Oct 4, 2009

Our History Discarded

One of General Trexler's first land donations to the City of Allentown was some acreage along the Little Lehigh. He wanted to make sure that the quality of the water supply for the city was protected. The above photograph shows one of first things built in Lehigh Parkway. Please note that the retaining walls on the park entrance road have not yet been built. On the previous post Anon 8:49 PM asks;
Has the City showed you the complete inventory and locations of all the WPA sites?
Not to sound too presumptuous, but I believe the current Administration is learning about the WPA sites from this blog, starting with Stairway To Shame. (Stairway To Shame compiled from two posts written in Sept. 2008) The photo shows the spring pond and ornamental bridge. Although water still comes from the spring pipe, residents today would have a hard time locating this image, although it's in a very prominent place.

The spring pond has been allowed to become overgrown, but the stones lining the pond are for the most part still there, buried under a few inches of dirt and tall grass.

Likewise the bridge is intact, but obscured by high grass. Now, I'm not a fan of the low mowing, high mowing and riparian buffer zones. Giving the advocates of those programs the benefit of the doubt, there can be no justification, whatsoever, for letting our historic treasures be overgrown and buried. The spring pond and bridge is right next to the parking lot in Robin Hood, the City now calls it Hole Number One of the Disc Golf Course. Hopefully the City will have enough consideration for General Trexler to weedwack the bridge, so that a father and his children can have a moment like the one shown at the top of this post.


Bill said...

I remember that area from visiting there as a kid in the 70's. It was already overgrown then, but it looks in really bad shape now. These things are worth saving. I may be around next Saturday, and if so I will join your group down in Robin Hood Glenn.

Anonymous said...

Has the City showed you the complete inventory and locations of all the WPA sites?

This may be very true and not because current city officials aren't informed but because they are too young. Have met many who don't know who Joe Dadonna is.
The 1980s to today's teens are ancient history. Ask them.

Anonymous said...

A mayor who grew up somewhere else such as the city's current couldn't possibly know how the WPA era parks looked almost 80 years ago.
Such dialogue tends to be passed from one generation to the next. We've met senior park goers who tell us incredible stories of the city's parks and old-time events that use to take place, including Mr. Molovinsky's wonderful glimpse into the 50s Romper Days.
If a mayor is worried about his budgets and police and fire contracts, it seems only fair that he wouldn't have time to study WPA park data.
We support Molovinsky's park restoration projects and will be at the park this Sat. 10 a.m.

Anonymous said...

We know where the bridge is now that you've mentioned the disc golf. Yes, at sometimes during the past 20 years that bridge has been re-discovered by walkers but
now is all weeds.

michael molovinsky said...

i must clarify that these last two posts concern different structures in different locations. the pond and miniature bridge shown here are located adjoining the main parking lot at Robin Hood off the main park entrance. the "boat landing" referred to in the previous post is located at the end of the park near the regency tower apartment house. the cleanup this coming saturday, oct. 10, will take place at the "boat landing".

Anonymous said...

Hope the next clean up is that little bridge by the Robin Hood parking lot. We'll help with that too.

Anonymous said...

I strongly support the stream side buffer plan AND support the restoration of the important WPA locations you have shown. Personally, I don't see any conflict with doing the right thing for the environment and the parks WPA history. They should go hand and hand. Anyway, does the city have a list of WPA sites?

Anonymous said...

MM, good luck with these projects. I'm sorry I can't make Saturday but if you do another effort like this I'll do all I can to be there.

While you and I have disagreed about the Conservancy, there is no disagreement here. Riparian buffers don't belong in areas like this.

The Banker

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:49, i don't know if the city has a list of the WPA sites or not. i think i have pretty much demonstrated that at any rate, they have not been good stewards.

Anonymous said...

Little Bridge That Should.

We do not for a moment believe city hall is calling this little bridge area overgrowth Riparian buffers. Fool us once...
Just an excuse to not maintain city property that begs for restoration. That little bridge should be uncovered and treasured, not allowed to disintegrate.