(The latest in a series of posts on the Southside and Neighborhoods)
Those who have hacked into Gadfly’s library account as well as those who read this blog closely know he has been reading Jeff Speck’s Walkable City.
When just having read that “street life” is among the “central qualities” in improving city life, he comes across this project from one of follower Karen Beck Pooley’s classes:
There’s a colorful interlude for passersby on Fourth Street in Bethlehem—a pop-up Parklet outside Roasted restaurant built by Lehigh’s Engineers Without Borders outreach committee and Professor of Practice Karen Beck Pooley’s Lehigh Valley Parklets team.
The colorful parklet, a sidewalk extension that fits within two city parking spaces and strives to improve pedestrian and customer experiences, will be in place until Oct. 31.
“Our hope is that more people will come out to the South Side, especially Lehigh students, and integrate more with the community,” said Annaliese Cunniffe ’19, who chaired the outreach committee. “And to beautify the South Side too.”
The Parklet outside Roasted, which cost about $1,000 to construct, is 34 feet long and 7 feet deep and filled with color—red, yellow and orange. A bench stretches across the back wall, allowing for different configurations of tables. The gray flooring is made of pallets, and a mural was added to the back wall.
The students, who received trained in woodworking to complete the project, built the Parklet inside Building C at the Mountaintop campus, then transported it in sections to Fourth Street. The students consulted with Roasted owner Derek Wallen on design.
“It’s great from our perspective because we got to do a hands-on project,” said Cunniffe. “From the community’s perspective, it brings in another space to beautify South Bethlehem, offers people another place to visit and provides more space for Roasted.”
Lehigh students have designed, constructed and tested other Parklets throughout Bethlehem.
Karen is the Professor of Pop-Up at Lehigh University.