Hotel Bethlehem

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Hotel Bethlehem
Historic Hotel Bethlehem.jpg
The entrance to Hotel Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, December 2017
Hotel Bethlehem is located in Pennsylvania
Hotel Bethlehem
Hotel Bethlehem is located in the United States
Hotel Bethlehem
Location437 Main St., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Coordinates40°37′13″N 75°22′56″W / 40.620147°N 75.382329°W / 40.620147; -75.382329Coordinates: 40°37′13″N 75°22′56″W / 40.620147°N 75.382329°W / 40.620147; -75.382329
Part ofCentral Bethlehem Historic District

The Hotel Bethlehem, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is a 125-room hotel that is a member of the Historic Hotels of America. Also known as Historic Hotel Bethlehem, it dates from 1922 and is Beaux Arts in style.[1] It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of a historic district,[1] presumably the Central Bethlehem Historic District which includes 165 contributing buildings. It replaced a hotel that was converted from a general store in 1822.

History[edit]

Hotel Bethlehem replaced a hotel that opened in 1822 in a building formerly housing the 1794 general store, and was known as The Golden Eagle, later The Eagle, after a mural by Peter Grosh on the facade. This first hotel was remodeled in the 1870s but in 1920 was demolished for replacement with a more modern and more fireproof structure. The Bethlehem Hotel Corporation built the new Bethlehem Hotel starting in 1921, with funding from Charles M. Schwab and others at Bethlehem Steel, and it was opened in 1922.[2] The Pioneer Tap Room is decorated with 1937 murals on the history of Bethlehem by military artist George Gray, part of a series commissioned by General J. Leslie Kinkaid, president of then-owner On January 29th 1989 there was a major fire on the fourth floor. A guest plugged in her traveling iron there was a large flash from the outlet which caught a chair on fire. The fire quickly got out of control she tried putting it out but could not. She called the hotel lobby they tried putting it out with a hose but it was out of control. The fire spread to the 5th floor and luckily by then the fire department was able to put it out. Unfortunately four people died and 14 were injured. That particular month is usually slow however it was packed with 20 judges and police officers, there for a convention. Also a College music competition brought in guests and their families. Including the majority of the guests were elderly staying there while their retirement home was being remodeled fortunately the majority of them survived. American Hotels Corporation.[3] The former solarium, now a restaurant, has original Moravian tile.[4]

After the closure of Bethlehem Steel in the 1990s, the hotel stood vacant and there were plans to convert it into a combination of facilities for the elderly and a women's dormitory for Moravian College. A group of local investors bought it and renovated it extensively in the late 1990s.[2][4] In 2019 the Bethlehem Hotel came third in the USA Today 10 Best Historic Hotels poll.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Historic Hotel Bethlehem". Historic Hotels of America. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "The Eagle Hotel and Hotel Bethlehem". Local History. Bethlehem Area Public Library. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  3. ^ Hugh Bronstein (June 19, 1995). "Hotel Owners Mark Their 10th Year". The Morning Call.
  4. ^ a b Stephen Jiwanmall (July 26, 2019) [July 25, 2019]. "Historic Hotel Bethlehem Vies for National Title". WVLT Public Television.
  5. ^ Nicole Radzievich (August 9, 2019). "Hotel Bethlehem wins spot on USA Today's Top 10 historic hotels list — here are the landmark hotels it beat". The Morning Call.

Further reading[edit]

  • James A. Crutchfield; Bruce A. Haines; Natalie J. Bock (2013). Historic Hotel Bethlehem. Franklin, Tennessee: Grandin Hood. ISBN 9780977128112.