Apr 27, 2013

Kids Of The Parkway

There were hundreds of us, we were the baby boomers. The neighborhood was built for returning GI's, and the streets were named after the planes of WW2; Liberator, Catalina, and Coronado. The twin homes were wedged between Jefferson Street and the southern ridge above Lehigh Parkway. Now called Little Lehigh Manor, we knew it simply as Lehigh Parkway, and we had our own school.

Historical Fact:
The original part of the school building contained four classrooms, a teacher's room, and a health room. It replaced the Catalina Avenue School which existed in a home near the present site. Lehigh Parkway received national publicity because it was being build as a result of the new neighborhood. Thus, the "Neighborhood School Concept" was born.

Because of the school and the park, the neighborhood was really self contained. The Lehigh SuperMarket on Lehigh Street was within walking distance. Soon, FoodFair would build their first large Supermarket, also on Lehigh Street, which was even closer. Today it has developed into The Parkway Shopping Center. We kids enjoyed our own Halloween Parade and Easter Egg hunt.

Because there were so many of us, Parkway Elementary only went through 2nd. grade. We would take the bus to Jefferson Elementary for grades 3 through 6.

Historical Fact:
Jefferson Elementary used to be a high school, and for years, it had separate girls' and boys' entrances. These entrances were turned into windows at some point, but the exterior of the building still has the two entrances marked.

These were some of my friends from 3th grade. They all lived in the Parkway. Not only were they all boys, only yesterday, 56 years later, I learned the name of the girl I'm holding hands with in the May Day picture above.

Historical Facts from Allentown School District Website

ADDENDUM: other Parkway Neighborhood Posts,
Time Capsule
Allentown On My Mind

reprinted from January 2010

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