"At the top of our street, at Packer Avenue was a fraternity. I think it was Theta Xi...for Lehigh - Lafayette weekend, they decorated the outside of the campus. I remember the one year they had a leopard and the students put a hose in the leopard to it would cry. Nearby, a Lehigh football player figure stood victorious over Lafayette's crying mascot." - Cecelia Kilian, former resident.
Rennig Street was a small, primarily residential street. The street had many homes, both row homes and twins, most of which had small yards. Residents recall that it was a very safe neighborhood, where neighbors did not even lock their doors. At Packer Avenue and Rennig, the Theta Xi Fraternity boisterously supported Lehigh's athletic teams.
Rennig was small and saw little automobile traffic so neighborhood children frequently used the street to play tag, jump rope and chase fireflies. The children would also occasionally race Soap Box cars, down from Packer Avenue, crossing Morton Street and ending in the lot behind the Lehigh Theater. Do you recall the free candy on Saturdays at the Lehigh Theater? Located at the bottom of Rennig Street, the theater was affectionately called "the Bug House" by local residents. The theater charged 25 cents for admission and tried to drum up business by offering free items, such as candy and dishes.
The photo on the right is from the Packer Street Project Plan. This photo from 1964 shows a view of Rennig Street, looking north from East Packer Avenue.
If you have memories or photographs of Rennig Street, please share them with us! You can help us recreate the neighborhood and keep the stories alive!
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Bethlehem, PA 18015
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015