Conflict Over Historic Brewery Comes To A Head
Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 8, 2007
Conflict over historic brewery comes to a head: Allentown set to prosecute owner over Neuweiler building’s poor condition.
Released : Sunday, July 08, 2007 4:00 AMJul. 8–Since rolling out its last barrel nearly four decades ago, the Neuweiler Brewery has sat mostly empty, fading from its architectural glory and serving as a symbol of Allentown’s failure to capitalize on its waterfront.
The brewery on N. Front Street went bankrupt in 1968. Since then, it has been the subject of a lawsuit, site of a chemical spill and accumulator of unpaid taxes. It also has joined the National Register of Historic Places.
Yet, for many people, the brewery — even with its ornamental brick facade, Greek granite portico and copper cupola — simply has become part of the backdrop at the edge of downtown. For those living in the neighborhood, where many people don’t stay long, it’s always been just another empty building.
But like other decaying buildings in Allentown and along other city waterfronts, this one finally is getting more attention.
Tired of the brewery’s New Jersey owner, Stuart Kellner, ignoring demands to shore up the site, city officials are preparing to prosecute him under state building code law, a step up from city ordinances.
Tired of waiting for Kellner to make repairs to keep passers-by safe, the city also is preparing to fix the brewery on its own. The Allentown Redevelopment Authority is moving toward condemning it, as it did with the Colonial Theater on Hamilton Street, to secure it and seek a redeveloper.