Sep 6, 2011

Works Progress Administration Meeting

Tonight is the meeting on Allentown's iconic WPA structures. When I first began this project three years ago, the steps leading from Union Street to Spring Garden were overgrown with weeds and saplings. My persistent, annoying blogging on the subject caught the attention of then opinion page editor Glenn Kranzley and columnist Paul Carpenter. The publicity they generated resulted in the city cleaning up those steps. My next target was what I called the boat landing. As a boy I had often played at that site. Long buried, it was now the step to nowhere.
Readers of this blog, on two separate weekends, succeeded in digging out the steps and the portion of the landing at the bottom on the steps. Blogger Chris Casey provided the lion's share of manpower in this accomplishment. The remainder of the landing was lost to large trees which grew over a period of forty years. There has been some speculation that my independent demeanor and blunt writing has alienated people, both at City Hall and The Morning Call. Although probably true, the merits of the projects stand on their own.
I managed to get the miniature bridge and spring pond cleared by appealing directly to Mike Gilbert, who is in charge of the watershed for the Park Department. I have been in communication with Park Director Greg Weitzel about tonight's meeting. Yesterday, I received a phone call from a women in her late 80's, whose father worked on the Lawrence Street steps. I believe a worthwhile future project would be to chronicle about those who did the labor; However, it's first necessary to insure that the fruits of that labor are preserved. Please join me this evening, so that I may prevail upon City Hall that a large number of our citizens hold these structures invaluable.

The meeting is at 7:00PM this evening in the lower level of the Allentown Library


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the National Trust be interested in this project? It seems a perfect match for their mission.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I missed the mcall article and as a result missed the meeting at the Library. I wish to bring to your attention that I participate in a Saturday morning running/walking group organized by Full Circle Training that meets every Saturday at 9am at the base of the stairs and runs various routes encompassing the surrounding hills/streets. This group has been growing in number (kids, families, professionals from all over the LV) over the past couple of years and there is consensus to support restoration of the Stairs and stone wall. We would be interested possibly in helping organize some type of fundraiser event (eg. a race) to help generate funds for this project.
Best regards,
Dave Wall

michael molovinsky said...

dave, that would be wonderful. our main mission is to alter the priority of the park department and trexler trust to fund the maintenance of these structure. however, we also discussed fundraising as a matching vehicle to encourage the city in this direction. perhaps you could send another comment with your email address, (which i will not publish), but i will contact you privately. michael molovinsky