Aug 31, 2011

Saving the Spring Pond


As a small boy growing up in the twin homes above Lehigh Parkway, I would go down the steep wooded ravine and cross the Robin Hood Bridge. The stone lined spring pond and miniature bridge was just the first in a series of wonderful WPA constructions to explore. Last year, when I organized the reclamation of the Boat Landing, my memory turned to the pond. Although overgrown with several inches of sod, I knew the treasure was still savable.

On May 23, Andrew Kleiner conducted a tour of Lehigh Parkway, there I met Mike Gilbert of the Park Department and pitched the idea of a partial restoration. On May 26th, I posted A Modest Proposal, which outlined my hopes for the pond. On July 24, Kleiner posted Lehigh Parkway:Molovinsky gets his wish. I had no idea my modest proposal was implemented.

Park Director Greg Weitzel has indicated to me that the pond features uncovered will be maintained. Any further clearing will be at the discretion of Mike Gilbert. In our conversation he also stated that there are virtually no funds available for the preservation of the WPA icons.







I will attempt to organize a group and contributions for this most worthy cause. Between the Spring Pond and The Boat Landing there was once a bridge to the island. Wouldn't it be nice if a small boy could go exploring.

reprinted from August 9, 2010

Although it has taken over a year, the meeting will finally occur. Please join me and others next Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 7PM, in the lower level of the Allentown Library.

13 comments:

binzley said...

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
------------- Margaret Mead

Anonymous said...

It never fails to baffle me as to why a City would take so much time and effort installing and maintaining temporary plastic and rubber playgrounds in a beautiful, previously serene park, and not care about historical gems like the WPA projects. What part of responsibility am I missing? The WPA structures may not be everyone's cup of tea, but how hard could it be to clean rocks once a year?

Anonymous said...

One needs to figure out an angle where Butz, Reilly and The Brooks Group make some money on the WPA historical gems. One phone call and money will flow.

michael molovinsky said...

i certainly appreciate my readership, and hope many of you attend the meeting on tuesday, but a note about the wpa effort. although i was a loud critic of the cedar park plan, that battle was fought and lost. any meaningful maintenance of the wpa structures will only occur through the park department. I will not allow my posts on this subject to be dominated by comments critical of the park dept.and city, whose favor i seek on this endeavor.

lady Macbeth said...

I cannot believe it. Molovinsky who has for years been critical of the city now "will not allow my posts on this subject to be dominated by comments critical of the park dept.and city,,,"

If you want readers you should not control the posts. We have enough outlets for non-ctritical and blind support for the bureaucrats!

michael molovinsky said...

lady, i have and will have plenty of posts to express your dissatisfaction with the city. as always, i will print practically anything signed by a verifiable real name. in the absence of that, i'm not going to allow people to anonymously hinder my attempt to preserve these wpa structures by insulting the officials whose cooperation in this matter is required.

binzley said...

MM: It looks like you have got yourself in a sort of dilemma of hypocritical dimensions. You have for years complained about the Morning Call for not putting forth critical information and editorials about the city. You have lambasted "bureaucrats" time and time again. I have called you often on your negative generalizations about "bureaucrats." It seems now that you want something from the "bureaucrats" your views have changed. Is not that the problem? The influential and power elites of the valley effectively curry favor from the "bureaucrats." Now Molovinsky wants to curry their favor and protect the "bureaucrats" from any criticism that Molovinsky may find demeaning.

Gary Ledebur

michael molovinsky said...

i don't see the dilemma at all. i said i will print most anything if they provide their verifiable real name. as for anonymous or pen name insults, they can simply continue on my other posts or somewhere else. my desire is to preserve the structures. this blog is meant as a vehicle for activism, not as a chat room.

Anonymous said...

MM must come to the conclusion that he is never right. Regardless of the endeavor, you need the cooperation of City officials in order to effect change. Permits, approvals, and any public funds if available are all necessary in order to accomplish a task within any city. Allentown is no exception. There are many devoted employees and directors in all areas of the bureaucratic structures, working under the same constrictions as this poor economy allows. It all comes down to priorities, things which must be done vs what they would like to do. People like MM bring to light importance of preserving important historical structures which may be overlooked by current bureaucrats. Isn't that the whole idea behind preserving other national treasures in the USA? In 50 years from now, who will then feel it is important enough to start a movement to unearth and restore the plastic and rubber playground in the Parkway?

Anonymous said...

Doubt you will post this anyway.

Lady MacBeth said it better than I.
All day yesterday I thought about your morning commentary critical of those who see park management as poor or neglectful.

Anonymous said...

Mike-

The conditions at the park are appalling, especially since a trust is in place to maintain these treasures. Am I wrong about the trust? If not, who is ultimately responsible to see to it that the money set aside to maintain the park is used intelligently?


Voice of Reason

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:43, hope today's more productive for you.

michael molovinsky said...

it's my understanding that legally the trust(trexler) is intended to improve the park, as opposed to maintain. however, i believe that there is sufficient flexibility if motivated. the cause is certainly most worthwhile, and hopefully, some motivation can be cultivated.