Mayor Mowrer and the Milner Report: Reshaping Bethlehem's Main Street

 
 Proposed plan for The Moravian Sun Inn

Proposed plan for The Moravian Sun Inn

(Originially discussed on Sunday, May 6th, on The Morning Call)

When Mowrer became mayor of Bethlehem in January, 1974, based on this December, 1969 the city was tearing down much of the Broad Street corridor and with a dream of erecting an indoor shopping mall, several high rise offices, apartments and a hotel.

The Moravian Sun Inn was supposed to be part of the “blight removal”.

Mayor Mowrer brought in preservation consultants who saw Main Street in a different light. This is a photo of Main Street in 1975 from the report. It was a one-way street with ugly lighting, no trees and no ambiance.

 Main Street circa 1975

Main Street circa 1975

This is what John Milner’s National Heritage Corporation saw:

 Proposed Restoration of Main Street

Proposed Restoration of Main Street

Musikfest did not create the first “platz” in Bethlehem. The Moravians did. And the Milner report suggested bringing it back! 

 Milner Report proposed Platz

Milner Report proposed Platz

Learn more in Chapter 5 of Stronger Than Steel, "A Bold New Plan for Downtown.  

 
Jeffrey Parks