Sep 28, 2009
The General Gently Weeps
General Trexler died in an automobile accident in 1933; had he lived a few more years and seen the completed WPA Projects throughout Allentown's Parks, it would have made him very happy. How he would feel about the go-kart track at Cedar Park is another question.
The Administration does not refer to these macadam paths as a go-kart course or an event midway, but rather as paths to facilitate multi-generational activities. Fortunately in the past, the Trexler Trust would have never tolerated the park being destroyed in this fashion, much less be paying for it.
Unfortunately the current Trustee's are minions of the Administration, which wants a recreational theme-park with a little nature in it. Contrast the $hundreds of thousands$ to be spent on this blacktop, with not one dollar allocated for the iconic WPA stonework.*
Currently the walls and structures in Lehigh Parkway are probably the most seen and used WPA structures.
However, without a doubt, the constructions in Fountain Park are both the most monumental and historically important.
The massive stairway rises off of Martin Luther King Drive and climbs up to Union Street.
The construction continues on the other side of Union Street with a colossal retaining wall which is several blocks long.
Contained in this wall is a tunnel leading to another mammoth stairwell which climbs up to Spring Garden Street.
These steps were used over the years by thousands of Mack Truck workers going to the factory on S. 10th Street, and thousands of kids going into the park to play.
*The Park Department is seeking bids to repair the WPA stonework. At this time no money has been budgeted for this purpose, but the go-kart track is fully funded.
Several photographs are courtesy of Andrew Kleiner.