Apr 18, 2012

Pushing Pawlowski Back

I grew on Liberator Avenue. Liberator and Catalina Avenues, and Coronado Street, were named for Vultee-Consolidated WW2 planes, and are next to the airport built as part of the war effort. Vultee Street was built to connect the hangers with the Mack 5C plant, which was given over to Vultee-Consolidated for plane part manufacturing during the war. Vultee Street was the runway, and Lehigh Street would be closed off if a plane was landing. Today, this small airport now known as Queen City, has been under relentless threat by Mayor Ed Pawlowski, now a member of the Lehigh Valley Airport Authority. This past Tuesday, fellow board members started pushing back against Pawlowski.
"You're not the mayor of the Lehigh Valley International Airport." board member Frank Kovacs to Pawlowski
The board voted to build a new taxiway, indicating there's not much consensus to sell the airport, which has been Pawlowski's objective. Pawlowski wants to add to Allentown's real estate glut, for a short sighted tax gain. Matt Assad, from The Morning Call, wrote an excellent article explaining the arguments to both sell and keep Queen City. He also provides quotes of the tense discussion between board members and Pawlowski. This blogger is not surprised by Pawlowski's position, but questions Don Cunningham's judgement in appointing him to the Authority.

9 comments:

Bill said...

Taking flying lessons at Queen City, flew there today. Queen City is a major asset to our community, and it is not Ed's to sell. Happy to hear that the rest of the Board is pushing back. We need to keep Queen City as the jewel that has been since it was when Convair field was provided to the city as a municipal airport as war surplus property.

Anonymous said...

How is this a "major" asset? I've lived in the city for 23 years and have never used the Queen City airport. Most people will never use it. Most people don't own the private planes that fly out of it.

If it's an asset, it is minor compared to what it could be with mixed-use development. That would be a major asset.

Anonymous said...

new development is not needed there.
The existing infrastructure is crumbling.
And being ignored.
Which crony will shovel the profits from this "asset"into their private bank account?

michael molovinsky said...

@9:42, every facet of real estate is overbuilt on the southside. southmall has underperformed for years, with a former department store now a flea market. foundations remain near mack blvd,, of houses that were never completed.

Anonymous said...

@MM

That does not defeat the original claim that the QSA is not a major asset. Everything on the South Side is crumbling. If it was a major money maker, I'd give pause. But it's not, and we don't need it.

Anonymous said...

"Everything on the South Side is crumbling. If it was a major money maker, I'd give pause. But it's not, and we don't need it."
the royal "we"?
Who don't need it?
Why is it crumbling?
The same reason all the latest city projects are destined to crumble?

Anonymous said...

Mike you have access to a world of photographic history of Allentown. Are there any videos of the period you're talking about here? Actual video footage of planes landing on Vultee Street?

michael molovinsky said...

@4:38, not that i'm aware of, though I have seen photos of ww2 planes at the hanger area during the war. in the late 1950's, the city permitted vultee to be used for drag races for a short period.

Anonymous said...

Simple fact is that Queen City is a safety outlet for LVIA and a diverter of private and business planes away from the big field.
What will Allentown get if it 'develops' QCA? Another bunch of warehouses that employ more computerized forklifts than human beings. An you can be sure he'll offer 10-year tax free living to attract them.