Jan 1, 2010

Parkway Plundered


The Allentown Park system has been plundered and neglected for years, by one administration after another. No administration, or park director, has been as clueless as the current crew. Now, for the first time, funds are available (from the Trexler Trust) which could be used to save the important icons, instead of being squandered on recreational schemes. Over the years we have lost so many irreplaceable treasures. Imagine a city which tore down a tropical greenhouse; we did in Trexler Park. Recently, some hard working volunteers helped me dig up the steps leading down to the boat landing. Shown above is the curved portion of the landing which is still covered by earth and trees, and the island. Observe the beauty and tranquility we lost. The stone piers, the difficult and expensive portion for a bridge, are still in place. Imagine a Park Director with the vision to replace that little wooden bridge to the island, instead of spending millions digging up the parks for more bike paths.

Anybody, anytime, can make a macadam path and place an exercise station purchased from a catalog. The little stone bridge, built in 1934 and decaying near the Robin Hood parking lot, can never be duplicated. On January 13th, 7:00 at the Allentown Library, the Park Department is having a public meeting about building more bike paths to connect the parks together. Please join me, and encourage the City to instead preserve our heritage.

photo of landing and island: courtesy of Dan Doyle Collection

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Molovinsky, for bringing your concerns and love for Allentowns parks to the attention of the public. I think it would be fair to guess that you and I come from very different political perspectives, and yet share not all, but very many concerns about the way this great resource is being treated. I no longer live in Allentown, but I have for over 50 years. I will be at the meeting.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that over 500 people already supported the Trails Plan.

navy man said...

no new projects until we take care of what we got. with all the neglect and short staffed that will take some time even with a top notch man in charge.

Anonymous said...

This is the danger of hiring people to work in Allentown who are not natives to this city. Our mayor (Chicago) and the parks director (Lewisburg, PA ?), are just one of many examples. They have no institutional (or respect) memory of the high standards and things that made Allentown a great and wonderful city, nor do they have the desire to restore and rehabilitate these structures to their former state. They are really lno different than Martians who have landed in Allentown in a spaceship.
The real blame lies with those Allentonians, born and raised here, who are in positions of authority and responsibility to do something about this, but don't. Trexler Trust members are a prime example.

Anon.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 6:23, please scroll down three posts to Cheap Tricks by Park Dept. to see how they got the "500"

Chris Casey said...

Great picture Mike! You can really see how the site was allowed to go to hell. I hope this spring we can possibly get organized to clean them up a bit! When was the landing picture taken?

michael molovinsky said...

chris, my guess is the mid 40's. as you may have noticed, the island has grown in length considerably. i can understand the deposits at the far end because of the current, but am somewhat puzzled at the boat landing end. perhaps the island was actually constructed by the WPA?

Anonymous said...

Natives, nonlocals, I don't think it makes a difference. Good management, where ever they are from would do good work. Poor msnagement won't. MM, you said yourself that while it's bad right now, this neglects been going on for years and years. Andrew Kleiner's site also shows years and years of decline of some parts of the parks. Where the heck is the Trexler Trust? The answer aint local or not, the answer is good leadership,good management. Where ever!

Anonymous said...

Check out today's Morning Call. The Little Lehigh Parkway won't be very nice with no stream running thru it. To hell with the stream, lets sell water, lets develip. Thats the ticket! Go Lehigh County, go Allentown! Go Planning Authority! Lets pave it all.

ironpigpen said...

To hell with heritage.

Go Bulldozers!

PS - Carpetbaggers are people, too, so let's all be sensitive to their feelings.

ironpigpen said...

Oh yeah -

And be respectful and supportive of, if not downright subservient to, all political and / or career aspirations of said carpetbaggers.

Anonymous said...

The Parkway and Cedar Beach won't be so nice when all the water is pumped out of the creeks. Oh well,maybe the creek bed can be paved for a trail.

Thomas Snow said...

The problem with the parks as you ably point our Mr. Molovinski is the fact that they are government parks. Government parks, run by bureaucrats, are as bad as government schools, socialized medicine and public welfare. We need to seize the opportunity of the recession and privatize our parks. America was built by capitalism and the market. End Allentown park socialism now. Right on MM!

michael molovinsky said...

mr. snow, thanks for your comment, but i'd prefer the parks to stay in city hands; but hands that practice good stewardship and truly care about both the city and parks, not their resumes

ironpigpen said...

Mr. Snow,

Capitalism is bad.

Um-kay.

Allentowh Democrat said...

Mr. Iron Pig, it's not just the carpet baggers? Trexler Trust, Friends of the Park, Wildlands, natives on Allentown City Council, Allentown conservation groups like the EAB, past administrations, business leaders, lots of blame to go around and going downhill fast. These parks and this towns is in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Allentown Democrat is right - much blame to go around. I am most disappointed with the Trexler Trust. Of any of the groups mentioned they are the ones who should never forget the heritage of the park system, and they have the 'power of the purse' to protect that heritage.

The Banker

Andrew Kleiner said...

Micheal,

That "branch" of the creek was a construction so while the island itself was there, it wasn't an island. Because of this, the water level continues to decline and erosion continues to increase.