Oct 6, 2015

Allentown's WPA Watchmen

Being a self appointed watchman over Allentown's WPA structures is an act in frustration. Since I started posting about the neglect of the structures in 2008, I have seen nothing of substance done. Actually, besides the steps at Irving Park being rebuilt, I have seen nothing done at all. While rebuilding that small staircase was positive, many negatives occurred in the meantime. The meantime has been over seven years. Also in the meantime, another set of steps were removed from Irving Park. The staircase at Union Terrace is deteriorating to the point where that structure is in jeopardy. The repair to a remaining staircase at Irving was done with a $25,000 grant from the Trexler Trust. In the last seven years, the park department's budget has been over $25 million dollars. The playground at Cedar Beach cost $1 million. Pawlowski has rejected my offer to be a liaison on behalf of the WPA structures. I'm pictured above standing over the former WPA wall, after it collapsed this summer, closing Lehigh Parkway's classic entrance. This city's history and future are tied to our park system and other quality of life issues, not just some private/public new buildings. I know there's no big money or national attention to be gained in fixing an old wall, but we have a responsibility to the things which made this city unique.


Anonymous said...

Your vigilance continues to give this observer some hope.
Thank you for all you had done.

Anonymous said...


Can you do a post on Bogert's Bridge, which is perhaps the most iconic 'thing' Allentown. Last time I drove by, it looked in horrible disrepair, paint peeling, and a real eyesore. What's the status of this bridge? thanks

Anonymous said...

You fight the good fight but you aren't going to accomplish anything with this mayor, an out of town parks director who knows nothing about infrastructure maintenance and a sleepy inside hire to replace the retiring sleepy planning director.

I don't share the love of the structures as you do but I am cognizant of the fact that if you don't spend money to keep them in shape, it costs a lot more money to rehab them when they fall completely down.

Anonymous said...

Just viewing the descusst on your face looking upon this destruction of public property¿!($ If you or I or most anyone would destroy such a icon, not only would we be resposible for fixing it we would be jailed¿!($

I am sure allentowns engineering department has some reasoning put to print as to why the overlay of ashalt to the concrete water channel was not the cause¿!($
There are two different impervious materials, putting a bandaid on as a permenent fix is a temperary fix for a perminant problem¿!($
This is the very same situation faceing the demografics of allentown ofcourse except the area were the circus sticks have placed circus props on allentowns commons balcony's¿ !($

MM I have pictures from multifaceted angles and cause could have been a engineered push to help destruction along in progress?

patent pending

Dreaming of Justice said...

OK...here are some likely futile ideas.

Can suit be brought on the city for creating a public nuisance or a danger to the public in allowing these structures to fall into disrepair. There are so many of these structures falling apart at the same time. Someone is going to get hurt-eventually. A wall will fall on someone, someone will trip down a crumbling stairway. This is past ridiculous.

To the poster who asked about Bogert's Bridge: yes it still looks horrible. yes the paint is still peeling. Yes the floor of the bridge is sagging and looks treacherous. You also can't access the Little Lehigh because of the weeds. Every park I have been to in this sad little city is woebegone.

Dreaming of Justice said...

And PS everyone: Why is it up to Mike to *do* anything..feel free to engage City Hall. Maybe we need to complain loudly as individuals. The City has marginalized Mike and feels smug about it.

michael molovinsky said...

dreaming @3:27, i agree that pawlowski and company has tried to minimize me, thus no official acknowledgement of my work on the wpa etc. however, hard as they may try, this blog is widely read, and widely perceived for the reality it portrays. the readership includes all who govern us, on all levels, the local media, and of course the top floor at city hall.

Bill said...

Well said, there is no regard for our historic legacy here in the City without Limits