Historic Catasauqua Preservation Association

HCPA traces its beginnings to 1983 when a small group of residents banded together to prepare applications for the establishment of two national historic districts in the Borough of Catasauqua (Lehigh County, Pennsylvania); the Biery’s Port Historic District and the Mansion District. Since then, HCPA has worked to revive and maintain the towpath along the canal thru Catasauqua and to preserve The Biery House at 8 Race St, its Summer Kitchen, and the Deily Coal Yard, Scale House and Mule Barn – all between Union and Race St along the Canal. HCPA has secured 6 of the 7 State Historic Markers in the borough and rededicated the original George Taylor House marker. HCPA created an art gallery and museum at their 8 Race St headquarters featuring the borough’s history and architecture. HCPA remains active as an organizer and volunteer in the community for events such as Fest O’Fall and the recent Old Home Week celebration. In addition, our members enact their passion for historic preservation through biennial home and garden tours that highlight Catasauqua’s rich history. You can visit by appointment or by stopping by 8 Race St the first and third Sundays of each month from May through September. HCPA maintains the history pages for the Borough of Catasauqua website which document our history from the 1700s to the present organized by time period and by location. To check the history of a particular location, visit the Waking Tours, which are divided into three groups. The industrial section primarily falls along the west side of Front St and along Race St. The Historic District section includes the Biery’s Port District centering on Race & Front and the Mansion District mostly between Bridge and Pine and Third and Howertown. The remaining sections of town are covered in the Residential and Commercial section. The latter section is a work in progress, with blocks being added, and information added to existing addresses, as research uncovers more information. Visit HCPA’s facebook page for frequent posts of pictures and snipits from these pages and from our archives.
For more information contact Janice Lathrop @(610)704-7075

Our Mission

HCPA was created to encourage an appreciation of the historical and architectural heritage of the Borough; to encourage the preservation of the architecture in our historic districts and the Borough at large as the houses and buildings are the tangible evidence of the events that made Catasauqua important as a contributor to the growth and development, not only Pennsylvania, but also of the United States; to encourage the preservation of the architectural integrity of our neighborhoods and to foster pride of ownership in the houses and buildings in our historic districts.

History Overview

Located at the center of the Lehigh Valley, Catasauqua is one of the smallest, but most densely populated municipalities in the Valley. Now a quiet residential community, the borough once was home to the Crane Iron Works, the first commercially successful anthracite iron furnace. Its first blast in 1840 marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in America. The iron and allied industries brought much wealth to the town; such that by the early 1900s, Catasauqua had the highest concentration of millionaires per capita in the nation. Industry waned after WWI and commerce declined with the introduction of malls in neighboring Whitehall in the 1960s. With the purchase of the old Crane Iron site, the borough is targeting a development of the canal front and revitalization of downtown areas.