Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites to Celebrate Schropp Shoppe Grand Opening

Supported by funds from Keystone Savings Foundation, the nonprofit partnered with architecture firm Alloy5 to design a space that embraces the area’s rich culture and history.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (April 8, 2024)—Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites (HBMS) announced that it will open Schropp Dry Goods Shoppe at 505 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA, in May 2024. The shop will be located in the Visitor Center & Museum Shop, which is currently undergoing renovations. The community is invited to a ribbon-cutting event on Thursday, May 23, 2024, to celebrate the shop’s opening.

Schropp Shoppe, inspired by the building’s original purpose as a dry goods store in Victorian Bethlehem, is a retail experience featuring the atmosphere of a mid-19th-century dry goods shop with a curated selection of modern goods reminiscent of the historical past. The shop’s opening is tied to the renovation of HBMS’s visitor center, which includes restored flooring, press tin ceilings, and an updated floor plan to improve guest flow.

“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, stated 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. Almost everything a 19th-century household needed could be purchased at the local dry goods store.”

The building was constructed in 1832 by John Sebastian Goundie as a connecting structure to his home, serving as a dry goods store managed by his daughter and son-in-law. In 1852, Goundie sold the property to Louis Beckel, who added a third floor to the building and incorporated decorative elements. In the mid-2000s, HBMS rediscovered and opened the original doorway between the Goundie House and the store, allowing visitors to walk between the spaces.

“Our historic buildings truly come to life when people walk through their doors. 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,” said LoriAnn Wukitsch, president and CEO of HBMS. “By purchasing something from us, 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.”

Wear and tear on the historic structure created a need to renovate and restore certain aspects of the building.

HBMS partnered with Bethlehem-based architecture firm Alloy5 to design the space. The firm is known for incorporating a building’s rich history into contemporary designs and previously worked on the Berwick Youth Center, Seven Generations Charter School and Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium.

“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 is on HBMS’s website at www.historicbethlehem.org/visit-us/schropp-shoppe/.



Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites (HBMS) is a nonprofit institution that brings to life three centuries of American history. HBMS tells the story of a small town of great influence, home to some of our nation’s earliest settlers, America’s first municipal water pumping system, and one of the world’s greatest industrial companies. HBMS is located in eastern Pennsylvania, only a 1-hour drive from Philadelphia to the North and 2 hours west of New York City. HBMS is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and part of Historic Moravian Bethlehem, which is a

National Historic Landmark District and candidate for possible nomination to the World Heritage List. For more information, visit historicbethlehem.org



Information provided to TVL by:
Amiee Goldy