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Historically-Inspired Dry Goods Shop Opening in Bethlehem

Schropp Shoppe

A ribbon-cutting event is scheduled for Thursday, May 23 and will be open to the community.

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Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites will celebrate the start of an exciting new chapter in the history of one of its downtown edifices with the opening of the Schropp Dry Goods Shoppe in May. A ribbon-cutting event is scheduled for Thursday, May 23 and will be open to the community.

Schropp Shoppe

Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites’ new Schropp Shoppe is opening adjacent to the downtown visitor’s center on Main Street. (Credit: HBMS)

The new shop is the result of the renovation of HBMS’s Visitor Center and Museum Shop and will be situated in an area that was once home to a Victorian era dry goods store. The visitor center is located in the Goundie House (1810), and the Schropp Dry Goods Shoppe will be adjacent to it in a connecting structure that was built by John Sebastian Goundie in 1832.

In the mid-2000s, an original doorway between the Goundie House and the store was discovered which now allows visitors to walk between the spaces, an HBMS news release noted.

“Our historic buildings truly come to life when people walk through their doors,” said LoriAnn Wukitsch, president and CEO of HBMS. “We are excited to offer visitors an additional way to interact with Bethlehem’s rich history and the stories of the individuals who lived and established businesses here.”

“By purchasing something from us,” Wukitsch added, “visitors not only get a memorable gift, but they also contribute to preserving and sharing the history that gives Bethlehem such a unique sense of place.”

The Schropp Dry Goods Shoppe will offer a curated selection of modern goods in a setting that is representative of a mid 19th-century dry goods store, such as the one that was operated by the Schropps.

“Thanks to the extensive and well-preserved records of both the original Schropps’ store and the boarding school for girls in Bethlehem, whose students were frequent patrons of the store, we have a clear picture of what was sold in the store in the 1800s,” said Brett Peters, Curator of Collections & Exhibitions for HBMS. “Much of it was merchandise we still buy–everything from groceries and stationery to hardware, China and kitchen supplies.”

HBMS partnered with Bethlehem-based architecture firm Alloy5 to design the new store.

“Transforming a historic space into a welcoming, visually appealing retail space has been enjoyable for the team at Alloy5,” said Michael Metzger, president of Alloy5. “We’re always happy to lend our creativity to support our community and proud to collaborate with Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites on the new Schropp Dry Goods Shoppe design.”

More information on the Schropp Dry Goods Shoppe may be found on the HBMS website.

This local news story was reported with generative AI assistance.


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