Revolutionary War prison receives new look
A building at 347 Gordon St., Allentown, once used as a prison during the Revolutionary War has received a new look.
Developer Nat L. Hyman, CEO of The Hyman Group, who owns the building, commissioned a painter from The Studio 33 in Baltimore, Md., to paint a mural on one of the walls.
Hyman, who earned a Master’s degree in architecture and preservation from Columbia University, designed the artwork.
The mural features representations from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs baseball team and Phantoms ice hockey team, the Dieruff High School Husky mascot, and William Allen High School mascot, The Canary, the City of Allentown seal, and police and fire symbols painted in the letters, Hyman said.
Images of the Liberty Bell and 1776 American flag are also painted in the letters to highlight the city’s involvement in the Revolutionary War, which is commemorated on a monument in front of the building.
“At 40 feet high and 175 feet long, based upon our research, this is the largest city identification sign in The United States,” Hyman said. “Larger than similar famous signs in Chicago, Nashville and El Paso.”
According to Hyman, Allentown really has no iconic buildings, markers or works of art with which the city is identified.
“I wanted to create something special to celebrate the positives in Allentown and its people ... something uplifting for its residents after several years filled with so much negativity,” he stated.
Hyman said probably 100 people a day have been stopping to look at the mural and have their picture taken standing in front of it.
“While this may be the first iconic spot in Allentown, I certainly hope it is not the last,” he stated. “I hope this inspires other people to create special places in Allentown both for residents and for tourists. It’s really cool.
Hyman noted a similar sign in Chicago receives more than 2 million visitors per year.