Martin Tower – Bethlehem’s Penn Station? | letter

The demolition of the Martin Tower marks a major milestone in Bethlehem’s history, and if, like some of us, you believe that good architecture is an asset, it will be a disappointment.

The Martin Tower was designed by Haines Lundberg Waehler from New York. It is seen by the architectural community as a good example of international style. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It’s beautifully located in a landscaped setting, a beautifully designed object in space, a wonderful example of optimism and hope in modern design. It tells a story about Bethlehem and about architecture. It made Bethlehem part of a larger world of intellect and aesthetics, and made Bethlehem a cosmopolitan city.

It is located in a region with no comparable buildings from the late 20th century. If what is now being built in the Lehigh Valley is a guide, what will replace this building will be bland because good architecture is expensive and patrons are now few to none.

It is amazing that a community would preserve the rusty piles of blast furnaces along the Lehigh River and still oversee the demolition of such a unique asset.

William Humphries

Lower Mount Bethel Township

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