Feb 5, 2013

Parkway Tears

Director Harms Lehigh Parkway
February 04, 1993|The Morning Call
To the Editor:

How much longer must park devotees put up with Allentown Park Director Donald Marushak's misuse of evergreen trees, no trespass signs, and wrecking tools to destroy cherished elements of the people's parks?

First Marushak closed off a much-used slope by planting a dense cluster of 60 evergreen trees across its width.

Next, four "No trespass" signs were posted to prohibit access to 30 acres of deciduous woodland with its magnificent understory of many species of plant life. Trespass, a legal term, is defined in a children's encyclopedia as intrusion on private land. The term has no application for restricting passage on public land.

The WPA in the 1930s created a three-acre island by diverting water from the Little Lehigh Creek. The island had remained a source of joy for birders, naturalists, and nondescript strollers. No one foresaw Marushak arriving on the scene with wrecking tools to rip up the bridge, terminating public access to the island. Three masonry piers remain in place. Also remaining are 12 discarded auto tires gathering silt in the small stream.

ALLENTOWN (February 4, 1993)

20 years later......
Most people have long ago forgotten that there was a bridge to the island, although the stone piers still remain, obscured by overgrowth. The curved wall and landing of the Boat Landing, shown in the lower right of the photograph, are buried. In 2009, with help from others who appreciate our treasured parks, I had the privilege to
rescue the steps which lead to the landing. This Spring, in conjunction with Friends of The Parks, I will conduct a tour of current and former WPA sites remaining in Lehigh Parkway.  Michael Molovinsky


PresentAllentownParkAttendee said...

Mike I could actually see tears flowing in any one of Allentown's parks on any given day...

Anonymous said...

MM -

As I walk along the path from the parking lot, the boat landing is on my left, then the piers to the missing bridge. A little further, but on the right side, are a few steps to a flat area in the trees.

Do you know what was once there?

michael molovinsky said...

@2:33, i know the spot, but not the answer. I have no recollection of anything there even in the 1950's. i know one informed old timer i hope to walk the path with me this spring, and perhaps provide an answer.

michael molovinsky said...

presentparkattendee, aka bill villa. your continuous innuendo of inflicting physical pain on me, and others, is a sad commentary on you.

Anonymous said...

I am from the far suburbs and rarely get into Allentown. I happened to get onto Linden St., along the Parkway last week and was horrified to see graffiti on the maintenance building. It looked like it was there for a while. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

The HOLE of uncle Harry's park system has been in tears and falling into disrepair since the arrival of the present king¿ The king does have his meetings with the trutees on how to better use uncle Harry's gift to allentowns public, now the transformational building of industrail BLIGHT¿

This disrepair has a hidden agenda to the local LVRA, soon to be subdevided and developable land that has already started many years ago¿ As for building blight Politicians + Lawyers+Realators and can never forget the kingcave remodeler = some sort of low effort for a maximum amount of cash¿

The Minority Majority will be the ones living in the new and improved blight, for more money than they can afford. The local housing brokers will be the ones making sure the mortgatages are got in the transformational future¿


Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing once again about park neglect. Newcomers have no idea what Lehigh Parkway in particular looked like and once old people like this writer are gone, so will its past. Long before the Lights project, there was not a single electric pole and wires crossing the open meadows in the park. No transformers, no lights and electric boxes permanently nailed to tree trunks, certain to shorten life spans, no electric outlets, and more. Some say more than 50 trees were cut down for the Lights project including about six magnificent Evergreens by the Log and Stone House. The count is open for discussion but for certain trees were downed. Now with the recent storms to emphasize the park's neglect, branches and tree trunks have simply been tossed crushing small shrubs. Gouges in the grasses from the endless vehicle tires off course during the Lights event remain mud.