Sep 19, 2023

The Lost Beauty Of Lehigh Parkway

                                                                         photography by Tami Quigley

This beautiful photograph was taken by Tami Quigley last fall. This classic view of the stone piers, rising out of the Little Lehigh, has been inspiring photographers and artists for over 70 years. I have picture postcards of the same view. The stone piers are now surrounded by the concrete rubble of the former dam. Although the rapids still provide some sound and view, the portion of beauty and magic has been reduced in half. The new park director may have set a record in park degradation. Although only here for a matter of weeks, before even having seen the whole park, he agreed and recommended that the Robin Hood Dam be demolished. Piling it's rubble by the stone piers is salt in the wound of our lost beauty.

photograph by Tami Quigley

reprinted from October of 2013 

ADDENDUM SEPTEMBER 19, 2023: It has been a decade since the broken rubble of the former small scenic dam was piled around the stone bridge piers. What was formerly beautiful is now an eyesore. Weeds and saplings are now growing in the rubble. While I've had no success with the administration on this degradation of the park, I respectfully now ask City Council to address the issue.


  1. City council is going to listen respectfully, but do nothing. That will cost money the parks department doesn't have and besides, the Wildlands Conservancy would probably oppose it.

  2. Barbara Price
    My father Earl Price probably has rolled over in his grave. He worked so hard for over 30 years to beautify the park.

  3. Why they do not try and budget to keep the parks beautiful makes no sense. Allentown use to be know for their beautiful parks, sad.

  4. Once again, General Trexler must be twirling in his grave... what has become of the trust money that was intended to fund the park system forever??? He had a beautifully designed and built park system that was second to none, now, sadly circling the drain.

  5. Who is this new park manager? I grew up near the Little Lehigh behind Jenkins Farm which is no longer there. This breaks my heart to hear.

    1. anon@4:46: The trust still partially funds the park department, but the department decides how to spend the money.
      anon@4:54: The original post is from 2013. Under Pawlowski there were several park directors, under O'Connell another. Now under Tuerk there is again a new director.