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West View 2 - West View Park by Katie Remele

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Katie Remele Katie Remele
Explore score
2.76 Gigapixels
Date added
Apr 20, 2010
Date taken
Apr 19, 2010

NOTE: This is a series of FOUR gigapans, all of West View. I have them numbered and there links below

West View 1 gigapan- West View Plaza- www.gigapan.org/gigapans/47704
West View 3 gigapan- Perry Highway Isaly's SIde- www.gigapan.org/gigapans/47709
West View 4 gigapan- Perry Highway Police Authority side- www.gigapan.org/gigapns/47713
West View was founded in 1905, but people have been settling here since 1783 with Casper Reel Sr. being the first to build a cabin in the area.

One of the most remembered and notable areas of West View is the West View amusement park. The park was built in 1906 thanks to a native from Sharpsburg named, Theodore Marshall Harton. West View Park became the most popular park in the Pittsburgh area, competing against seven other amusement parks, including Kennywood. Harton worked for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 where he fell in love with the Ferris wheel, which inspired him to start his own park. It’s most popular ride was the a rollercoaster called the Dips which was built in 1910. If you look at the second gigapan image, I have tagged where the bend of the Dips was and still is carved out of the earth today. The rollercoaster ran the whole length of the park and had a lake that ran the length of the coaster where there were other rides. West View Park was built on Swampland, which many people don’t know. Harton dammed up a small stream and created a 5-acre lake, but the lake was drained not long after the Dips’ construction to make room for more rides. One of my mom’s favorite memories of the park was the Danceland, a huge pavilion that people went to dance. She remembers being able to roller-skate and dance when she was a kid. Danceland burned down in 1973, which devastated West View Park because it brought in a big profit and crowd to the park. In the first gigapan image I have tagged where danceland use to sit. The Rolling Stones is the most famous band to have a concert in Dancleland in 1964. West View Park had a Kiddieland, which was located on the hill above where the Giant Eagle is today. The park even had a haunted house, which people tell me was very low-tech. It only had scary looking objects throughout the house, nothing jumped out, but for the time it was pretty scary. Someone else I talked to remembers a slide. They said they would climb stairs up this tall tower and ride down the slide, which spiraled around the tower, also a low-tech ride. The swings at Kennywood once belonged to West View Park, but Kennywood got them when the park closed in 1977, I’ve talked to people who remember that ride being so scary back then, nothing like the rides they have today. West View Park even had a golf coarse, well today it would be called putt-putt or mini-golf, which was really cool.

Unfortunately because of the small valley that West View Park was in, it could not expand the park or add new attractions, which gave Kennywood the upper hand. By 1977, West View Park didn’t have the funds or the crowds to keep the park open and had to dismantle the park. It was replaced by a mini shopping center called West View Park Plaza. Although it is not around anymore, there are still plenty of memories from people who got the chance to see it. Many of West View Park’s rides went to its rival Kennywood and to other parks around the country.

West View 2 Gigapan
The bowling alley is tagged on the second gigapan. My Grandfather use to be a pinsetter, meaning he had to set up the pins for the bowlers, in this bowling alley when he was young. My Grandfather was in total love with my Grandmother the first time he saw her. My Grandmother told me stories about how he was wild about her and would follow her around, he wouldn’t take no for an answer, he wanted a date. Today that place is a bar.

My Grandmother use to work in a small grocery store near West View. She would pack fresh made ice cream into the big white bins to get it ready to be served to customers. She really enjoyed the job but eventually got a little sick of ice cream.

West View 1 gigapan
The Giant Eagle plaza use to be the main center of the park. Although you might have thought that this is where the parking was for the park, this area is actually where a lot of the little rides use to sit (like the haunted house) and where people could get food and use the restrooms. Danceland use to sit on the far right of the plaza around where the green building is sitting now. I’m not sure of its exact location because everyone I talk to says it has changed so much so it is too hard to remember. Kiddieland sat on the top of the hill behind Giant Eagle.

Information below courtesy of www.westviewboro.com Will open in a new tab or window
The Borough of West View was established in 1905. It is 1.1 square miles. There are 7,762 residents of West View, with approximately 3000 households. There are approximately 195 businesses.
Several churches were formed and built throughout the years. To date there is 1 Catholic Church , 1 Methodist Church, 1 Presbyterian Church, 2 Lutheran Churches and 1 Assembly of God Church in the Borough.
The Pittsburgh Railways Company constructed bridges and combined its West View and Bellevue routes in 1906. Now there was public transportation to the city from all parts of the Borough.
Several lots on Oakwood Avenue were presented to the Borough for a public school. It opened in 1905. In 1909 Highland School was dedicated. It was located on the east side of the Borough at Highland Avenue and Columbia Avenue. Throughout the years to come additional schools were built to house all the children of the Borough. In 1948 West View and Ross formed the North Hills School Jointure. In 1965 the two districts merged to form the North Hills School District.
West View Park was founded in 1906 and was immediately met with disapproval. The park was opened on Sundays which residents did not approve of. During the first year of operation there were many fights among men in the streets of the Borough. After Council discussed the situation with the park manager it was decided that the two popular rides would run on alternate Sundays. Also other amusements were closed on Sundays to keep the noise down.
Each year there were many different company picnics held at West View Park. Many residents worked at the park in the summertime. West View Park Danceland was home to many of the Big Bands. Danceland burned to the ground in 1973 and with it went a lot of memories. In 1977 the park announced its closing for good.
In 1979 the empty park property was to be used for a shopping center and senior citizen high rise complex. Today the property houses several shops such as K-Mart & Giant Eagle and several fast food chains and stores.
The Police Department has grown over the years from a 1 man force to the current department of 9 officers which include the Chief, 1 Lieutenant, 1 Sergeant and 6 fulltime Officers and 3 partime Officers. The department has many different specialized divisions such as Crime Watch, Dare, Abandoned Vehicles to name just a few.
The Fire Department consists of 3 companies located throughout the Borough. There are 96 volunteer firemen belonging to these companies.
The Borough is governed by The Mayor and 7 elected members of Council . West View Council Meetings are the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of the Borough Building. All residents are welcome to attend. Residents are welcome to bring concerns to Council but it is asked that they try and resolve the problem with the appropriate Borough Department first.

www.westviewboro.com/cgi-bin/data/display.pl?db=db1&tp=tp1&show=2 Will open in a new tab or window

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