Sep 2, 2009
An Unauthorized Interview
There is a nice little authorized interview with Greg Weitzel, Director of Parks, on Andrew Kleiner's blog. (www.rememberkleiner.blogspot.com) Here is an unauthorized one, maybe even worse. This morning at the Rose Garden, after Weitzel generously afforded me some time, he asked if our conversation would be on my blog, I made a gesture indicating it would not. Although I meant my answer at the time, as I drove back to the bunker where this blog is created, his words kept repeating in my reluctant mind. I say reluctant, because it was my intention to decompress for a few days with my historic type postings on Allentown's better days. Upon reflection, I found Weitzel's words need some discussion; maybe sort of an unsolicited reality check for him and a flag for us.
Weitzel claimed that the Rose Garden neighbors are delighted with the improvements in the garden, and that their property value will increase because of it. He stated he can prove property values go up with improved parks, citing several studies. MR. WEITZEL, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THE ALLENTOWN ROSE GARDEN WAS MAGNIFICENT, AND YOU COULD NEVER IMPROVE ON IT. It was my hope, and all of us who rallied to defend this gem of Allentown, that your plans didn't destroy the classic ambience that people have been coming to admire for 80 years. Please try to understand that any study or statistic you could cite does not apply to Allentown's Rose Garden, and it's surrounding beautiful neighborhood. It makes me very nervous that you cannot differentiate between the iconic Allentown Park System and the generalizations citied in your college textbook. Do yourself a favor, and don't tell the neighbors that you have improved their property values, you will only peeve them off.