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Allentown State Hospital to be demolished, sold as green space

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The 195-acre Allentown State Hospital has been closed since 2010
The 195-acre Allentown State Hospital has been closed since 2010 - (Photo / )

It was most recently the backdrop for scenes in the upcoming Bruce Willis movie, “Glass,” but now the state Department of General Services is looking to demolish the buildings on the Allentown State Hospital campus.

The state estimates the demolition will cost around $15 million.

The DGS is seeking bids to demolish approximately 38 buildings and structures on the property. It said the demolition would reduce the $2.2 million the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services spends each year to maintain the property.

The structures total nearly 600,000 square feet of space, and they been vacant since the DHS closed the facility in December 2010.

The demolition plan does attempt to preserve some of the history of the former state hospital, which opened in 1912.

Some  historical items on the property would be removed before the demolition would begin and given to the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission.

Documentation of the historic campus will also be undertaken prior to demolition.

The DGS said the demolition would include hazmat abatement, back filling and site restoration to return the property to a green space.

The state hospital property consists of 195 acres off Hanover Avenue on the east side of Allentown. The DGS said many of the 35 buildings on the property are “functionally obsolete” and it would be too expensive to restore them to a useable condition, which led to the decision to raze the buildings and other structures so that the property could be sold as land.

“Our plans to move ahead with the demolition of the Allentown State Hospital present us with the most viable option to get this property off of the state’s inventory and back onto the local tax rolls where it can benefit the economy,” DGS Secretary Curt Topper said in a statement.

The notice of upcoming procurement can be viewed on PA eMarketplace.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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