May 1, 2012

The Gems of Allentown

The press release announcing Weitzel's departure, describes the combining of Allentown's Park and Recreation Departments as an accomplishment; It was of course a disaster. Weitzel, with a background in recreation, turned some of the parks into an overused playground, while completely ignoring others. The combining of the positions, while sacrificing the historical park system, saved the city no money;Pawlowski meanwhile created a host of new positions at the top level of his administration. Unfortunately, the traditional guardian and benefactor of the park system, the Trexler Trust, became dominated by Pawlowski sycophants. The current major plan for the park system's future centers on cycling, creating a network of interlinking paths between the parks. With the exception of myself and a few others, there are no defenders for the historical system, what were the Gems of Allentown. Pawlowski has politicized the parks, like everything else. The Friends of the Parks, are in reality, friends of Pawlowski. When I, with appreciated help, dug up the buried Boat Landing  in the Parkway, neither Pawlowski or Weitzel had known it ever existed, nor did they care. The Morning Call never ran a story on the subject; A WPA built structure buried for over 40 years by a former Park Director. Let us hope that Pawlowski now hires someone with some appreciation of our classic park system.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Let us hope that Pawlowski now hires someone with some appreciation of our classic park system."
Sounds like a good dream, but what do you suppose the chances are?
This administrations arrogance is boundless.
Their interests lie elsewhere.
All in all, these are sad times for AllInTown.

Anonymous said...

Weren't there working lights at the top of those two tall pillars? Anyone who visits this park on a regular basis knows you are responsible for this new repair work being done. This new project looks like the real deal and we have you to thank.

michael molovinsky said...

@7:09, there was some money budgeted for the entrance wall leading into lehigh parkway before i started the wpa support group (next meeting june 5) it's an inadequate amount, and no other money has been allotted for all the other wpa necessary repairs. i will be posting in the near future specifically on the lehigh parkway wall problem. i do not have memory or knowledge of lights on the pillars.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful opportunity for Chairman Pawlowski to get things right in terms of creating a genuine Physical Culture program for the park system that sincerely produce stuff that really matters in the City With No (Spending) Limits ...

... such as homegrown players for the magnificent PALACE of SPORT --- guaranteed to be more spectacular than ever now that the published price tag has reached $ 220.0 million dollars!

I'm sure local commentator JON GEETING would do nothing but agree.

Shaibu.

VIKTOR TIKHONOV

Anonymous said...

MM -

The saddest part of the MC story on Weitzel was when he claimed the Rose Garden was in such a state of disrepair before he fixed it.

There was a time in Allentown when politicians and their appointees would not dare to make such a frivilous statement.

However, that was also when there was a local newspaper whose reporters had actual knowledge about the area who would quickly question - and challenge - such a comment.

michael molovinsky said...

with the exception of some of the rose trestles which had seen better days, the rose garden was in fine condition. the added brick walkways changed the atmosphere of the garden, although i suppose it does make the garden more in compliance with ADA. the lilly ponds were degraded by the work, with the water flow now stagnant. the reporter who did the article is new to town, and certainly did take the city press release as factual.

Anonymous said...

The rose garden and new playground are great. Parks should be enjoyed by people.

Anonymous said...

4:12 -

Agreed, and they were being enjoyed by people long before Pawlowski and Weitzel foot in the city.

The new playground is overbuilt and in the wrong location. While other playgrounds used by residents throughout the city are neglected, too much was spent on one location. A "destination playground" might look great on a politician's (or park director's) resume, but it was done at the expense of other parks that continue to degrade (as MM has documented on this blog).

The Rose Garden was always a jewel. The "improvements" were actually part of a larger plan to commercialize and charge people for access to it. That's hardly people friendly.

Thankfully, public outcry from MM and others kept those aspects from happening.