Union and West End Cemetery

The Union and West End Cemetery is located in center city Allentown. The main entrance is on 10th Street at 10th and Chew Streets. The cemetery is mantained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Ten board members (also volunteers) serve the cemetery association and manage the finances, make application for grants, solicit donations and participate in the maintenance of the cemetery.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Sinkhole 10th and Gordon 4-18-2015

At about 4:05 I received a text message sent to me and Barbara from Wendie indicating that someone that lives on 10th Street had reported a new sinkhole at 10th and Gordon. At 4:15 p.m. I was walking out the door on my way to the cemetery.

When I drove north from Hamilton on 10th street, I encountered a Police vehicle blocking 10th Street to traffic. I proceeded to the back gate and entered the cemetery from Poplar Street and proceeded to 10th and Gordon. Several Police Officers were on scene and I had a ring side seat to the sink hole.

Other than the three officers no one else from the city was on scene, it being a Saturday afternoon. The first official on scene was Mayor Ed Pawloski, much to his credit.

The sink hole, which was approximately 3 feet in diameter, was pretty much centered on Gordon Street at the intersection with 10th Street. It was about even with the sidewalk curbing on 10th Street. In other words it did not protrude into 10th Street.

Several officers I spoke to indicated that the hole appeared to be about 8 feet deep with an underground diameter of approx. 10 feet. When the City engineer arrived he pretty much confirmed the dimensions and indicated that he did not deem it a serious situation.

He informed me that the plan was to cover the hole with a large metal plate. Gordon Street would remain closed from the alley to 10th Street. Tenth street would be open to traffic but blockades would be erected to prevent vehicles from turning onto Gordon Street. Excavation is planned for early Monday morning. With that pronouncement I locked down the cemetery and went home arriving about 6 p.m.

Photos of the new sink hole are shown below:

Take note that the Mayor is wearing white pants and a green shirt. The principal City engineer on site is wearing a bright red shirt.

The City engineer assures us that the problem is relatively minor and they will excavate until they locate the core and then they will fill the hole with grout. It should be noted that this sink hole is north and east of the 2010 sink hole.

Let's pray that the City engineer is correct!

Blog post created by Everette Carr, President of the Union and West End Cemetery Association.


Saturday, October 18, 2014


The Cemetery is Open To The Public


Good News!

The Cemetery is Now Open to the Public

The sink holes have been repaired. All temporary fencing and other obstructions have been removed.

You are Welcome to visit the Union and West end Cemetery at your convenience during daylight hours.

We apologize for the inconvenience and hope that you will visit the cemetery soon and often!

Monday, June 02, 2014


Spring Rose Project - OAPA


The Old Allentown Preservation Association (OAPA), in an effort to enhance the beauty of the Union and West End Cemetery, obtained a grant from the City of Allentown for the purpose of planting roses inside the fence line along Chew Street. The project called for the planting of 142 rose bushes, 138 roses were planted every 9 feet along the Chew Street fence. The remaining 4 rose bushes were planted in a bed next to the Civil War Naval cannons in the Grand Army of the Republic section (under the flag) of the cemetery along 12th Street.

Volunteers from OAPA and the Cemetery Association, along with able-bodied help provided by volunteers from the Allentown Community Correction Center and the Keenan House worked hard and diligently over a number of weekends to create a rose bed the entire length of the Chew Street fence. Earth was turned, holes to receive the roses were dug, mulch (provided by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Allentown), was spread in preparation for the planting of roses.

On June 1st, with the rose bush bed ready, the volunteers gathered and planted all 142 rose bushes in a single morning session. The resultant rose bed is stunningly gorgeous; beautifying the walk along Chew Street from 10th to 12th Streets. The small garden at the cannons (GAR Section) also reflects the glory of the beautification project.

The following photos show the results of the activity in the cemetery from inception to the final planting of the roses :

Photo Credit: Everette Carr

View additional photos showing volunteers at work planting roses;  Morning Call photographs ( HARRY FISHER / THE MORNING CALL / June 1, 2014 )



Thursday, May 29, 2014


American Flag - Cemetery

The photos that follow were taken on May 29, 2014 in the Union and West End Cemetery. Unfortunately the winter of 2013--2014 was not kind to this flag that flew over the United States Capitol approximately 14 months ago.

A new flag has been acquired and will be run up the flag pole tomorrow during a Memorial Day Ceremony in the cemetery. Memorial Day is being celebrated by Chapter 190, the Military Order of the Purple Heart on the traditional date for Memorial Day celebrations.

Come out to the Union and West End Cemetery tomorrow May 30, 2014, and enjoy the Memorial Day Ceremony.

And so it goes...

Friday, May 23, 2014


Sinkholes in the Cemetery - Update


In mid March, 2014, two sinkholes appeared in the cemetery in an area not directly involving any graves. These two subsidence areas of instability are fairly small as sinkholes go, but still are of sufficient concern to warrant professional exploration in an effort to determine the best approach to fixing the problem. These areas of subsurface instability followed a heavy melt off of snow that had accumulated in the cemetery along with two solid days of heavy and persistent rain.

The cemetery officers and directors immediately took action to close the cemetery to the general public and to erect protective fencing around the area of subsidence. The fencing encloses an area approximately 40 x 40 feet. Three separate Engineering and Consulting firms were contacted. Each firm did a preliminary study of the area and subsequently provided the board of directors with their proposals for remedial action along with estimates of the cost of various remedies.

A committee made up of officers of the cemetery reviewed the various studies and proposals and reported its findings to the full board. Subsequently the committee met with an outside, independent geological consultant, after he had an opportunity to review the proposals. This meeting resulted in a formulation of a plan that would allow the cemetery association to move forward with remedial action. But first, prior to proceeding, it was suggested by the consultant that the cemetery association obtain a copy of the geophysical report ordered by the City of Allentown in early 2012, which involved a huge sinkhole on Tenth Street just outside the cemetery main gate. It was the opinion of our professional consultant that this report would be invaluable to the cemetery association in that it would reveal the make-up of the soil in and surrounding the cemetery proper.

City representatives had previously denied the associations request to review the report’s findings, so the association filed a 'Right to Know' request with the City in May of 2014. The City responded within the required 5 day time frame indicating that due to legal ramifications it needed an additional 30 days to review the consequences of providing the information to the cemetery association. This additional time is allowed under the 'Right to Know' Act. The City has until mid June, 2014, to file its response to the association's request.

As a result of the delay, the cemetery officers and directors, have put all remedial actions on hold pending the outcome of our request to the City to review the geophysical report for the sinkhole that appeared on Tenth Street on December 30, 2011.

The cemetery will gladly accept donations to offset the ultimate cost of repairing the damage done to the cemetery by the two sinkholes. Please go to our web site and click on "Donations" if you wish to help.

The Union and West End Cemetery Association web site can be found here:

Union and West End Cemetery Association web site.

Posted by: Everette H. Carr, President
Union and West End Cemetery Association

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