Develop the Greenway heading west as a tradeoff for “breaking the rules”

Latest in a series of posts on 14-18 W. 3rd. St

Bob Davenport is PA born and raised for 25 years. Now a retired railroad (but not the man at the throttle) Engineer, a CE graduate of Lehigh U,  a Catholic attending daily mass and praying for a better world without apparent success. An optimist.

ref: Stepping down on 3rd St.?


It’s aesthetics vs economics.  The “Cohen” plan adds architectural interest but reduces potential income by reducing the 3-dimensional space that can be placed on the 2-dimensional footprint. The Lehigh/St Luke’s building nearby looks like the height fight has already been lost.

I would like to see a development of the Greenway heading west as a tradeoff for “breaking the rules.” Luckily or purposefully, the former Reading right of way seems to still exist even though a building uses some of the air rights. It might be possible to put commercial entities on the building ground floor in a style evocative of the former buildings. The Lehigh/St Luke’s building did this but badly in my opinion by putting multi-paned windows at mid-level rather than ground level.

Open access from 3rd Street to an extended Greenway would also add architectural interest.

Summing up, the Cohen plan is interesting but not economically feasible. Give the developers what they want but make them pay for it in ways that should enhance the value of the property for them and the community in the long run.


One thought on “Develop the Greenway heading west as a tradeoff for “breaking the rules”

  1. It’s very important to extend the Greenway west to meet the trails at the foot of Lehigh Mountain. (Not just to 3rd Street or even 2nd Street.

    I think it’s important to recognize that developers sometimes need to recalibrate their profit expectations to fit the needs and character of the community where they want to locate. A well-designed ‘stepped’ version should be quite feasible.

    Equally important, the city should not approve *any* new development or major renovation unless it is designed to be climate-neutral or ‘net-zero’. (In fact, many well-designed development projects can even produce more energy than they use!) Anything less than this is simply evading responsibility and shifting it to future generations.

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