Sep 27, 2011

The Island of Lehigh Parkway

The scene above shows the island in the Little Lehigh, with the boatlanding in the background. Please note the bridge leading to the island. The island, bridge and landing were created by the WPA. Although the island still remains, as does it's stone piers, the bridge is long gone. The boatlanding, although buried, was partially recovered last year by myself and a number of volunteers. The island, as remaining, has lost it's shape and has been enlarged from deposits carried by the Little Lehigh. The island was created by the WPA in the mid 1930's, by excavating a channel on it's south side. It is the intention of the park department to eventually allow mother nature to fill in the channel. Park philosophy has changed from manicured to al natural. It is my hope that the excavated portion of the boatlanding will be retained. In regard to yesterday's post on Irving Park, I have confirmed that one of the WPA stone stairwells was indeed removed this year by the city. I hope that is not their version of a fix. It clearly indicates the need for the WPA Support Group. Click photo to enlarge.

The above photograph courtesy of Frank Whelan


  1. Do you mean a stone stairway in
    Irving Park, not Lehigh?

    Just imagine if this is Weitzel's
    plan for all the parks. Remove the problem. Out of sight...Shame on him. There's still an old unused empty electric meter on a 2 x 4 and an old transformer in Lehigh Parkway. These items easily could be removed by Weitzel. They're an eyesore.

  2. a comment from yesterday's post, lesson at dieruff

    MM, you may have noticed the mid-block steps along the Jerome St side of the park were riped out last year. A real shame.

    an resident familiar with the east side confirmed that these steps were indeed removed. i'm not personally familiar with these particular structures and irving park. mark thomas, a member of the WPA Support Group, diagramed and photographed the remaining steps.

  3. MM -

    A bit off topic but I'm assuming that the water tower in the background is at the old Lebanon Chemical plant?

  4. patrick, i assumed it was the reichard fertilizer plant, which was on the current martin luther king road and is the property now for sale. it was serviced by the barber quarry railroad spur. (perhaps it was acquired by lebanon chemical)

  5. RE: Lebanon Chemical / Reichard Fertilizer.
    I believe those were the same property. I worked there a few times in the late '80s. I remember the impressive old stone house by the creek which served as an office. I see on Google maps that it appears to have been torn down. It's a shame, they don't build like that anymore.