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Americus Hotel

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1927, Ritter and Shay. 541 Hamilton St.
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

The hotel was a product of the prosperous 1920s and the efforts of local businessman and Chamber of Commerce president Bert Gomery. He had long insisted that an important industrial city such as Allentown needed a classy hotel. Philadelphia architects Ritter and Shay designed the steel-framed fourteen-story hotel, facing it in buff-colored brick. As well as subtle classical detailing, more conspicuous decorative details are Spanish and Moorish in style, which were popular at the time for houses as well as hotels. In keeping with the theme, the hotel was named for Americus Vespucci, the tenuous connection being made that the Italian adventurer was allied with Spanish merchant princes. The building was under construction at the same time as the larger Pennsylvania Power and Light Building (LH9) a few blocks west. When completed, both were Allentown's tallest buildings.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Americus Hotel", [Allentown, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 291-292.

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