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Phoebe Trexler

Phoebe Allentown’s Iconic Trexler Building Receives an External Make-Over with the Help of Interior Designers

In 2011, the team at DesignPoint was hired by Phoebe Ministries to lead the interior design renovations at the Terrace at Phoebe Allentown, an independent senior living community in Allentown. + Read More

The project, led by DesignPoint senior interior designer Pamela Sullivan, expanded the lobby, created a social library, mail room, coffee lounge, and common area. The enhancements were necessary improvements to keep pace in the competitive senior living industry. The building was originally built in the 1970s as a standard senior high rise; however, the community lacked the modern appeal and upscale feel that has become popular in senior living design trends. The Terrace’s administrator Antoinette Tranter had a general idea how she wanted the facility to look, but depended on Sullivan for creative ideas and directions based on DesignPoint’s expertise and experience. At the culmination of the project, Terrace residents and Phoebe executives declared the new interiors a success. Happy with the project outcome, Phoebe management sought Sullivan for a different project in 2012.

Phoebe Ministries was in the middle of another project — a facelift to the exterior of Phoebe’s iconic Allentown skilled nursing facility. The stone building was built in the 1960s and accommodates 395 patient beds for those undergoing skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Over the past century, the facility’s exterior had only undergone modest and necessary improvements.

Phoebe Allentown’s exterior renovations began in 2012 and started with the facility’s East Annex. Initially, Phoebe executives worked with architects on renderings and plans, but the management team was never satisfied with the building’s proposed façade. The executives wrestled for months on color palette and finish selections, never decisively concluding on a winning combination. Hence, management called DesignPoint and designer Sullivan was called back in.

Sullivan met with the lead architect and subsequently created her own set of renderings that incorporated the structural and architectural designs of the building, but she suggested a new set of finish selections. “I had worked with Phoebe before, and I understood their vision and understood the look they wanted to achieve with their properties,” says Sullivan. With Sullivan’s training and experience she quickly proposed several design options, one in particular that management loved. “I knew that Phoebe has a strong brand and legacy and they wanted a traditional look. At the same time they needed to incorporate a modern feel that is popular with senior living, making it feel more homelike and less institutional.” Part of accomplishing this was selecting exterior paint colors for stucco, trims, shutters, and vinyl siding.

That plan was unanimously selected to be the template design for the building’s exterior, a renovation project of approximately 100,000 square feet to be remodeled over a 5-year period.

Phoebe Allentown’s Trexler wing continues with ongoing exterior renovations to be completed in 2016.

DesignPoint works with numerous senior living, assisted living, and personal care homes, skilled nursing and other health care facilities across the United States. Their interior design team has received numerous national and regional awards for senior living design excellence and is a trusted partner with senior living communities in creating beautiful and functional communities for active residents.

DesignPoint is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and works extensively on both regional and national levels. DesignPoint, Inc., is a full service Interior Design & Purchasing Firm with a focus on corporate, hospitality, and senior living facilities, medical offices, and high-end residential interiors. When considering new interior construction or renovations, DesignPoint will provide complete interior architectural space planning and construction documents, and furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) procurement services to make it a successful project. DesignPoint is located at 54 S. Commerce Way, Suite 110, Bethlehem, PA 18017, 610-807-9670 or online at