ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The scaffolding has been up so long in front of an Allentown landmark-turned-eyesore that people have simply gotten used to them.
But now all that may be changing.
There is still a long, long way to go before the Americus is ready to open its doors again but in the last year, it has made some major progress.
Back in February 2010 entrepreneur Albert Abdouche had just bought the Americus Hotel in Allentown.
Trash was everywhere, the interior of the landmark was falling apart and the wiring was nothing short of a disaster..
Nearly a year later, things are much better.
"We have changed all of the electric," said Abdouche.
Abdouche is trying to preserve the historic look of the Hotel which dates back to 1927..
All of the chandeliers and sconces are being cleaned and restored.
Next on the list are sprinklers.
Abdouche says cosmetic work should begin in the fall..
But the most visual improvement will be seen when the scaffolding comes down in the next few weeks.
It's not hard to spot new bricks that were put in to secure the facade.
Abdouche says when the $10 million project is done, the Americus will add to the changing landscape of 6th and Hamilton.
Once scarred by neglect..
Now flourishing with two restaurants, The Musselman Arts Center and Symphony Hall.
Abdouche says he's had a lot of offers to buy the Americus.
He says he's poured millions in personal and grant money into the landmark but will keep working until he finds a company worthy of owning it.
"Americus Hotel will come back," he said. "We are trying to get the flag hotel, the Marriott, the Wyndham. I'm working with a lot of five star hotel so we can bring them to downtown Allentown."
Abdouche says he hopes the Americus reopen by the Spring of 2012.
Allentown, PA 18102