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Remember: Allentown Park Log? Wasteland

Monday, August 24, 2009

Allentown Park Log? Wasteland

For years, driving across the Hamilton Street Bridge I have been curious as to what exactly was riverside across from Canal Park. It appears to be a walkable area and it would also seem to offer some very unique views of the Lehigh River. Over the weekend I found access to this area and finally got to take a stroll there. This area is not considered part of the Allentown park system.

On parts of this nearly lunar landscape, I half expected Mad Max to join me as I walked on the large smooth rocks.

There is a major ruin here and I have absolutely no idea what it was. The ruin certainly adds to the post apocalyptic vibe.

Farther down, the wasteland grows greener and views of Canal Park across the river are outstanding.

The stroll ended at the railroad tracks. It appeared as if a trail was at one time accessible on the other side but being as late as it is in summer and given how wet this summer has been, the path was entirely overgrown.

Standing there I couldn't help but think of how fantastic it would be to see a foot bridge connecting this small river access area to Canal Park. The access area could serve as a wonderful gateway to nearby Fountain Park and could connect with any waterfront development on the other side of Hamilton if it ever happened. I have a million and one ideas about how to improve Canal Park and this area could really play into it. Spending time by the Lehigh I am also amazed just how little we use the area despite the fact that Allentown is in fact a river city. Hopefully future development of the long awaited Lehigh Landing comes in tandem with a sorely needed redevelopment of Canal Park and perhaps a development of this "river access area".

Walking back, looking down river past the dam it is easy to become awestruck at the vast amount of history in one glance. The steeple of the Immaculate Conception Church stands as a neighboor to the increasingly poor looking Neuweiler Beer Factory; the old iron trestle bridge looms in the distance and always the city itself sits watching, just as I did, there walking in the wasteland down by the river.



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