Nov 18, 2012

Scrapping Our History

While surveying the progress of the 15th Street Bridge Project, our staff photographer made a depressing discovery. There, lying in the scrap metal area of the City Recycling Yard, was a former icon of Allentown. Once, in our not so distant past, these distinctive light stands symbolized the All American City. This particular light standard, and it's base, were in excellent condition. At one time these lights were so cherished that prominent citizens would use their influence to obtain one for their yard. One can be seen on the northwest corner of Ott and Parkway Boulevard, once home of a well known cardiologist. While the larger version, outfitted with flower bowls, lit Hamilton Street and 7th Street, smaller models illuminated the West End. When Allentown made it's recent plans for it's 250th anniversary, our meager sense of history was apparent. The best our imported mayor could think of was hiring someone to write new lyrics to the Billy Joel song. This city has a proud history, but it will take an archeologist to find remnants of it in the future.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just scrapped them?
No attempt to market or auction them off?

Anonymous said...

Mike,

This might have come from West Park. One of the standards was damaged by a falling tree. I have no update on what has happened to it since.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

scott, to me, this particular one showed no sign of damage, that's why i photographed it. it is complete, except for the wiring access plate at bottom, globe and it's finial

Anonymous said...

Mike,
Always loved that light standard in Dr. Donmoyer's backyard - especially at the holidays when he would attach the old fashioned holiday bells to the pole. The bells were either originals or replicas of Allentown's great downtown holiday decorations that used to adorn the "acorn" fixtures downtown, along with the evergreen cuttings in the flower bowls. I believe the house is at Ott and Parkway Boulevard, not Trexler Boulevard.
Tony Hanna

Anonymous said...

As a native Allentownian who has moved South, I feel sad at seeing there is not much left to visit or show my kids..for what it's worth I think I save the Mayor the trouble..below is my contribution:

Well we're living here in Bombed-out-town.
Where they're tearing all our history down.
And the Mayor here is doing fine
Fooling the fools
and drinking his wine

Well our father fought the Second World War
but their Allentown is no more
Took our Mothers for strawberry Pie
Sneeked a kiss
At Hess's gone by.
And we're living here in Bombed-out-town.
I leave the rest to others...

michael molovinsky said...

former allentonian from 3:02, glad for your visit to allentown's encyclopedia, but others please do not add to the lyric, or provide your own, it will not appear. this blog, as a general rule, does not accommodate contests, challenges, questions or chats in the comment section; otherwise, your opinion is most welcome.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is simply just astonishing, MM. Photographic proof that King Edwin's li service to Allentown's history is just that - lip service.

Anonymous said...

MM, do some investigation into the streetlights on 7th street and the numorous conflicts, misappropreation of federal monies and the people in the Mack building responsible please?

michael molovinsky said...

@7:59, this blog over the years has documented the enormous cost of the slogan Gateway. the bricks and sidewalk have been reconfigured three times since 1994. the streetlights have been replaced three times also, the last time because the height was wrong. if there's any consolation, the current manager, pete lewnes, is producing a much better return on the dollars.

Anonymous said...

See in the city without limits, nothing old tarnished smart beautiful needs to be treasured. Look at the Parkway.

Anonymous said...

10:00 P.M. A nonprofit near the county's government center 20 years ago held a fundraiser. Folks purchased personalized bricks placed along S. 7th Street after being told the bricks would be there for
decades.

Anonymous said...

Does not surprise me one bit. Saddens me, but does not surprise me.

Anonymous said...

Next icon to go is the Covered Bridge. It looks like hell and nobody seems to care.
Why can the T Trust twist their arm to take care of the parks treasures? If not them who?

Anonymous said...

City Without Limits is better than Rediscover Allentown.

Those folks that left are not coming back. No way. No how. Time to preserve the history and invite a new group in to reinvent the bombed out parts.