Monday, April 08, 2019
State Agency Determines ASH Buildings Are Fine
In the cRaZy world of state government, one hand often has no idea what the other is doing. So while the State Department of General Services wants to tear down Allentown State Hospital at a cost of $15 million so it can sell it for $2.5 million. Makes sense, right? But get this. At the same time, another state agency says it should be kept.
And people wonder why I'm nuts.
The Pa. Historical and Museum Comm'n is the "the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." It has an "An Official Pennsylvania Government Website" and everything. In other words, it's part of the government. And while the Department of General Services, along with a gaggle of local state legislators, are hell bent on wasting your money to tearing down the state hospital, this official state agency thinks it's just fine.
Just like Allentown developer Nat Hyman said.
He's an architect, you know.
The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (“SHPO”) is a bureau within the Pa. Historical and Museum Comm'n. It looked at the grounds last year. It concluded that the Hospital retains its integrity and should still be considered eligible for listing in the National Register.
In a letter to General Services dated letter dated March 12, 2018, SHPO declared that “due to the overall condition and general maintenance” of the Hospital buildings, the Hospital “may be viable for rehabilitation and reuse.” In fact, SHPO determined that a real estate market analysis may conclude that the highest and best use of the Hospital would “support a combination of adaptive reuse and redevelopment.”
But other vested interests want you to waste millions in taxpayer dollars to demolish perfectly good buildings and sell it to a tax cheat.
Makes sense to me.