Jan 18, 2010

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


Anonymous said...

These kids look like real trouble. Who are they and what became of them?

Polish Eddie said...

What a nice presentation. I too remember my boyhood and the safety patrol on the corners. Thanks for the memories.

ironpigpen said...

I think one of them ended up with a blog.

Jeff Chirico said...

Interesting posting. I've lived on Liberator for the past three years. I enjoy hearing about this neighborhood's beginnings. I think it's still a great place to live and raise children in Allentown.

michael molovinsky said...

jeff, i agree, it IS a great neighborhood.

michael molovinsky said...

jeff, i recall your involvement on some great documentaries. actually the neighborhood parallels allentown's golden era in many way. mack's 5C was right there, along with general electric, etc. etc. you're welcome to contact me back channel, because unfortunately, the historical material is starting to wane
p.s. most houses on liberator cost $5,700 when new in 1944

Susan said...

In 1947, my parents paid $8,000 for their home on Coronado St. They sold it in the mid 80's. I have many fond memories of Lehigh Parkway. Anyone remember when they flooded the field behind the school for ice skating? Susie D.

Michael said...

Thanks for this blog. I grew up on 1506 Liberator ave. We had a blast as kids, we had the parkway to build forts and go sledding. Played sports all day long. Also had great games of tag through the neighborhood and during Halloween we went tick tacking ..sorry if we hit your house ..Oh and would walk over to the shopping center play video games at the bowling alley....go buy cigarettes at the airport for 85cents at the time to impress the older kids hanging out at the school . Wow thanks for bringing back great memories

Michael said...
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