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Blank Canvas

A West Coast couple creates unexpected luxury in Center City, Allentown.

A custom-made shelf of reclaimed pipe and salvaged wood from the old Hellertown High School highlight the loft's main living space.

A custom-made shelf of reclaimed pipe and salvaged wood from the old Hellertown High School highlight the loft's main living space.

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Thirty-four hundred square feet of stark, empty, white space can be either the most intimidating thing facing a homeowner, or the most exciting. For Kim Conrad, it was definitely the latter.

She saw nothing but potential in the blank walls and soaring ceilings of what had been, until recently, a commercial warehouse space in Allentown. So much so that she and her husband Bill committed to moving there before either of them had even set foot inside—or within 2,000 miles of the building, for that matter.

Each of the apartments enjoys an open floor plan, high ceilings and polished concrete floors...

A decade prior, the Conrads followed Bill’s job as a regional director for a healthcare technology management company from their native Harrisburg to first, California and then, Arizona. Looking to return to the east coast, they considered lofts in Philadelphia and New York but were discouraged by the cramped quarters and inflated rents.

Then they spied the listing online: an open-concept, industrial-modern penthouse in the heart of Allentown’s business district. All those high ceilings. All those white walls. To Kim, who had decorated both of their previous homes, it was the perfect big, blank canvas.

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