Discover the All Inspiring City,
Founded in 1762 by William Allen, a successful businessman and the former mayor of Philadelphia, and named for him in 1838, Allentown transformed from a small community of Pennsylvania Dutch farmers into a marketing center for local farmers in the 1920s. The tradition still stands today at the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market where farmers and merchants sell everything from produce to baked goods to candy.
Allentown was a key contributor to America’s industrial economic boom of the early 19th century through its textile and automotive industries. Today, its diversified economy supports reinvented urban manufacturing and entrepreneurship through start-up incubators like the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, which houses manufacturers in a former Mack Trucks plant. In recent years, downtown Allentown has seen a massive renaissance and development in its Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which continues to attract new businesses, luxury living spaces, developers, energy, and visitors into Allentown.
Pairing with that urban renewal, Allentown is teeming with cultural attractions; its many museums, historic sites, colleges (Cedar Crest College, and Muhlenberg College) and arts organizations contribute to its renewal. Events in Allentown flourish as well; annually, big events like The Great Allentown Fair and Lights in the Parkway draw crowds from all over the region. During summer and fall, Allentown is also host to the Allentown Beer Fest and Blues, Brews, and BBQ events in downtown.
Allentown is home to The Allentown Band, the oldest civilian concert band in the country. Ring the Liberty Bell replica while visiting the Liberty Bell Museum of Allentown where you’ll learn how the iconic bell was hidden from the British from 1777-1778 beneath Zion’s United Church of Christ in downtown Allentown.
Thrill your friends and family with amusement and water park action at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom and see where science comes to life at DaVinci Science Center. The excitement really takes off on event nights at the PPL Center. Catch a game from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms or enjoy concerts from some the world’s biggest names, or family favorites like Disney on Ice or Sesame Street Live. On the east side, catch an IronPigs ballgame at Coca-Cola Park. If you want to stay outside, check out on of the city’s 27 parks and green spaces or visit the Allentown Municipal Golf Course.
For the foodie, you’ll find plenty of eats. Enjoy upscale American cuisine paired with an impressive selection of whiskies and bourbons at the Hamilton Kitchen & Bar. For more casual dining, visit one of the 5 craft breweries throughout the city. Want a wide variety? Stop in at the Downtown Allentown Market for a fresh selection of small kitchens and unique pairings! Take a trip down 7th Street and discover the City’s international food corridor which offers delicious ethnic restaurants and retail. Enjoy Jamaican cuisine at Winston’s or Mexican at Taqueria Los Amigos and El Patron. Take a short trip over to Allentown’s east side where you can sample tasty Middle Eastern options at Aladdin, Damascus Restaurant, or pick up fresh ingredients to make your own from Elias Market. Don’t forget dessert by stopping in at Egypt Star Bakery for freshly made baklava!
Get your shopping fix at one of the many retailers. You’ll find the latest in fashions at boutiques like assembly88 and Re:Find in center city or Stepin4Mor and BoutiqueToGo, Susan Bella Jewelry, and Timothy Zaveri Fine Jewelry, on the west end.
Well-known for its extensive award-winning parks system, Allentown boasts the highest acreage of any American city its size. Enjoy the greenery in the ArtsWalk, a vibrant new public space that connects the center city region of Allentown to the Arts Park at the Allentown Art Museum. On any given night, you can find people relaxing in the courtyard and taking in a free performance. See a show at the Civic Theater or listen to the talented musicians at Miller Symphony Orchestra. For the history buffs, visit the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, the Mack Trucks Historical Museum, the America on Wheels Museum, or the Museum of Indian Culture.
With so much going on, you’ll want to make a weekend of it! Book a room at the luxurious Renaissance® Allentown, connected directly to the PPL Center. Here, you’ll find a nod to local favorites with abstract photographs of Crayola crayons adorning the walls. Enjoy breakfast Billy’s Downtown Diner or a happy hour cocktail at the on-site restaurant, The Dime, or one of the many eateries downtown.
'Plaza for the Spirit of the Arts (2006)', Michael Webb
Artists: Michael Webb Location: Allentown Arts Park (Rear of Miller Symphony Hall – 23 N. 6th Street) Description: Overlooking the Allentown Arts Park, this mural depicts a community enjoying a beautiful park. The piece is located on the rear of Miller Symphony Hall, home to the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.
'Allentown on the Rise (2016)', Keir Johnston and Willis Humphrey
Artists: Keir Johnston and Willis Humphrey Location: Allentown Arts Walk Description: This piece creates a stylized sunrise that spans the south- and west-facing corners of the parking deck at Church Street. The piece was installed in sections of nonwoven polyester sheets that were painted in Amber Art’s studio and then transported to Allentown and adhered to the wall. This creates a sun rising on the Allentown Arts Walk to brighten up the space and create an engaging public atmosphere.
'Old Allentown (2010)', Matt Halm
Artist: Matt Halm Location: 10th and Turner Streets, Allentown, Pennsylvania Description: This mural was made in conjunction with the Old Allentown Preservation Association, and uses local landmarks, architecture, and historical elements. The theme of the piece is "Preserving the past to brighten the future."
'Botanical Mural (2019)', Nicole Salgar and Chuck Berrett
Artists: Nicole Salgar and Chuck Berrett Location: Allentown Arts Walk Description: The flowers around this mural were inspired by the landscape and plants around the Arts Walk. The design appears to have grown around and frames the windows with flowers and leaves.
'Tierra Pacifica (2015)', Matt Halm
Artist: Matt Halm Location: 619 Chew Street as part of Citizen's Park Description: These two large murals are incorporated into a beautiful pocket park at 619 Chew Street. Sandwiched between two homes, the park is surrounded by colorful landscape murals on the walls of the adjacent homes. Along with the murals, new trees, benches, grass, and plants were added so neighborhood residents would have a lovely spot to visit and relax.
'Bird on a Wire (2017)', Matt Halm
Artist: Matt Halm Location: 446 N. 7th Street Description: This 20'x20' "parachute cloth" mural was commissioned by the Community Action Network of Allentown as part of the Main Street Program and was funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.
'Portal (2020)', Matt Halm
Artist: Matt Halm Location: 438 Turner Street Description: This piece was created in the midst of an uncertain world. In the grips of a pandemic, our homes became our havens. This mural explores the idea of shelter, physically and metaphorically. As we continued to stay in, it was as if our domestic space became our whole world. This mural imagines our homes as a monuments, and our windows as portals. In these strange times, our perspectives changed. This mural examines how we look out at the world, and how the world sees in.
'Wall on Hall (2019)', Pedro J. LeDee, Jr. (City Life), Albert Negron, III (Hands on Love), Alex Ortiz (Allentown PRIDE), Corey Reifinger (Neighbors), Camille Stanley (Lo-Fi Streets)
'Draw Your Own Path (2018)', Pedro J. LeDee, Jr.
Artist: Pedro J. LeDee, Jr. Location: Union Terrace Elementary School Description: Draw Your Own Path is a surrealistic style mural featuring several Allentown children, each with their own goals, interacting and sharing their dreams for the future. The groups and individuals represent characteristics we want our future guided towards: diversity, determination, reliability, cohesiveness, and acceptance. The overall message is to dream your own dream and live a life only you can proudly create.
'The First Nation (2019)', Rosemary Geseck
Artist: Rosemary Geseck Location: Central Elementary School 829 W Turner Street Description: The Cultural Coalition of Allentown commissioned this piece with the vision of executing a downtown mural that depicts an extended family the original people of Allentown: the Lenape native Americans. The piece takes place circa 1750 in the woodlands of what is now the city. The artist, Rosemary Geseck, worked with the Lenape Museum to design the content of the piece and held workshops for the students of Central Elementary School, where the piece is located, to share more about the tribe’s culture and its impact on the city of Allentown.
'Urban Nature (2020)', Monica Salazar
Artist: Monica Salazar Location: 722-726 N. 4th Street Description: This mural was created as a part of the Allentown Arts Commission’s Art of Encouragement artist relief mini-grant program. The mural, Urban Nature, is located behind C-Town Market. It is a piece dedicated to our environment and its habitat. It’s a reminder of the beauty of nature that depends on us.
'The Heart of Queen City (2019)', Matt Halm
Artist: Matt Halm Location: 33 N. 9th Street Description: The Heart of Queen City pays homage to Allentown’s nickname while highlighting the central part of the city. This mural is in the heart of downtown. This 40’ x 40’ sq. ft. mural was in commissioned by the Cultural Coalition of Allentown as part of their Artist-in-Residence program. The initial section was completed in July 2018, and the final space was completed in 2019.
'Building Bridges Embracing Change (2006)', Michelle Angela Ortiz
Artist: Michelle Angela Ortiz Location: 640 W. Chew Street Description: The purpose of this mural is around promoting community engagement, artistic training, and historical awareness. The artist, Michelle Angela Ortiz, has traveled the world to promote this message in impoverished areas and those impacted by natural disasters.
'Soar (2019)', Ernesto Maranje
Artists: Ernesto Maranje Location: Sovereign Building (Allentown Arts Walk) 609 Hamilton Street Description: The red-tailed hawk was chosen for Allentown to symbolize the tenacity and freedom of the region. My goal on any mural is to engage the viewer with the unity of animals and plants. My sketches are not as detailed as a finished product because much of that conjoining on plant and animal is done by imagination on the wall to create a more organic process. The goal is to pull segments from each and form a cohesive, understandable, but ephemeral whole. To remind everyone of our connection and relationship with nature. A hawk native to the Allentown and greater Pennsylvania region rising powerfully out of the plants and physical garden below seemed like the perfect solution to this local while maintaining the theme of plants and nature within in my work.
'Some Things Are Better Unseen (2019)', ELLE
Artist: ELLE Location: Allentown Arts Walk 603 W Linden Street Description: The sketch for the Allentown mural depicts a female so strong that she can not even be looked in the eyes- and so they are shielded. She is a culmination of history and future- a mix of Native American braided hair and stone sculpture, mythological goddess Medusa, and current super model Ajak Deng. Her silk jacket and luxurious fabric is borrowed from the painting The Adoration Of The Magi (Detail) By Maarten De Vos, 1599. The woman is surrounded by flowers, a pool of water and neon lights- her atmosphere suggests that she is in a future word, full of feminine power- perhaps even suggestive of Mother Earth. The viewer is invited to assemble the bits of the collage and
'Unleash (2021)', Matt Halm
Artist: Matt Halm Location: Hall Street Alley Description: This mural overlooks a dog park at the brand new Center Square Lofts in downtown Allentown. The dog park is open to all City Center residents and Renaissance Allentown guests. The mural activates this space and further beautifies the new park.
'Reading is a Portal (2020)', Aaron Glassman and Celeste Byers
Artists: Aaron Glassman and Celeste Byers Location: 1232 ½ West Gordon Street, across from the entrance to the new Brigadier General Anna Mae Hays Elementary School Description: The mural explores the ideas of books as being a portal to imagination and learning, by featuring imagery of children and the magical worlds they inhabit thanks to reading. The mural’s narrative is inspired by the school’s mission to have all students develop a love of reading and learning. Along with the school’s community liaison Amanda Madae, the artists worked directly with the school’s students via a bilingual online platform in which students shared their favorite books, characters and stories with the artists. The ideas provided by the students were interpreted by the artists and are included in the mural.
'Welcome to Downtown Allentown (2020)', Mila Sketch
Artist: Mila Sketch Location: 120 8th St., Allentown, PA Description: This project interests me because of its ability to reach people who may not be exposed to the arts. Art can offer alternative ways to view one's environment and provide inspiration. The artwork created for the Downtown Allentown area should be uplifting, interactive, and fresh…The design is destined to evoke feelings of pride and joy that locals would be eager to share with the guests of the city. The contrasting colors and beautiful layout of the mural will be seen as a highly visually gateway work of art at a significant enough scale to engage viewers who are walking and driving.