Main Street Star Relaid Over Durability Concern

Officials thought inlaid granite centerpiece of new Main and W. Market street intersection might not have been strong enough to withstand downtown traffic.


Contractors on Tuesday relaid the granite star centerpiece of the rebuilt intersection of Main and W. Market out of concern that the star’s bedding would not be strong enough to support traffic through the heart of the Historic Downtown, according to a report in The Express-Times.

The 50-by-30-foot inlaid Moravian star is the dominant feature of a project to improve the look of that intersection and the nearby Main Street sidewalks.

Though it was supposed to be completed by the end of October, the work is now slated to be finished Nov. 21, the newspaper reported.

That would be the day before Thanksgiving and two days before the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, which is critical to Main Street merchants who look forward to the holiday season as a time when tourists flock to the Christmas City.

The project has been plagued with problems and delays almost from the beginning. After starting a week late in June, delays mounted through the summer because of rain and difficulties from underground utilities, which were more complicated to deal with than originally anticipated.

The $600,000 project was proposed and largely financed by downtown real estate investor Liberty Property Trust, which pledged $300,000. A $50,000 state grant and private donations from other Main Street stakeholders was to pay for the rest.

The work at Main and W. Market was to be the first of a multi-year, five-phase $3.2 million project to give a facelift to Main Street from W. Broad to Church streets. Mayor John Callahan and Bob Kiel, the senior vice president of Liberty Property Trust, announced the project in April.

Chuck Hennet November 14, 2012 at 04:08 PM
I fail to understand how a large granite star in the middle of the intersection fits in with the historic nature of the city. Is there any historic precedent for this? I understand it may look cool, but I doubt it's value historically. We should look more toward Williamsburg, VA if we want to move more toward authenticity and less toward what appears to be someone's gaudy idea of how to attract shoppers to downtown.
Patriot2 November 14, 2012 at 04:41 PM
They aren't replacing the Granite Star nor relaying that but only relaying the bricks that surround the Star that were coming loose. I would have to agree with the person regarding the historic authenticity of the star as it is neither the Bethlehem Star nor the Moravian Star but some knockoff aberation. I would agree that we should be appreciative of the contributions made to improve the intersection; but it will have zero effect on tourism and money could have been spent much better on things that would really matter matter in that regard.
patriot2 November 14, 2012 at 04:42 PM
What a waste of time and money. The city is supposed to be in financial problems - why waste money on such folishness. Besides the "Moravian Star" is really the Advent star and is only supposed to be displayed during the Christmas season
Carol Sule November 14, 2012 at 08:10 PM
what a waste of money ~ already talk of taxes going up! I dont believe that tourism will rise due to the fact we have a star on Main St. Tourists will come due to the fact that this is "The Christmas City" ~ and will admire the STAR on the mountain....not the one in the middle of the street
Kathy Chapman November 17, 2012 at 02:17 AM
I agree, I do not want trash pick up to be by one hauler.....saving taxpayer is a lie, before the ink is dry on the contract, the price of hauling trash will go UP. Anyone notice the outstanding info taxpayers received on curbside recycling....$1 a yr, now $5 quarterly.....no I have seen trash hauler strikes...using one means NO ONE gets pick up. I am sooo happy with my company. Here is an idea to save small hauler jobs, instead of WM (way too big for their britches) ....leave well enough alone. Mayor just leave office ...quietly...I didn't vote for this one, or THE LAST....!


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