Oct 26, 2009
Lost Treasures of Allentown
The Boat Landing Project has been completed. A total of nine different people worked on two separate occasions to clear away almost forty years of neglect and reveal this gift from the WPA. Although everybody deserves recognition, without the energy and enthusiasm of Chris Casey, the project could not have been completed. Let me elaborate on "completed." The landing at the bottom of the steps has been completely cleared.
The remainder of the landing, which is narrower and both to the right and left of the stairway area, remains unreclaimed. The photographer in me would have liked to document our accomplishment with a picture taken from the Island, which would provide the best vantage point. Before the Landing became abandoned, the Island was also a destination. A walk bridge took park visitors to a well kept spot, which sported benches and picnic tables. We lost the bridge and Island about the same time the Landing was discarded.
In 1981, long time Park Czar Donald Marushak, wrote a history of General Trexler. By 1985 he had pursauded the Trust to petition the Court to tear down the Trexler Greenhouse. The petition was necessary because Trexler's will specifically protected and funded the perpetual care of that treasure. He promoted this scheme to save money, but the same year he spent $750,000 to plant the riparian buffer in the southeast corner of Trexler Park. Ironically, that same year, Longwood Gardens built their new greenhouse for $750,000. It was during Marushak's tenure that both the Boat Landing and Island were abandoned. He is also responsible for not replacing the water edge willow trees and starting the practice of indiscriminately planting trees in the destinated open spaces.
Now, under another Park Director, the open space at Cedar Park will be replaced with multiple paved walkways. Perhaps in the future, another writer will take the current Trexler Trust to task for their lack of stewardship.