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Palmerton to get second chance to be included as historic district

Published October 11. 2012 05:02PM

Palmerton will get a second crack in its quest to gain inclusion as a historic district.

Dale Freudenberger, anthracite region coordinator, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, discussed the next step in the process with members of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

Freudenberger said he and Palmerton Area Historical Society member George Ashman traveled to Harrisburg earlier this month as the Pennsylvania State Review Board's Historic Preservation Board reviewed the borough's proposal for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

However, Freudenberger said that upon review, the board felt that the borough's application needed additional documentation, and was, therefore, denied.

"It was a little bit of a surprise," Freudenberger said. "They love Palmerton as a community."

Freudenberger said the next meeting of the Historic Preservation Board at the state level is in February, at which time Palmerton's application could be approved.

"They felt they needed more detail about the community being a planned community," he said. "They want to see a lot more detail on the documentation."

Last month, Lansford received its designation as a historic district, joining Jim Thorpe as the only towns in Carbon County for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Palmerton's nomination is based upon the town's history and design as a well-planned, 'Industrial Company Town', Freudenberger said. If the borough receives inclusion, it would be the first in the state to be approved under that criteria, he said.

The district is roughly bounded by Tomb Street, Princeton Avenue, Mauch Chunk Road, Edgemont Avenue, 3rd Street, Fireline Road, 5th Street, Lafayette Avenue, State Road, Avenue B, Columbia Avenue, 8th Street and Avenue A.

Freudenberger previously said the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission approved a Keystone Historic Preservation Grant for $10,000 toward the National Register nomination in the summer of 2011. The Palmerton Area Historical Society contributed $10,000 as well, he said.

In March, members of the Palmerton Area Historical Society met in the Knight's Gallery on the second floor of the Palmerton Area Library with Freudenberger to discuss the borough's potential inclusion as a National Historic District.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of properties recognized for their significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture.

The National Register Program was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archaeologic resources.

National Register properties include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects. They can be significant to a local community, a state, an Indian tribe, or the nation as a whole.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the commonwealth's official history agency. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Bureau for Historic Preservation maintains the commonwealth's inventory of historic properties and prehistoric sites and manages the National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania.

The borough will celebrate the centennial of its incorporation with the dedication of the Palmerton Veteran's Memorial at noon on Sunday, Nov. 11, in the borough park.

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