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Old 05-08-2007, 01:35 PM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,438 posts, read 70,429,646 times
Reputation: 17144


It's another beautiful day in NEPA! Temperatures have been in the low-70s for the past several days now with a gentle breeze and abundant sunshine, so I figured this would be a grandiose opportunity for me to capture the "Garden Village" of West Pittston in all of its splendor. Also known as a Tree City USA for its lush landscaping throughout town, West Pittston hosts an annual riverside cherry blossom festival that attracts foods, games, bands, and carmaraderie amongst the townspeople; it's a great way to introduce yourself and make new friends with other West Pittstonians.

The community is home to roughly 4,800 individuals, and that number is declining slightly (due to deaths outpacing births). However, there are two newer subdivisions in town, Ledgeview, which is a blend of one-story townhomes and detached two-story dwellings, and River Shores, an upscale gated community of exclusive homes, both of which may serve as a wonderful boost to the community's tax base. The town is perched along the Susquehanna River, which is both a blessing in terms of aesthetic beauty and a curse in terms of flooding concerns. Many of the homes I photographed adorn Susquehanna Avenue, which runs directly beside the river. Nevertheless, whenever the flood waters rise and front lawns turn into lakes, the community bands together to help one another out in terms of moving furniture to second-stories and caring for evacuated pets.

West Pittston is a Norman Rockwell type of town with tree-lined streets, sidewalks, and friendly faces. I was inspired today by the number of people milling about. I saw one woman who appeared to be pulling her two toddler grandchildren down York Avenue in a little red wagon while the children looked upwards at the trees overhead and pointed at birds and squirrels. I saw two middle-aged couples power-walking along Susquehanna Avenue. I even saw a rather attractive young blond woman jogging along Wyoming Avenue. There was also a flurry of construction vehicles and contractors' pick-up trucks out and about today taking advantage of the warm weather as homeowners throughout the town appeared to be renovating their residences. I couldn't help but steal a few passing glances at a hot college guy with a six-pack who was moving equipment into the bed of a pick-up truck on Delaware Avenue (I know...shame on me!) LOL!

Politically, West Pittston is unique in that it is the only town in the Greater Pittston area that tends to lean Republican in most elections. West Pittstonians seem to be more of the fiscally-conservative Republican types as opposed to the socially-conservative ones, which is just fine in my book. There is a major council race in town right now that has the borough split pretty much 50/50 between those loyal to Mayor William Goldsworthy and those who crave change. My aunt and uncle reside two doors away from the mayor on Montgomery Avenue and are quite satisfied with current conditions in town, so I'd be inclined to side with the incumbents during this highly-contentious upcoming race.

This community lies just across the river from Pittston, and these two towns are quite honestly "A Tale of Two Cities." West Pittston is one of the most highly-attractive communities in the Wyoming Valley while Pittston is one of the slummiest. Downtown Pittston's once-thriving Main Street corridor is now a shadow of its former self as mom-and-pop stores have given way to vacant storefronts as a direct result of the urban sprawl that has been occurring in nearby Pittston Township, my hometown, which is growing like a weed these days in terms of new "box" stores and housing developments at the expense of the city of Pittston itself. Pittston has some promising news on its economic development radar though, including 100+ new condominiums being built on the waterfront next year by local businessman Daniel Siniawa, so West Pittston could become even more attractive as Pittston rises from the ashes like the Phoenix.

West Pittston is a great example of a "smart community" in that there is mixed zoning throughout town. Intertwined on its shady streets are various businesses and industries that provide employment, services, and consumer goods to borough residents. From almost any home in the town you could walk a mile or less to Gerrity's Shur-Save Supermarket, the Great Wall Chinese Buffet, Dunkin' Donuts, Blockbuster Video, PNC Bank, Bank of America, Agolino's Restaurant, Nardone's Restaurant, Antonio's Pizzeria, law offices, medical offices, Subway, Old Mill Pine Hardware, Antiques-And-Non, CVS Pharmacy, gas stations, convenience stores, a library, Montgomery Avenue Elementary School, Wyoming Area Secondary Center, churches, beauty parlors, Blue Ribbon Ice Cream, etc., making driving a rarity if you so chose. From my current home in a suburban subdivision, accessing any sort of amenity requires my derriere in the driver's seat of my sedan. As Downtown Pittston "bounces back" in the upcoming years, that will also be another walkable option for West Pittston residents.

In fact, if WeLuvPA doesn't stop trying to scare me away from Scranton, I might just consider residing here myself someday. Housing prices are reasonable (the town average seems to be around $200,000), the Wyoming Area School District is ranked among the best in the county, the town is nearly equidistant to both Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, crime is non-existent, and several of my relatives, including my aunt, uncle, cousins, sister, and brother-in-law live there. I'm also a fan of Victorian architecture, which dominates more than half the town.

Please enjoy my latest photo tour of what I'd say is quite possibly one of the best small towns in all of Pennsylvania. I've lived five minutes from West Pittston my entire life, so if you have any questions about a possible relocation to the "Garden Village," please let me know! As always, please permit me to post all 100+ images of the town first before replying so that your replies don't get lost in between my photo submissions. Thanks!

Last edited by SteelCityRising; 05-08-2007 at 03:07 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:42 PM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,438 posts, read 70,429,646 times
Reputation: 17144
Talking Welcome to West Pittston---"Garden Village" and "Tree City USA!"

Welcome to the borough of West Pittston, home to approximately 4,800 souls and perched along the Susquehanna River roughly eight miles from either Scranton or Wilkes-Barre. This sign greets motorists as they cross into the west side via the Fort Jenkins Bridge from Pittston (East Side). At this intersection you can make a hard right onto Susquehanna Avenue northbound along the river, a soft right onto Route 92 (to Tunkhannock), a soft left onto Route 11 (to Kingston), or a hard left onto Susquehanna Avenue southbound along the river.

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Old 05-08-2007, 02:03 PM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,438 posts, read 70,429,646 times
Reputation: 17144
Thumbs up Susquehanna Avenue

I'll start my tour by taking you on a sharp right at that busy intersection onto Susquehanna Avenue northbound all the ways to the 300-block, where the road transitions from the historic district into a working-class neighborhood near the cemetery. From this point I parked my car and walked southbound along Susquehanna Avenue back towards the intersection several blocks away.

This handsome stone home is the first of three newer-constructions along the historic stretch of Susquehanna Avenue, but it doesn't quite stick out like a sore thumb to passers-by.

That second-story enclosed sunroom certainly does look inviting, especially considering it must command impressive views of the river across the street.

This home was one of many that was undergoing renovations throughout the town. It looked as if a new front porch was being built here.

Two white rockers on the front porch. How quaint!

Recupero Funeral Home

It would be so inspiring to set up an easel inside of that cupela and paint a landscape of the riverfront across the street.

As you can see, American flags adorned nearly every home in this patriotic town, which is home to a National Guard barracks at the opposite end of Susquehanna Avenue (which you'll see photographed below).

There was a plaque on this home that read it was built in 1852. I'd like to see today's builders attempt to duplicate the historic appointments on some of these homes in a suburban setting.

Beautiful landscaping! They must make many trips to Lowe's to talk to the dorky guy in the garden center.

A rather tasteful home converted into an apartment building.

Just look at the striking architectural details in this home. There's even a decorative railing outside of the front-facing third-floor (attic?) window! Stained-glass front door sidelights as well? Wow!

The view down Warren Street from Susquehanna Avenue.

Two views of the second of three newly-constructed homes along Susquehanna Avenue. This home burned down a few years ago and was rebuilt to conform to the historic flair of the surrounding neighborhood. It's unique in that it sits in the middle of a triangular lot, bounded by Warren Street on the rear, York Avenue on the side (where the bottom photo with the garage is), and Susqeuhanna Avenue at a 45-degree angle along on the front (as visible from the first photo). Truly an awesome home!

Who ever thought you could fall in love with a GREEN house?

While walking down the block I was mystified to be met with a wall of conifer hedges that hid this beautiful home behind a gate. (I'm sure they value their privacy and are probably unhappy I posted this picture for hundreds to see and enjoy, but tough cookies!)

As I'm getting closer to the Fort Jenkins Bridge intersection again, I snapped this photo that shows the bridge pylons and part of the Pittston skyline in the background.

This true "garden home" is cute as a button and almost seems out of place in the shadow of the impressive three-story Victorians in the surrounding neighborhood.

Haunted house, anyone?

This home is the last one I photographed that sits perched along Susquehanna Avenue north of the Fort Jenkins Bridge intersection. Alternately, you can view it as the first you encounter when you make the immediate right off of the bridge.

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Old 05-08-2007, 02:18 PM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,438 posts, read 70,429,646 times
Reputation: 17144
Thumbs up Exeter Avenue

From here I took a right onto Exeter Avenue (Route 92), which is the soft right when you cross over the bridge into town, since I didn't feel safe crossing the busy intersection.

Some views of the first block of Exeter Avenue.

This home is currently on the market. Anybody on City-Data interested?

This home across the street from the last one was for sale a year or two ago, and I was sad my parents didn't buy it to trade our suburban rancher for a bit of history.

This home next-door to the brick one is also for sale. It is currently housing an accounting firm, but I'd imagine it would be an easy conversion back to a single-family home.

Talk about an orgasmic turret!

Two more brick showplaces along Exeter Avenue.

The Presbyterian Church that my aunt and uncle attend.

West Pittston Memorial Library, corner of Exeter Avenue & Warren Street.

Gingerbread grandeur of a bygone era.

Old Mill Pine Hardware, living proof that you can stand up to the competition from the "big boys" nearby when you offer great customer service and enthusiasm! I'm actually considering buying that lighthouse lawn ornament for my mother as part of her Mother's Day gift, as she's always wanted one. I might just have to head back on over there to buy it (along with some landscaping supplies to make a nice front yard display for her to enjoy). What's your verdict---to buy or not to buy?

This home has "ex-schoolhouse" written all over it.

This home reminds me of a candy cane for some odd reason.

The West Pittston MOOSE, a popular social club in town where I've been to several parties and campaign fundraisers.

Living proof that gray doesn't look bad either on a house.

West Pittston Municipal Building

Just across the street is a hulking old warehouse that is in disrepair, one of the few instances of blight in this otherwise gorgeous town. Finally, something is being done to rectify the situation here. If it were up to me, this place would be converted into some pretty cool loft apartments.

A few more residences in the block just past the town hall.

Blue Ribbon, a longtime favorite dairy in the Wyoming Valley for its ice cream, milk, shakes, etc. I was tempted to run inside for a quick orange creamsicle shake, but my quest for six-pack abs told me to steet clear.

Two images of the new Ledgeview planned community, directly across the street from Blue Ribbon. The townhomes are in the $159,000 range or so, and the single-family homes are in the low-$200k range.

While walking back towards the center of town, I thought this made a nice picture, namely due to the contrast of the cool blue VW Beetle set against the white arbor trellis. Anyone agree?

A streetscape image looking towards the Fort Jenkins Bridge in the far distance.


Last edited by SteelCityRising; 05-08-2007 at 02:37 PM.. Reason: Addition of a Photo
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Old 05-08-2007, 02:35 PM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,438 posts, read 70,429,646 times
Reputation: 17144
Thumbs up York Avenue

While heading towards York Avenue, another gorgeous street that parallels Exeter Avenue and intersects with Susquehanna Avenue north of the Fort Jenkins Bridge, I decided to snap one lone photo of this adorable home along Spring Street between Exeter and York.

An incredible corner home along York Avenue.

It looked as if the right side of this home was getting a makeover when I walked by.

TWO Lexus SUVs? Can anybody say "show-off?"

I'm really liking the side-entry garage on that brick home.

The streetscape along York Avenue.

Colonial charm along York Avenue.

My dream home!

The Volvo station wagon---a fixture along most West Pittston streets.

A handsomely-renovated home.

The view of Washington Street between York and Susquehanna.

Another striking home.

Another streetscape view of York Avenue, looking towards the river.

SW Corner of York & Parke.

SE Corner of York & Parke. This home was the favorite of my ex-boyfriend when we strolled through town nearly three years ago to compare and contrasts our tastes in architecture for our future dream home. Sigh...how times change.

Another colonial beauty along York Avenue.

One of my favorites along York Avenue for its simpler sophistication.

A pale yellow home along York Avenue.

Not even two photos could do this home justice. It is quite possibly my favorite in the entire town for the natural stone look of its turret. What an awesome spot for a third-floor study or home office!

The last home on York Avenue before you hit Susquehanna.


Last edited by SteelCityRising; 05-08-2007 at 03:10 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-08-2007, 02:46 PM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,438 posts, read 70,429,646 times
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Thumbs up Spring Street, Wyoming Avenue, Luzerne Avenue

I decided to take Spring Street back towards Exeter Avenue en route to Wyoming Avenue.

Some images from along Spring Street between York and Exeter Avenues.

Here's another property currently for sale just past the first intersection you saw, only this time we're making a soft left onto Route 11 (Wyoming Avenue) once we crossed the bridge.

The striking Methodist Church in West Pittston that can be seen from across the river in Pittston.

I only walked Wyoming Avenue, which is the primary commercial artery through town, for about a block to Luzerne Avenue, at which point I turned left.

Here's an image of an antiques store along Wyoming Avenue.

Agolino's Restaurant, a longtime staple along Luzerne Avenue and popular with the Sunday morning after-church brunch crowd.

A modern office building along Luzerne Avenue that houses a chiropractor and Penn State University's Agricultural Department's Cooperative Extension.

An attractive home across the street from the PSU Building.

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Old 05-08-2007, 03:04 PM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,438 posts, read 70,429,646 times
Reputation: 17144
Thumbs up Susquehanna Avenue (Cont'd), Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia Avenue, Montgomery Avenue

I once again headed back onto Susquehanna Avenue to continue my riverside photos.

This historic home sits in a narrow block wedged between the Fort Jenkins Bridge and the Water Street Bridge.

Here's the third of three newly-constructed homes along Susquehanna Avenue. This stone abode is home to a doctor who has a medical practice just to the rear (white building). Talk about a quick commute! This homes greets you as you enter West Pittston from the Water Street Bridge, which turns into Luzerne Avenue.

Another one of my favorites in town.

The home in the foreground was receiving a fresh coat of paint, so I didn't want to be too obvious when I was snapping photos or risk having the work crew come after me! LOL!

A beautifully-restored home on the NW corner of Susquehanna & Montgomery Avenues.

The home in the foreground was the former doctor's office of an elderly general practiticioner who was charged with illegally selling drugs a couple of years ago (one of the few crimes to hit West Pittston in recent years). I always knew something was up due to the volume of cars in that block of the otherwise sleepy avenue.

The view across the street from the homes along this stretch of Susquehanna Avenue.

The remainder of Susquehanna Avenue before you hit the...

National Guard Armory. Support our troops!

The new "River Shores" gated community. Homes here generally range in the $400,000+ neighborhood and are out of the flood plain.

This pool along Second Street doesn't look too inviting, does it?

The field hockey fields along Second Street with the mountains in the background.

Two scenes from along Philadelphia Avenue between Second Street and Susquehanna Avenue. The home on the right in the bottom photo is for sale if anyone is intrigued.

The view from Philadelphia Avenue looking towards the river.

Some homes along Delaware Avenue between Susquehanna and Wyoming Avenues.

The first home along Montgomery Avenue after you round the corner from Wyoming Avenue. Awesome!

I had to duck and cover before snapping a photo of this home as the female homeowner kept on coming in and out of the home while I was trying to snap the picture! LOL!

Bainbridge-Campbell Park, Montgomery Avenue.

Da Mayor's House! Representin' da West Side!

The last two homes on the right-hand side of Montgomery Avenue before you hit Susquehanna Avenue.

The image of the Susquehanna River as taken from Montgomery Avenue.

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Old 05-08-2007, 03:58 PM
Location: Northern Wayne Co, PA
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Beautiful! This is an area I ride through all the time and I feel like I am experiencing it for the first time again.
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Old 05-08-2007, 04:05 PM
Location: Lived Large in Parsippany NJ - Lived Larger in Livingston, NJ -- Now Living Huge in Bethlehem PA
460 posts, read 2,064,086 times
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Wow this is amazing - Thanks Paul for all your hard work.
Is photography a hobby or passion because all your pictures I have seen so far are GREAT.

Keep up the good work..!!!
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Old 05-08-2007, 04:17 PM
2,833 posts, read 10,072,985 times
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GREAT pictures Paul. Now I want to move to West Pittston. Thr pictures of blue ribbon dairy brought back memories. My Dad was born and raised in Swoyerville and when we would go to visit my grandparents from in the very same house my Dad was born in, my grandpa would always take us to blue ribbon. We were from NY then, and didn't get to see them much and the momories I had are priceless. I have taken over my grandfathers passion for ice cream, not just the dessert, but taking a crowd for ice cream is such a pleasant event. My DREAM is to one day have an ice cream store, or an ice cream truck. Coneheads...like the ice cream store in the 'mall madness' game.
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