Dec 14, 2012

Stairway To Progress

In 2008 the WPA steps at Fountain Park had saplings growing from between the stones. My first post on the problem was entitled Stairway To Shame. In addition to blog posts, I also sought greater exposure of the problem from The Morning Call; Eventually, Paul Carpenter wrote a column. The following May I conducted a public meeting at the Faith Baptist Church. Please join us a week from today as we discuss and analyze the new plans, which change the historic nature of our park system. My personal goal is to promote awareness the of the WPA stone structures and the proper maintenance of those landmarks. What aspect of the parks do you want to protect? Allentown has been through many changes in recent years which the average citizen has had little control over, lets stand up for the parks. Last year I began a series of meetings at the public library, again with some publicity from the Morning Call.




The current December bulletin by Friends Of The Parks announces that the group hopes to contribute to the restoration of several of the WPA structures in the coming years.  I am pleased that such a well placed organization has taken a position on such an important issue.

December issue Friends Of The Parks

molovinsky on allentown, and my associates from the Allentown WPA Association,  will also continue  our efforts in regard to these most important symbols of our history and park system.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Has your team contacted the PA Historical Commission? Aren't there grant dollars to help this type of preservation?

michael molovinsky said...

@7:07, although we physically uncovered the long buried Boat Landing, and documented the condition of the various structures, the primary purpose of the group is to promote awareness and encourage maintenance. A formal 501C organization, such as Friends Of The Allentown Parks, is in a much better position to receive grants and work with the park department for implementation.

Anonymous said...

Potential grants would be available only if the city made the stone restoration a priority, and put their own time money and energy behind such a project. With no leadership at the top of the parks department, and only a bare-bones staff on the ground ( most of them seasonally occupied with Lights in the Parkway ) this can't happen.
As this blog has repeatedly pointed out,the city's priorities are badly skewed.

Anonymous said...

Friends of Allentowns Parks is little more than a hollow PR organ. The Director appears to be part time and there are questions regarding her compensation. Is she taking home a regular pay check or not? If so, where does the money come from?
Friends seems to steal MM's best ideas or push goofie ideas of their own like building a " destination" dog park in a flood plain.
I know a lot of people who have volunteer or contributed to Allentown's parks in significant ways over the years. I have yet to meet one single solitary individual involved with Friends of Allentown's Parks.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:27, i print your comment with some hesitation. to my knowledge, the director does not get paid. although i have been skeptical of Friends on this blog in the past, because of their affiliation with the administration, I now perceive it as a vehicle for assisting the park with those projects i consider important.. i will be contributing to their hurricane sandy tree fund. i will endorse their efforts in regard to the WPA structures. if at any time i feel they are not performing as expected, i will also report that on this blog

i printed @9:27's comment because my attitude toward Friends has changed, and some explanation was in order. they have the legality to accept donations, and the unique relationship with the park department to have those donations used as intended. future anonymous comments questioning their intentions will probably not appear.

Anonymous said...

MM -

This is good news! Well done!

No matter what anyone thinks about the Friends of the Parks group, the fact that they recognize the problem will hopefully cause others to call attention to it as well. For this issue to be solved, it will take pressure from many groups across the spectrum.

Thank you for keeping the issue in the forefront, and keep building the momentum.

Despite some of the comments here, this is truly a "step" in the right direction. :)

Anonymous said...

Ever so suddenly these precious stone structures are in desperate need of repair???

Anonymous said...

Friends is not an independent or even semi autonomous voice of advocacy for the parks. For better or for worse,it's a wholly owned subsidiary of the city's parks department.
That friends acknowledged the WPA stone treasures need repair is a step in the right direction as it represents the city acknowledging something needs to be done.
This is a positive first step if in fact we see follow through

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the idea of paving trails to connect all the parks?

Anonymous said...

Call me cynical but I'll believe it why see it.

michael molovinsky said...

a reader asked me, via comment, if i know what happen to the veteran memorial fountain at susquehana and front st.. it sounds familiar, but i do not recall

Ronald Rabenold said...

I have also read your 2 articles on Fairview Cem...Any idea of an online map of the place?...I'm trying to find Strauch's buried in section O. I was there today with no luck. Looks like some homeless are living in one section of it too. Keep up the vigilance...I thank you as well as my ancestors thanks you. Ron Rabenold of Lehighton

michael molovinsky said...

ronald, although your question is off topic, i include it because fairview is such an important part of allentown's history. there rests harry trexler, the leh's, jack mack, max hess senior, and countless other giants of allentown's past. the current operator is very uncooperative with the public and descendants of those buried there. i did drive through the cemetery last week, but did not see evidence of homeless there. i have had no success obtaining a plot plan for the jewish section, made one myself. i was told a fire twenty years ago destroyed many original records.