Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

In association with the Smithsonian Institution


WFMZ Channel 69 News: History’s Headlines: The Goundie House

Bethlehem’s Goundie House almost didn’t make it. Built in 1810 by brewer John Sebastian Gundt, later Goundie, it was almost certainly the first brick residence in the city, a fine example of the Federalist style. A third floor was added later in the 19th century. After Goundie’s death in 1852 the house was, among other things: a doctor’s office, a sewing machine shop and a photographer’s studio. Finally, in 1968, its owner decided something more modern was wanted. So, he hired a crew to tear it down. But he had not counted on the determination of two Bethlehem women, Christine Sims, wife of Ivor D. Sims, executive vice president of Bethlehem Steel, and her friend Frances Martin, wife of Bethlehem Steel CEO Edmund Martin. This is how Sims later described that day:

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