Bethlehem Twp. envisions new makes use of for Archibald Johnston Mansion

BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. – The Bethlehem Township Board of Commissioners accepted preliminary makes use of of a revamped Archibald Johnston Mansion on Monday night time.

Commissioners mentioned the varieties of neighborhood actions that would happen on the three-story, 6,000-square-foot mansion alongside Christian Spring Highway. The general purpose is to renovate the constructing’s first ground for these actions, with the second and third flooring being later developed.

Proposed makes use of mentioned Monday night time embody neighborhood conferences reminiscent of backyard and guide golf equipment, scout conferences, small live shows, college conferences, dialogue teams centering on small enterprise and environmentalism, artwork courses and reveals, catered occasions and workshops.

“You possibly can’t exit and get grants until you may inform what you’ll do,” Vice President Malissa Davis mentioned.

In December 2020, Emmaus-based SCF Structure LLC ready a report for Bethlehem Township, detailing attainable methods the mansion may turn into a “sustainable, historic useful resource for the neighborhood.” In its conclusion, the report acknowledged {that a} appreciable quantity of fundraising can be wanted to restore and improve the ability and its grounds, but it surely mentioned the mansion had the potential to host, amongst different occasions, weddings with 100-160 visitors.

Nonetheless, commissioners mentioned Monday night time that bigger occasions reminiscent of weddings would require extra infrastructure and usually are not at present being thought of. Different makes use of, reminiscent of a proper affiliation with an institute of upper studying for formal enterprise conferences, are additionally not being thought of.

“What we wish to do is get actions contained in the mansion that aren’t cumbersome,” Davis mentioned. “What we’re speaking about are some lower-level actions.”

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The Archibald Johnston Mansion, constructed within the early Nineteen Twenties, is the previous house of a Bethlehem Metal government and Bethlehem’s first mayor. It’s positioned on the middle of Janet Johnston Housenick and William D. Housenick Memorial Park, which rests over roughly 50 acres alongside Monocacy Creek. The property was willed to Bethlehem Township in 2005.

In different enterprise, commissioners authorised six buy orders, together with a $23,027 buy order fee to Glick Fireplace Gear for repairs to Engine No. 1412. The engine is housed at Nancy Run Fireplace Co.