Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy 100 years West Park!

In 1908, when work on Allentown's West Park was completed, the area around it was wild and open. The electric streetcar was changing that part of town, however, and the city's wealthy residents were beginning to build their new houses around it.

The highest elevation in Allentown at the time, the area on 16th Street between Linden and Turner, once was designated as a site for a reservoir. Instead, it became a park with the help of the late Gen. Harry Clay Trexler, Allentown businessman and philanthropist. Trexler donated $13,055, and paid for the band shell, the cast-iron fountain and the trees. When the park opened to the public, the Allentown Band played a week of concerts.

To celebrate a number of events are planned for this year. For a full list, see the civic association's Web site at .