Celebration planned in Grandview Park to honor Sept. 11
A celebration is planned at Grandview Park to honor the tragic events that occurred on September 11.
The announcement was made at the membership and community forum of the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation on July 15.
There will be new additions to the park including: cherry blossom trees obtained by board member Tom Brady, a refurbished statue given by the city and a plaque honoring those members of the police, fire department and military who died in the line of duty on Sept. 11 and on other occasions.
Father Victor Cianca, a priest from the Archdiocese of the Arabic Catholic Church, will say a mass and bless the additions, which will be dedicated in a ceremony at that time. A veteran's honor guard will be on hand.
The event, which starts at noon Sept. 11, is being sponsored by the Friends of Grandview Park.
Developer Dan DiPardo and architect Ed Pope were guest speakers that night. Dan Stoer, president of the board overseeing Ream Recreation Center, was scheduled to give a presentation but failed to attend. Representatives from the Port Authority were also absent. They were scheduled as guest speakers but asked to speak at the forum session on Aug. 19 instead.
Mr. DiPardo and Mr. Pope spoke about their "garden style" town house six-story project that they have been building at 501 Grandview Avenue. They asked if the MWCDC had any objections if they added more parking. They said they were allowed by the city to have 22 spaces for the 11 town house units and they already had 18. They want to add four more spaces for the units and also add four spaces for guests, both on adjacent property they may buy.
Board president J.T. Smith said he thought the board would respond favorably to the proposal. Mr. DiPardo said he still has to consult the planning commission.
MWCDC Director Chris Beichner substituted for Mr. Stoer and announced the Ream Center now operates independently. He said "It is on its own and its committees are set up."
The center reopened in 2007 and the MWCDC board decided last year to have it "spin off" and file its own 501C form. It offers city youth ages 12 to 18 opportunities to participate in activities such as basketball, baseball, scrapbooking, environmental education and art.
The MWCDC promoted the Art Marketplace being held along Shiloh Street on Saturdays until Sept. 4, weather permitting. Glassware, ceramics, handmade apparel, paintings, handmade frames, jewelry, photography and sculptures will be on sale and there will be musical performances. Visit www. vuplus.org to learn which artists and performers will be featured and which items will be on sale each week.
The Warrington Avenue Farm Stand is operating in Allentown every Thursday through Nov. 11. The farm stand project provides fresh Pennsylvania-grown produce at affordable prices to neighborhoods that have limited or no access to farmers' markets.
Mr. Beichner said the Art Institute has been consulted about help with a mural project to make two sites along Grandview Avenue owned by Craig Cozza look more attractive. MWCDC staff and board have been meeting with Mr. Cozza about beautifying the properties described by some residents as "eyesores."
One property is bordered by Grandview Avenue and Sweetbriar and Augusta Streets and the other is at 341 Grandview Avenue, near Bertha Street.
There have been many complaints about the sites at past MWCDC meetings and both sides have reported progress through talks arranged by Council member Theresa Kail-Smith.