Better Use of Payrow Plaza

Payrow Plaza – Photo by Lehigh Valley, PA on Flickr (cc license)

Today was a gorgeous day in Bethlehem. I hope you were able to get outside and enjoy it like I did. While I was out and about, I was once again reminded about an underutilized resource that, with some effort, could be a real gem of our increasingly walkable city, Payrow Plaza.

Payrow Plaza, named for former Mayor of Bethlehem, H. Gordon Payrow, Jr. is located at the intersection of Church and New Streets in Bethlehem. It’s where you can find city hall and the library, and I believe it can be put to much better use. It has the potential to be a fantastic place for residents and visitors to congregate, neighbors to enjoy their lunch on a lawn and picnic tables, enjoy the view across the Fahy Bridge, or even just sit down on a bench and read a book checked out from the library. Right now it’s a stark concrete lot with weeds coming up through the cracks.

Musikfest used to have concerts there before AmericaPlatz moved to the south side and of course there is a Christmas tree in the winter, but aside from that, who really goes to Payrow Plaza and stays around for any length of time? They may walk up to the south edge and take a photo, or traverse it to attend a meeting at Town Hall or the library, but that’s about it. What do you think? What other public spaces in the city would you like to see improved so we can all enjoy them?

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4 thoughts on “Better Use of Payrow Plaza

  1. It is a perfect spot for a farmers market – but I think the above comment is correct the folks who live near by really would prefer less activity there – With some trees and grass it would make a nice picnic area

  2. Todd I think this is a great idea. I live up the street from there. Look those stuffy home owners are fine with out a state college kids but they hate locals walking by there. We gotta change this up tight snobby downtown culture. I pay the same taxes they do. Its time for big ideas and making Bethlehem friendly.

  3. Who would be funding the upkeep and events? The money has to come from somewhere. It’s great to want amazing things everywhere, but there is always a bill. Perhaps there are more important things to focus on.

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