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Allentown, PA / 2021

West Park

An all-seasons horticultural installation

West Park is the City of Allentown’s first public park, established after nearly becoming a reservoir due to its high elevation. The 5.8-acre park was dedicated in 1909, and was described by its founder, Harry C. Trexler, as “a breathing spot” amid burgeoning industrialization. The park hosts a Beax Arts-style handsome band shell, central cast-iron fountain and a memorial honoring Civil War veterans. The park is designed as an arboretum, with 78 species of trees and over 300 varieties of shrubs and perennials. Each tree is marked with its scientific and common name, which is an enjoyable feature for environmental education.

Omnes is collaborating with the Allentown Parks Department to establish a multi-phase soil and planting restoration over three growing seasons. The first phase includes reconfigured entryway gardens that frame historic walls, opening up these threshold gardens to more light and air. Four circle gardens at the entry are themed for the four seasons, with each in full bloom at the height of spring, summer, autumn, or winter; a base layer plantings will also fill each bed throughout the year. The second phase of work will address the central gardens surrounding the fountain, while the final phase will frame the white Beaux-Arts bandshell.

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