Nov 27, 2017

Christmas Lights And Park Neglect

As people enter Lehigh Parkway to enjoy the annual Christmas Light Display, they drive past the top of the Double Stairwell, built by the WPA in 1935. It was designed as the signature structure in the park. While the top landing is degraded, the subsequent landings down the double stairs get much worse. One landing is in danger of collapsing, undermining the steps below it. I have been reporting the worsening conditions to the Park Department for three years. While nothing has been done to rehab this irreplaceable structure,  the department laid cement pads for the disc golf course this past summer. They are now planning to build a skate park, but still no repairs are planned on the WPA icons of the Parkway and elsewhere.

The Trexler Trust is a significant contributor to the park budget.  Furthermore,  the park budget is approved every year by City Council.  Both these groups fail to use their influence in regard to the park department's misplaced priorities.  Never the less,  I will continue through this blog to advocate for the WPA structures, and other traditional elements of our park system.

1 comment:

John said...

Allow me to predict the arc of events: the steps continue to deteriorate. A city resident or guest falls, is injured, or far worse. Claim filed against the city for damages in the low millions. (With me so far?) Morning Call does an in-depth series on the decline of the Allentown park system, with a call-out of one bright spot somewhere in the West End. Big decisions made at Parks and Rec about what can be saved of the WPA work and what must go. A steel staircase preserving pedestrian access (Pburg’s Bullman Street stairs with 169 steps) is ordered after competitive bids. Stairs installed three years and millions of dollars in expense and enhanced poor publicity.

Simple, right?