Welcome to the BHDA Website
We’re so glad you found us! The Bethlehem Historic District Association is an organization that values our community’s residents, the quality of life in our district and the preservation of historical architecture. Whether you live in the historic district or not, we would love for you to join us. The members-only portion of our website includes features such as invitations to social events, opportunities to get involved, neighborhood forums, discounts to local businesses, access to BHDA-funded grant programs and much more. If you’re thinking about joining the BHDA or are considering a move to the historic district, click here to contact us and request a guest pass to the members-only features.
Thank you for visiting the BHDA website! We hope to see you soon.
From the Archives of the Bethlehem Daily Times
“Seats of Pantaloons Painted – For some time past, Marcus C. Fetter and family, residing at the corner of Main and Canal streets, have been considerably annoyed by rowdies who loaf nightly in that vicinity. The loafers generally squat on the fence which surrounds the property. Last evening the top of the fence received a fresh coat of paint, and the loafers who sat thereon will no doubt recall the sitting for months to come.”
– September 23, 1885
“Some time during Saturday night jokers placed a cowbell in the cupola on H.G. Borhek’s new stable on Raspberry Alley, and the same was rung furiously at an early hour yesterday morning.”
– September 21, 1885
More from the archives.
Oral History Project: What We’re Learning from Our Neighbors
Did you know that…
During WWII, when Bethlehem Steel was booming night and day, our neighborhood was showered with so much soot that people had to sweep off their houses, cars, and porches every day. –
At one time, there was a reflecting pool on the south side of the library that was filled in because kids kept putting soap in it to make mountains of bubbles. (more)
Important Information about Street Trees
Before you remove, plant, prune, or use pesticides on any trees along our city streets, please visit the Bethlehem’s Bureau of Urban Forestry website for important information including: a list of licensed city arborists, tree planting guidelines, and the list of trees approved for street use.
Permits, available for download, are required for nearly all tree work.
About the New Website: You have questions. We have answers.
Why do we have a new website?
For the past eight years, the BHDA website was graciously hosted (at no cost to us) on a member’s personal server. While the price couldn’t have been better, updating the site was difficult in that it could only be done by one person. With the program used to build and maintain our new site, volunteers can update the site any time and anywhere, allowing us to share time-sensitive information. Also, with so much happening in the neighborhood, our storage and security needs are much greater. The old site contained approximately 15 pages. The new site has approximately 75 pages/posts, and there’s a lot more to come. (more)
Available Now: Historic Plaques
Enhance the historical ambiance of our neighborhood with a date plaque for your home or business in Bethlehem’s Historic District. The cost for a plaque is $25 for BHDA Members and $45 for non-members. This cost covers the production of your plaque and does not include research or installation.
To apply for a plaque, click here for more information and to download printable versions of application materials including the Guide to Researching Your Home.
Website Survey Results
Thank you to everyone who participated in our first ever online survey. We received 48 responses that told us the following:
30% of respondents have lived in the historic district for 20 years or more
38% have lived here 5 years or less
94% want information on historical preservation/restoration
67% want to hear about volunteer opportunities
60% want to receive crime and safety alerts
60% want to know about local events
46% want information on local businesses
We also received great suggestions for new features to be added to the website such as a special section with information tailored to new residents.
The BHDA Oral History Project
by Barbara Diamond
This project was inspired by the realization that people who meant a lot to our neighborhood were moving out of the district or passing away and taking with them valued knowledge of life in our special community. A group of neighborhood women developed The BHDA Oral History Project in order to capture the important stories of cherished neighbors before it is too late. This project will honor our long-standing residents, contribute an important historic record of life here, and strengthen connections in our community. We will use video and audio interviews, supplemented by digitized photos, to create an archive of the historic district as told by our more senior residents and those who have contributed significantly to Bethlehem. (more)
Why Everyone Should Be a Member of the BHDA
by Terry Theman
When it comes to community involvement I suppose it is our human nature to ‘watch from the sidelines’ while our friends and neighbors carry out various civic duties. I certainly find it easier and less stressful. While we appreciate the work done on our behalf, it is rare that we feel the need to pitch in and offer help. Strange how this works, this all-too-human nature of ours. (more)
The Bethlehem Historic District Association promotes the historical ambiance and high quality-of-life in our special neighborhood by supporting the preservation and restoration of original architectural features and landscapes.