Jul 5, 2017

Allentown's Treasures Deteriorate


The Allentown Park Department just completed installing 18 concrete pads throughout Lehigh Parkway for the Disc Golf Course. While the starting pads were unnecessary and unsightly, not one $dollar or ounce of cement was applied to the deteriorating WPA structures. Shown above is the top of the double stairway in Lehigh Parkway. While the top landing seen in the photo is in poor condition, the stair landings below are completely crumbling. Water is seeping down through the flagstone landings and undermining the steps themselves.

Unfortunately, it is clear that the current park director has no appreciation for these irreplaceable structures. Her background is completely in recreation, hence the new frisbee launch pads.
One would think that after the adjoining wall collapsed from neglect,  the administration would have realized that some preventative maintenance was long overdue.

These structures were designed in 1928 by a nationally recognized landscape architect hired by Harry Trexler himself.  Although, the Great Depression delayed construction,  they were then built by the WPA in 1935.  They are part of Trexler's legacy, and their neglect is becoming inexcusable.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I'm unfamiliar with this Frisbee Initiative, however I am familiar with the plastic disks that are called Frisbees. I think I threw my first one over 50 years ago, in 1964 at either Trexler Memorial Park or the Parkway. which is where I also rode an innertube in the creek, but I digress.

All we had was grass surfaces then and sneakers, and the Frisbees worked just fine. They went though the air and my dad and I would catch the other's throws. even though he wore shoes, the grass didn't bother him too much.

Now, the City of Allentown is paying for "Frisbee Launch Pads" to be built in the parks? Is there a problem that the modern Air Jordans or Reebok Tennis Shoes need a hard surface to be stood upon in order for the wearer to toss the frisbee ?

I suppose they'll be installing baseball diamonds next as playing on plain grass doesn't work anymore either.

But then, much has changed in Allentown over the years when we could drive through Trexler Memorial Park before they turned to park road into a bike path.. another digression and pet peeve of mine about the parks... along with those who see no value in the various stone structures which were bestowed upon future generations by General Trexler.