About five years ago I started advocating for the WPA structures throughout the Allentown park system. Three years ago I organized a group which surveyed the structures in all the parks. At that time, I published a picture of the top wall at the Union Terrace Stairwell, on St. Elmo Street, which showed one stone missing. In the last two years, as you can see from the current picture, several more stones came loose, and mortar is missing from entire stone cap of the structure. In these past five years not one cent has been spent on the stoneworks. Two expensive patterned concrete walkways have just been completed on Trexler Blvd, leading from the west end to Cedar Park. The new park director, John Mikowychok, informs me that about $30 thousand has been allocated to repairs on the Fountain Park Stairwell. Unfortunately, over half the funds will be used for a consulting engineer. Needless to say, the park would be better off with all the money used for a stone mason. No disrespect to the engineer, but these structures are way beyond his paygrade; Just fix the things like they were.
This Saturday at 1:00pm, I will lead a tour of the WPA Structures in Lehigh Parkway. This is a repeat of last year's tour. I hope some city officials take the opportunity to join us and learn about these irreplaceable structures, with which they have been entrusted.