Oct 4, 2023

The Trexler Greenhouse

The former greenhouse at the current Trexler Park was the pride of Harry and Mary Trexler. The General was very specific in his will about its future;
I, Harry C. Trexler declare this to be my last Will and Testament: ......into the Treasury of the City of Allentown, for the perpetual maintenance of said Park, (Trexler) as well as the Greenhouse thereon located. This bequest shall include all the plants and other contents of said Greenhouse (1929)
Although nobody in charge of Allentown remembers, the greenhouse was a thing of wonder... Full of banana trees and other tropical plants, it was a true escape from winter for all visitors. The park director at the time touted all the money in maintenance to be saved if it was demolished. A couple years later the same director replanted the creek banks by the intersection of Cedar Crest Blvd. and Cetronia Rd.. That planting cost $750,000. I recall the price, because Longwood Gardens built a new greenhouse for that same amount, we had just lost our greenhouse, and only had a new creek weedwall to show in its place.  

Several years ago Allentown Park Department cut down all those plantings, and we now have nothing to show for our loss of the greenhouse. Even back then, I was an advocate for the traditional park system. Current visitors to Trexler Park don't notice that the weed wall has been cut down, and certainly don't know that they lost a beautiful greenhouse in the backstory.

reprinted from 2014. Postcard of Trexler duckpond from the glory days of the Allentown Park System


  1. I remember touring the greenhouse on school class trip. This was I believe in the early 1960’s. I remember it being beautiful. Anyone know when it was demolished?

  2. 750,000 tax bucks... who in their right mind spends that much and then chops it down??? Any chance you have a photo of the finished "plantings" before they were mowed into oblivion???
    I know folks that had their entire house landscaped and had a pool installed and never spent that much!!! Must of been some kind of special "plantings"!!!
    No surprise here the way the city freeyockers (spelling?... dutch word for pee away) our tax monies away on so many fronts!!!

  3. A few questions:

    Where in the park was the greenhouse?

    What year was it demolished?

    Where were the Trexler Trustees when the greenhouse was demolished? I don’t know how it was then, but today the city doesn’t do anything in Trexler Park without their permission.

    1. The greenhouse was on the current parking lot. It was demolished in 1985. To my knowledge the city controls Trexler Park, as they do all the other parks. A significant part of the park budget is provided by the Trust, but they do not officially dictate the park department spending agenda. They also provide periodic grants for special projects. The Trust approved the greenhouse demolition at the time. Although comments are welcome, generally I do not answer questions, or encourage "chat" between commenters.

  4. I used to visit the Greenhouse when home from University. I miss it.