Jan 5, 2017

Lehigh Valley Not Much For History

The Lehigh Valley isn't much on history, neither Allentown or Lehigh County. The 1824 stone arch Reading Road Bridge is only still standing because of my efforts. It's sister bridge from 1828, Schreibers, may now be closed by the State. Since the 15th Street Bridge(Ward Street) was closed for replacement, Schreibers has taken an incredible beating. Although posted for 3 tons, it has been battered by tractor-trailers no less than half a dozen times. In a further assault to the bridge, Allentown dropped the ball, and allowed the State to make Oxford drive/24th Street bridge one way for repairs, increasing the burden on the old stone bridge.

reprinted from September of 2013

UPDATE JANUARY 2017:  Although, the new 15th Street Bridge opened about 18 months ago,  Allentown has yet to repair the smashed walls on the Martin Luther King side of Schreibers bridge.  In fairness to Allentown, they were repaired once during the closure of the 15th Street Bridge, but then were smashed again.  Now that the 15th Street Bridge is complete, it's way overdue for the city to make final repairs on the historical bridge walls.  


Dave said...

Carpetbagging Mayors don't give a damn about Allentown. It's the power and using Allentown as a stepping-stone to higher office is what matters. It's also about making money. Money talks but history and heritage doesn't.

All one has to do is look at the Americus. If it wasn't for Albert Abdouche, the columns of glass and steel would be rising up into the sky right now thanks to the NIZ. Crumbling bridges don't generate money; they cost money. Look what they did to Klein's Bridge in the Parkway.

This is not your father's Allentown any more.

John said...

Five months after a goofy accident by an Aw Shucks-owned truck seriously damaged the 1820-era stone bridge in Bethlehem, there is no forward progress on repair. So while Bethlehem has more of a sense of history and its importance to the economy, the stone bridge sits with concrete Lego bricks and orange mesh.

Jamie Kelton said...

Mr Molovinsky

The neglect of Allentown's history I believe is caused by the lack of money by the City to maintain them. Along with what you wrote earlier about the Parks and Recreation departments being merged. The city pours most of it's money into public safety and Hamilton Street. The ice hockey arena tore down a lot of stores on Hamilton Street and all of these new office buildings turned the retail section into an office complex.

I remember you writing also about Union Terrace and how it was neglected. There just doesn't seem to be the money because the tax base is a lot poorer now than it was. I also don't like to say it, but the government union workers take up a lot of the money the city takes in. So money to maintain our historical structures is put in the back of the line.

michael molovinsky said...

jamie@3:34, in my opinion the problem is poor priorities. for instance, the park department installed expensive body building equipment at jordan park. that money should have been used on more repairs to our irreplaceable, unique stone work, not more items out of a catalog..

Jamie Kelton said...

Oh that's something else. The city believes our parks are playgrounds. They put all that money into Cedar Beach Park and Jordan Park to turn them into playgrounds. Ok, ok, there were handball courts and Tennis Courts there before, but not the kind of playground equipment that belongs at a school.

I learned to play tennis when I was 13 at Alton Park, and I rode my first horse on the bridal trails in the Parkway. I didn't climb on monkey bars at Cedar Beach, I went swimming there. Maybe after my daughter has graduated from College (she's 15 now), she'll be able to take her children swimming again there.

Perhaps they will have cut down all the weeds along the Lehigh and Cedar Creeks by then as well so they can go tubing like I did too :)