held at the "Old Allentown Fairgrounds," which was located north of Liberty Street between 5th and 6th streets. The J. Birney Crum Stadium plays host to the Collegiate Marching Band Festival, held annually since 1995, as well as other marching band festivals and competitions.


The city has two large capacity outdoor stadiums. Coca-Cola Park, with an overall capacity of 10,000cite web|url=|title=Stadium Info|publisher=Lehigh Valley IronPigs official website|page=A1|date=March 8, 2007 |accessdate=2007-03-08] , was constructed in 2007 and is the home field for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-level minor league team affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball. J. Birney Crum Stadium, used for Lehigh Valley Conference football and other purposes, has a seating capacity in excess of 15,000.

The city has no large indoor stadium, but major indoor sporting and concert events are held at Stabler Arena, in neighboring Bethlehem.

Other recreational sites

Other recreational sites in Allentown include Allentown Municipal Golf Course, Cedar Beach Pool, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Fountain Pool, Irving Pool, Jordan Pool and Mack Pool.

Landmarks and popular locations

*19th Street Theatre (opened 1928), 527 N. 19th St. Home of Civic Theatre of Allentown, which stages plays and hosts fine arts film series. [Cite Web | title = A Mini-History of the 19th Street Theatre | publisher = Civic Theatre of Allentown official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-02]
*Albertus L. Meyers Bridge (built 1913), 8th & Union Sts. Also known as the Eighth Street Bridge, once the longest and highest concrete bridge in the world.Cite Web | publisher = City of Allentown official website | url = | title = Historical Allentown | accessdate = 2008-05-30]
*Allentown Cemetery Park (established 1765), 10th & Linden Sts. Burial site of the city's earliest residents, including American Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veterans.
*Allentown Fairgrounds (established 1889), 400 N. 17th St. Home of the Allentown Fair (started 1852), Allentown Farmers Market, Agri-Plex exhibit hall and The Ritz restaurant. [Cite Web | title = Allentown Fair | publisher = Official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-01]
*Allentown Post Office (built 1933-34), 5th & Hamilton Sts. Classical Moderne-style building with Art Deco ornamentation. Interior murals of local historical scenes by New York artist Gifford Reynolds Beal. [Cite Web | title = The Post Office - A Community Icon | publisher = Commonwealth of Pennsylvania | url = | format = pdf | accessdate = 2008-06-01]
*Allentown Symphony Hall (built 1896), 23 N. 6th St. Owned by the Allentown Symphony Association, a 1200-seat performing arts facility that is home to the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, as well as Pennsylvania Sinfonia, Community Concerts of Allentown, Allentown Band and Community Music School of the Lehigh Valley. [Cite Web | title = About Symphony Hall | publisher = Allentown Symphony Association official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-01]
*Bogert's Covered Bridge (built 1841), S. 24th St. & Fish Hatchery Rd. One of the region's oldest covered bridges, a convert|145|ft|m|sing=on span over the Little Lehigh Creek in Allentown's Lehigh Parkway. [Cite Web | title = Covered Bridges of the Lehigh Valley | publisher = Lehigh Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau | format = pdf | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-01]
*Frank Buchman House, 117 N. 11th St. Home of Frank N. D. Buchman (1878-1961), founder of the Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament religious movements.
*Butz-Groff House (built 1872), 111 N. 4th St. Dark stone Victorian home in what was once the center of Allentown's most fashionable residential district. Built by attorney Samuel A. Butz and later owned by his grandson, Joseph C. Groff.
*Cedar Crest College (founded 1867), 100 College Dr. Liberal arts college with an 84 acre campus on the city's western edge. [Cite Web | title = Cedar Crest At-a-Glance | publisher = Cedar Crest College official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-01]
*Centre Square and Soldiers & Sailors Monument (built 1899), 7th & Hamilton Sts. [Cite Journal | last = Hartman | first = William L. | title = The Mayors of Allentown | journal = Proceedings of the Lehigh County Historical Society | issue = 1st | pages = 205–218 | publisher = Lehigh County Historical Society | location = Allentown, Pennsylvania | format = pdf | url = | date = 1908 | accessdate = 2008-05-30] Monument honoring American Civil War veterans from the 47th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
*William F. Curtis Arboretum (started 1915), 100 College Dr. Located at Cedar Crest College, a collection of 140 species of trees registered with the American Public Gardens Association. [Cite Web | title = William F. Curtis Arboretum: Mission/History | publisher = Cedar Crest College official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-05-30]
*Earl F. Hunsicker Bicentennial Park (built 1939, renovated 1976), Lehigh & S. Howard Sts. Originally Fairview Field, home to the city's Minor League Baseball teams, 1939-47. As Bicentennial Park, hosted the Allentown Ambassadors, 1997-2003. [cite web |url=,0,5271795.story |title="Archives: Past Editorials on baseball’s departure from the Lehigh Valley", "Morning Call", March 30, 2008 (originally published Dec. 5, 1960)|accessdate=2008-03-30]
*Hess's Department Store (closed 1996 and demolished in 2000).
*Homeopathic Healing Art Plaque, 31 S. Penn St. Marks the location of the world's first medical college exclusively devoted to the practice of homeopathic medicine. Established in 1835, the college went bankrupt in 1845 and relocated to Philadelphia, where it developed into what is today Hahnemann University Hospital.
*J. Birney Crum Stadium (built 1948), 22nd & Turner Sts. Home football field of Allentown's three high schools, a 15,000-capacity stadium once the largest in Pennsylvania.
*Muhlenberg College (founded 1848), 2400 Chew St. Liberal arts college located on an 81 acre campus in Allentown's West End. [Cite Web | title = Admission: Frequently Asked Questions | publisher = Muhlenberg College official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-01]
*Old Allentown Cemetery (established 1846), N. Fountain & Linden Sts. City's second oldest cemetery, located next to Allentown Cemetery Park. Burial site of Tilghman Good (1830-87), two-term mayor and commander of the 47th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers during the American Civil War.
*Old Court House County Museum, 5th & Hamilton Sts.
*Old Zion Reformed Church and Liberty Bell Shrine Museum, 622 Hamilton St. Located on Hamilton Street in center city Allentown, the temporary hiding place of the Liberty Bell in 1777-78 during the Revolutionary War. [Cite Web | title = History | publisher = Liberty Bell Shrine official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-06-02]
*Portland Place (built 1902), 718 Hamilton St. Former headquarters of Lehigh Portland Cement Company, remodeled in the art deco style in 1939-40. Over the front door was a glass relief by artist Oronzio Maldarelli, the largest glass mural panel in the world at the time. When the company (now Lehigh Cement Company) relocated, the sculpture was installed in the building's new lobby.
*PPL Building (built 1928), 9th & Hamilton Sts. Allentown's tallest building (23 stories), headquarters to PPL Corporation. [Cite Web | title = PPL History: 1920s | publisher = PPL Corporation official website | url = | accessdate = 2008-05-30]
*Revolutionary War Plaque (erected 1926), 8th & Hamilton Sts. On the side of the Farr Building, marks the site of a hospital for Revolutionary War soldiers in 1777-78.
*Sterling Hotel (1890), 343-45 Hamilton St. Three-story, Romanesque-style brick hotel. [Cite Web | title = Hotel Sterling | publisher = Archiplanet website | url = | accessdate = 2008-09-06] Now a popular bar and music venue. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1984. [Cite Web | title = National Register of Historic Places | url = | accessdate = 2008-09-07]
*Trout Hall (built 1770), 414 Walnut St. Oldest house in Allentown, built by James Allen, son of William Allen, the city's founder.
*Yocco's Hot Dogs (opened 1922). Regionally-popular restaurant chain with five Lehigh Valley locations, including two in Allentown.

Museums and cultural organizations

Allentown museums and cultural organizations include:

*Allentown Art Museum
*Allentown Band
*Allentown Symphony Orchestra
*Baum School of Art
*Civic Theatre of Allentown
*Da Vinci Science Center [ [ Da Vinci Center Official Web Site] ]
*Lehigh County Historical Society and Lehigh Valley Heritage Center Museum [ [ Lehigh County Historical Society and Lehigh Valley Heritage Center Museum Official Web Site.] ]
*Lehigh Valley Arts Council [ [ Lehigh Valley Arts Council Official Web Site] ]
*Liberty Bell Shrine and Museum [ [ Liberty Bell Museum Official Web Site] ]
*Marine Band of Allentown
*Municipal Band of Allentown
*MunOpCo Music Theatre
*Museum of Indian Culture
*Pioneer Band of Allentown
*The Theatre Outlet

ister cities and twin cities

Allentown has two official sister cities as designated by Sister Cities Internationalfact|date=July 2008:
*flagicon|Israel Ma'alot-Tarshiha, Israel.
*flagicon|Italy Vinci, Italy. *flagicon|Poland Lelów, Poland.

Allentown also has two designated "twin cities":
*flagicon|United States Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States.
*flagicon|United States Easton, Pennsylvania, United States.


External links

* [ City of Allentown Official Web Site] .
* [ Allentown School District Official Web Site] .
* [ Allentown news at "The Morning Call"] .
* [ Allentown U.S. Census Data] .
* [ Allentown Fair Official Web Site] .
* [ Allentown Fairground Farmers Market] .
* [ Allentown Companies, Colleges and Famous People at Notable Names Data Base (NNDB)] .
* [ Allentown Public Library Official Web Site] .
* [ Current Allentown Weather] .
* [ Da Vinci Discovery Center of Science and Technology in Allentown] .
* [ Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown] .
* [ Famous People from Allentown, Pennsylvania] .
* [] .
* [ Lehigh Valley Chorus] .
* [ Lehigh Valley IronPigs Baseball in Allentown] .
* [ "Living in the Greater Lehigh Valley," by "The Allentown Morning Call"] .
* [ Queen City, "The (Allentown) Morning Call"'s blog on Allentown] .

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