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Some call for makeover of plans for Easton intermodal facility

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 12 2013 06:19:29 PM CDT

Easton leaders say a new transportation facility will provide a "wow" factor in the downtown.

EASTON, Pa. -

Easton leaders say a new transportation facility will provide a "wow" factor in the downtown. Some, however, say the future home of City Hall is being sold short.

All parties agree City Hall needs to move for financial reasons. One architect, an Easton resident, said he just wants the new proposed home for city services to be the best building in the downtown area.

"I would want a building that you can identify," said Paul Felder, an architect and Lafayette College instructor. "Doesn't have to be grand at all, but a building you can identify as this is Easton City Hall.” 

Felder is giving the current plans for the new Easton City Hall a failing grade, and he told city leaders that Monday night.

"My concern was that the building was conceived by the architect and has been designed, I think, successfully as a building that is primarily a bus terminal," said Felder.   

Originally, the intermodal facility was going to be just that. LANTA signed a lease to operate a bus terminal, and the rest of the space was going to be rented out until last month when Mayor Sal Panto unveiled a proposal to move all city services to the intermodal building.

"It was always meant to be an office building," said Panto. "That's why the parking deck is in the back.” 

Some just think now that it's going to be City Hall, the plans for the building should change.

"Properly designed as a City Hall, this is probably the most important building that will be built in Easton since before World War II," said Felder.

The mayor said the architects are working to modify the original plans.

"We're not building in 1910. We are building in 2013," added Panto. "I think that is the difference here. I think everyone is going to have their own opinion, and there is no doubt that it is going to be a wow factor on South 3rd Street.”

The final building design is expected in June. Panto said the city will look for resident input before then.

"We're not building in 1910 we are building in 2013," added Panto. "I think that is the difference here, I think everyone is going to have their own opinion and there is no doubt that it is going to be a wow factor on South Third Street.”