Parkland Press

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Allentown State Hospital, 1600 Hanover Ave., Allentown, which was in operation Oct. 3, 1913, until Dec. 17, 2010, is set for demolition later this year. The Pennsylvania Department of General Services hosted a media walk-through on Jan. 24.PRESS PHOTOS BY SUSAN BRYANT Allentown State Hospital, 1600 Hanover Ave., Allentown, which was in operation Oct. 3, 1913, until Dec. 17, 2010, is set for demolition later this year. The Pennsylvania Department of General Services hosted a media walk-through on Jan. 24.PRESS PHOTOS BY SUSAN BRYANT
This marble-walled spiral staircase with oak handrails and metal balusters leads to the second floor and basement entrance from inside the main rotunda at Allentown State Hospital. This marble-walled spiral staircase with oak handrails and metal balusters leads to the second floor and basement entrance from inside the main rotunda at Allentown State Hospital.
This former operating room was renovated with new yellow tiles and paint for Director M. Night Shyamalan’s movie “Glass.” This former operating room was renovated with new yellow tiles and paint for Director M. Night Shyamalan’s movie “Glass.”
This walkway with peeling paint, wood floors and dark wood around the windows leads from the main rotunda to the auditorium. This walkway with peeling paint, wood floors and dark wood around the windows leads from the main rotunda to the auditorium.
This view is looking into the courtyard where the horticulture group once planted and raised flowers, from a first floor window on the walkway to the kitchen and dining areas. This view is looking into the courtyard where the horticulture group once planted and raised flowers, from a first floor window on the walkway to the kitchen and dining areas.
The chapel was off limits to media but handprinting on one wall by the entrance state “Inside of chapel total 2,250.” The chapel was off limits to media but handprinting on one wall by the entrance state “Inside of chapel total 2,250.”
PRESS PHOTOS BY SUSAN BRYANTA Raven Hill Memorial Psychiatric Hospital sign from the movie “Glass” leans against a wall on the left of the dining hall inside Allentown State Hospital. PRESS PHOTOS BY SUSAN BRYANTA Raven Hill Memorial Psychiatric Hospital sign from the movie “Glass” leans against a wall on the left of the dining hall inside Allentown State Hospital.
The auditorium was decorated with blue walls, a decorative blue and white design around the stage, old chandeliers, wall sconces, oak floors and a dark wood ceiling backstage. The auditorium was decorated with blue walls, a decorative blue and white design around the stage, old chandeliers, wall sconces, oak floors and a dark wood ceiling backstage.
The kitchen area, with its white columns and red tile floors, shows deterioration over the nine years with peeling paint from the ceiling. The kitchen area, with its white columns and red tile floors, shows deterioration over the nine years with peeling paint from the ceiling.

Media invited to tour Allentown State Hospital

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 by Susan Bryant sbryant@tnonline.com in Local News

On a tree-lined circular driveway off Hanover Avenue in a section of east Allentown, formerly called Rittersville, sits the closed Allentown State Hospital.

Members of the media were invited to tour the interior areas of the abandon psychiatric hospital on Jan. 24.

While a warm rainy day outside, it was a cold 37 degrees inside the hospital.

The tour, hosted by Troy Thompson with the Pennsylvania Department of General Services and led by Bill Bogari of the state Department of Human Services, began in the rotunda featuring marble walls, columns and floors, and a spiral staircase with oak handrails and metal balusters, a bank with a Stiffel & Freeman vault, switchboard office, and a break room with dark wood-framed windows and red tile floors.

As Bogari led the tour through a long, enclosed walkway with windows and white painted walls toward the kitchen areas and dining hall, he pointed out the courtyards on both sides.

“When I was here, the horticulture group planted and raised flowers out there,” he said.

On the first floor, there was paint peeling from the walls, old cork ceiling panels on the washroom tile floor and a space where the oven had been in the kitchen.

Bogari pointed out the old operating room.

“It doesn’t look like it use to,” he said. “It was renovated with new yellow tiles and paint for the movie ‘Glass.’”

There was not much to indicate Director M. Night Shyamalan and actors Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and James McAvoy were there in 2017 to film “Glass” except for a Raven Hill Memorial Psychiatric Hospital sign leaning against a wall on the left of the dining hall.

The auditorium featured blue walls, decorative blue and white design around the stage, old chandeliers, wall sconces, oak floors and dark wood ceiling.

The chapel was off limits because of mold, but handprinting on one wall stated: Inside of Chapel total 2,250.

In December 2010, the psychiatric hospital, which once served Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Monroe, and Pike counties l, closed its doors.

Thompson said bids for the demolition are slated to go out in March or April with the hospital being demolished later this year.

Developer Nat Hyman of Allentown has offered to buy the property. He emailed The Press on Feb. 18.

“The state continues to pay $2.2 million annually to maintain the State Hospital, which it then plans to demolish at a cost of $15 million,” Hyman said. “It then anticipates selling this property for $2.3 million ... a loss of almost $13 million.

“The proposed buyer is a company which has one employee, has never developed anything of nearly this scale.”

Hyman said his company is one of the two largest developers in Allentown, with a long track record of redeveloping historic properties.

“I have offered to buy the property for the same price as the other buyer, but will not require the demolition to be done or for any tax relief,” Hyman stated.

“My proposal will save taxpayers, at minimum, $15 million. Yet, state Sen. Pat Browne, R-16th, refuses to return my calls or letters to discuss my proposal.”