I think of Billy Joel when I think of Allentown; well, at least I used to. After doing some research on Allentown for the upcoming Photo Weekend, I’m amazed at the combination of history and modernity it offers. The city’s claim to fame is that the Liberty Bell was hidden from the British beneath the floor boards of one of its churches. However, I’d argue that the wide focus on art and science is equally as significant today. There are tons of museums, educational centers and great architecture and in the area. It is a feast for your eyes and camera.
Allentown Symphony Hall, Constructed in 1896, this is one of the city’s oldest buildings. I’ve seen some great images of the front of the building and inside the hall itself.
Crayola Factory and Discovery Center Just about everyone has a memory of Crayola crayons. The Crayola Factory and Discovery Center is a great place to photograph fun and colorful subject matter. If you have kids, it’s also a an opportunity to incorporate a photography outing with the family.
Dorney Park – Amusement parks are fantastic places to photograph. Dorney Park in Allentown is a very old amusement park, it traces its history all the way back to 1860. I’m pretty sure the rides have been updated, not to worry. Take a look at the Dorney Park Flickr group to see some of the photographs people have taken there.
PPL Building -This art deco tower is Allentown’s tallest building at 23 stories high. In clear weather, the tower can be seen as far north as the ski resort pass over Blue Mountain. However, it’s the detail on the facade of this building that I would love to photograph.
If you are interested in photographing historic architecture, there are three historic districts in Allentown–Old Allentown, the Old Fairgrounds and West Park neighborhoods. Take a walk through these well-restored neighborhoods to get a sense for Allentown way-back-when.
Allentown Art Museum – Home to a collection of more than 13,000 pieces of art along with an associated library. The architecture of the building is a wonderful mix of old and new, a great dichotomy to photograph.
Muhlenbergh College – College campuses usually have a lot to offer a photographer. They provide a unique combination of open space, architecture, design and lots of activity.
America On Wheels – Cars, cars and more cars. America On Wheels has an impressive collection of historic cars and other wheeled vehicles including a large soap box derby exhibit. That alone would get me there.
Albertus L. Meyers Bridge – Also known as the Eighth Street Bridge, this is a concrete open-spandrel arch bridge (I’ve included the wikipedia links for this). It’s 2,600 feet long and quite impressive.
Museum of Indian Culture- Located in a beautiful wooded area, the grounds of this museum and the museum itself offer great photography opportunities.
Do you know of great places in Allentown that I didn’t mention? I’d love to know where you photograph. Leave your suggestions in the comments below.
Tags | Allentown, Allentown Art Museum, Amusement Park, bridges, Dorney Park, Liberty Bell, Pennsylvania, PPL building, Weekend