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Mayor Pfeifle's Home, 424 Webster

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Robert Pfeifle had the distinction of becoming the third Mayor of Bethlehem from 1930 to 1950, following the merging of Bethlehem and South Bethlehem into one city in 1917. Pfeifle is well known for his campaign against corruption and crime in Bethlehem during his time as Mayor, cleaning up and cracking down on speak-easies, brothels, and undesirable visitors from out of state. Mayor Pfeifle was also a resident of South Bethlehem, and the area that we are now calling the Lost Neighborhood. His family home was located on 424 Webster Street.

Richard Stiles, Mayor Pfeifle's son-in-law, recalls spending time on Webster street with the Mayor and his family. Every Saturday the family would gather on Webster and make their way down town to 4th and 3rd street to go window shopping. Sunday was family dinner night, and Mr. Stile remembers going to eat out every week with the Mayor at various restaurants in town.

The Mayor was instrumental in developing the neighborhood in which he lived. He owned several businesses, one of them a construction company responsible for building the neighborhood's Moravian church and many of the houses on Webster Street. Pfeifle also built his own home at 424 Webster before he became a mayor, while he was still a city councilman. Mr. Stiles remembers fondly the beautiful brick and stained glass exterior of the home, a spacious three-car garage, and even a gym in the basement.

Where Mayor Robert Pfeifle's house once stood there is now a Lehigh University parking lot.

Photo Source:
Richard Stiles