Mar 23, 2015
An Open Letter To Lindsay Taylor, Allentown Park Director, Part 1
Unfortunately, the proper emphasis has not been applied in recent years to the iconic park system. I'm sure like your two predecessors, you have already been approached by the Wildlands Conservancy. Pictured above is the former Robin Hood Dam. Your immediate predecessor agreed to its demolition by the Wildlands Conservancy, even before he ever saw the little dam. Although you will now never be able to experience its beauty and sound, you may see its broken pieces, they are piled around the stone piers of the companion Robin Hood Bridge. That broken rubble ruins the former beauty of the piers, which rose straight up out of the water. To those of us with any respect for beauty and history, it was adding insult to injury. Although the dam was only 12 inches high, and no real barrier to fish, the Wildlands Conservancy got its way. As a local historian and advocate for the WPA structures, it saddens me to inform you that despite the prominence of the structures in our parks, not one dollar has been spent on the stone maintenance in years. Major park policy has pretty much been relinquished to the Wildlands Conservancy's agenda, removing historical dams and blocking the view and access to the streams with riparian buffers. The former Fish Hatchery Dam was built directly by Trexler. The Robin Hood Bridge and Dam were the last WPA projects in Allentown. I have the sketch plans of those structures, they were the pride of the city when completed in 1941.
It is my hope that you decide to revive the great tradition of Allentown parks, instead of just settling for a Certificate Of Cooperation from the Wildlands Conservancy.