2019 marks BHA's 80th anniversary!!

Just about everyone has seen the beautiful communities known as Parkridge and Lynfield. These state of the art, modern homes were designed and built to provide tenants with the kinds of modern amenities we all expect.

Many people, particularly youngsters and folks new to Bethlehem are not aware of the history of those two neighborhoods. You can find a lots of information on our History Page, but here we offer vintage photos of the properties as they once looked.

On the right, at the top, is a view of the former Parkridge project as it looked in the mid 1970's. This is a view, looking northwest, from the former Oak Lane. Off in the distance, you can see the old Rosemont Elementary School on Pennsylvania Avenue. Although the school still stands, today's Parkridge youngsters attend Clearview School. Back when the Parkridge Defense Project opened during World War II, there was an elementary school on the property, inside the community building.

The three black and white photos show views of the former South Terrace project. Built at the same time as Parkridge, it too was originally intended as "temporary war worker housing", built to ease the huge housing crisis created when Bethlehem Steel expanded to meet the war effort. Thousands of workers (and their families) were imported to Bethlehem to work at the flagship plant, providing war materiel for the allies. The men and women who worked in the plant in that era were genuine hometown heroes, providing what was needed to win the world war. The photos show the cramped nature of the "temporary" units. As many of you know, those 500 apartments were pressed into service as low-income public housing in 1953, and they continued to serve BHA until the 1980's.

At around the same time South Terrace and Parkridge were built to accomodate the influx of war workers in Bethlehem, the new Bethlehem Housing Authority committed to its first official public housing community. Construction of the project, known as Pembroke began just before the entry of the U.S. into WW II. When it was completed, it was pressed into service as "Temporary War Housing" and it was intended to revert to low-income public housing after the war. As most people know, Pembroke, South Terrace and Parkridge would all become low-income public housing after the end of the war to meet the needs of a growing city. Pembroke recently celebrated 65 years of service. The community has undergone several major comprehensive renovations, most recently in 1995. The photo at right shows a Pembroke building around 1975, prior to major renovations. At the time it was built in the early 1940's, the community was surrounded by farmland. Old timers would tell you that living in Pembroke was like living "in the country". Pembroke Road in those days was known as the Rt. 22 bypass, and Stefko Boulevard was called Newton Avenue and was little more than a dirt road from Pembroke Rd. toward Bethlehem Township.