Allentown residents know the West End Theatre District is a great neighborhood and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association enthusiastically agrees! The PCAPA is recognizing the West End Theatre District as a 2014 Great Places Award winner in the Great Neighborhoods category.
According to the PCAPA, “Great Places are unique, memorable places that work not only for their community, but as a model others want to emulate – places of exemplary character, quality, planning, identity, cultural interest, and community involvement with a sustainable vision for tomorrow.”
“The city has made considerable investment into the West End Theatre District’s streetscaping and infrastructure,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “This neighborhood is the city’s western gateway. It is attractive, appealing and pedestrian friendly and very deserving of the PCAPA recognition.”
The Association’s website, describes the West End Theatre District “as an eclectic mix of single homes, ranging from 1910-1930 Colonial Revival to 1960’s mid-century modern, and is host to a variety of retail stores, restaurants and several cultural gems. The Civic Theatre, a 1928 art-deco building that hosts live performances, anchors the burgeoning business district of this traditional, walkable neighborhood. Another gem, the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market, is one of the last places in the Lehigh Valley where farmers and merchants can sell fresh goods weekly. The Fairgrounds property also hosts The Great Allentown Fair each August, drawing over one million people annually to experience agriculture, fun, food, and entertainment. Culturally rich, business friendly, and ethnically diverse, the West End Theatre District is a leading Allentown neighborhood and a destination for residents, visitors, college students, entrepreneurs, and artisans.”
Pam Shellenberger, AICP, York County Planning Commission and Chair of the Great Places Initiative, said that four neighborhoods and three public spaces are being honored from a total of 27 nominations in this the first year of the award program. A panel of eight judges from across the state reviewed the nominations and selected the winners.
A certificate will be presented to the city and the West End Alliance at a later date.
The PA Chapter of APA (PA APA) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization for the promotion of planning, and for professional planners and planning officials in the Commonwealth. The organization is a chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). It was created in 1985 by the consolidation of three separate chapters of the APA in Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Planning Association. It has approximately 3,000 members.