West View Park Q.

I seem to recall that here was some event of sorts held at West View park after it's closing in 1977.

My Childhood recollections were that WVP closed for a season but opened again for a few months after missing a year. My initial guess was that they closed in 1977 and reopened in 1979 briefly.

Now theses are the memories of a twelve year old and thee is nobody in my left to even talk to this stuff about (I had since moved to beaver Co) but I am really vivid on the memory. I recall being at the Park, but being disappointed about the shape of the park. The Arcade "Tunnel" that was behind the flying planes was gated along with the Bat-Chute either being gone or dilapidated were the most vivid memory.

I was thinking that it had to be an event of sorts there that I am remembering. Was there a weekend "walk-through" for memory seekers that I am remembering. The Vibe of my memories fit that. People mulling around as they soak up one last gasp before demolition started.

Not that I needed it. I live on Forrest about 1/2 mile down Center ave and had been all over the closed park including walking the tracks of the Whippet to the top of the hill and backwards a good bit, LOL! Boy that was dumb of me. Never could get in what was left of Boot hill though. It had been shuttered for quite a while.

I just hate nagging memories so I had to ask.

1977 was it,they didnt open after that.
It never opened after 1977. It also closed with very little official word. I wish I had known of the immenent demise, but the ownership group voted after the season concluded. My guess has always been that 1977 was the first year the park failed to turn a profit and that is when the Harton heirs pulled the plug.

It was common practice for people to stroll through the defunct park until a couple fires claimed part of the Dips and Boot Hill. I always though it was a kind gesture to let people stroll the park grounds as was done. The movable stuff was quickly gone, but the remainder lingered for a couple years. Just before demolition the wood on the two big land bridges was becoming quite brittle and unsafe.

I did not mean opening as in, rides operating. I just knew I was there the one time with my parents and we were not alone by any means. You say they never bothered to keep people out? I guess then it must have been near the start of demolition to get my parents and others there at the same time.

Now that you mentioned the bridges I remember looking up at the one by the Golf sign and seeing holes in the floor. I also now recall one of the skyride cars lying on the ground near the ramp under said bridge. For some reason I think that scene made an appearance in the newspaper.

I'm pretty sure West View had been in the red for a few years. I came of age past their heyday and I never recall anything getting fixed. Boot Hill never reopened, nor did the Amphitheater to my recollections. I recall the Bicentennial paint theme, but that was about it.

Funny thing was that I had moved out to Beaver County and spent the next few years at White Swan, (heh, 2 losers in a row). I never made it to Kennywood until I was about 14. Even though I was well into H.S. when I last went to white swan, I have almost no memories of it and was surprised when I learned it lasted until 1989.

P.S. Now that the Guys from the Coaster Radio.Com have resurfaced, can we get Jeffs wife back on the podcast with a Flav impersonation again?

White Swan at best was non memorable. It was group of rides and a couple pavillions in a valley on the way to Greater Pittsburgh Airport.
The entire landscape there has changed so much i cannot even tell where the park was. I was working on Neville Island until this year (I always though that Island would make a cool park) and barely any of the old timers had much to say about it either.
On West View - There was no warning about the closure of the park. Although if you watch that video documentary, and if that's correct, the lack of "See You Next Year" on the billboard the last day was an indicator. I know had we known it was going to close we would have gone again. I don't recall any event at the park after that but I'm not sure my parents would have wanted to go anyway. We were only able to go to that Kmart that's there once - folks couldn't handle it. I've dragged my husband over that way to the location a few times when we've been back to the Burgh to point out where stuff was.

On White Swan - I also struggle when driving out the new road to the airport to tell where the park actually was. Isn't the fork in the road where you decide between business 60 (Goes to the old terminal) and the new highway 60 (Goes to the new terminal) on the location where the park was?

I need to get a good topo map of the area, but I believe the land that White Swan was on is under the freeway now.
There were a lot of small parks in the 'burgh area, all of them are gone now. I used to go roller skating at Rainbow Gardens quite a bit. Now there was an example of how eminent domain should not be used.
Rainbow Gardens was torn down for a highway that was never built. This was a small park which wasn't known for its charm but they did have a number of varied rides including an antique carousel (I wonder what happened to it?), a shoot the chutes type ride called the Clipper, a dark ride with Pretzel cars, a wildmouse, and a junior wooden coaster (the Bomber) along with a bunch of flat rides.

Rainbow Gardens also had a nice swimming pool which undoubtedly was the park's main attraction. There was also a drive-in movie theatre on the property.

Rainbow Gardens, like the other Pittsburgh parks, depended primarily upon school and group picnics. When the park closed, most of these picnics moved to either Kennywood or West View.

Today, as is the case with West View Park, there is a shopping center on the former location of the park. *** Edited 7/30/2008 11:20:25 AM UTC by Arthur Bahl***

Arthur Bahl

I should give my sister a call, she stayed in the area for ages. She worked at DiPetrios pizza opposite the Mall for years. Hell, I even spent time at KFC in the plaza.

I still thought the last year the park was open was only for 1/2 the season. I had heard the owners were not sold on opening at all then did so belatedly.

The iron rides were gone before the first snow of the winter of 1977-78, leaving only the coasters and the buildings to elements. The park never opened it's gates again to anyone other than prospective buyers of the property, which were few and far between for a number of years.
To Arthur Bahl: An article by Rick Sebak in Pittsburgh Magazine said the carousel from Rainbow Gardens, along with some other rides, was purchased for $2,100 by Frontierland in Cherokee, NC. Unfortunately, that park closed in 1982. I can't find any info on what became of the rides before it became a waterpark (Cascade Waters - went bankrupt after a short time). Still looking.:)

We live close to White Oak, our child goes to a karate place, CS KIM, just a couple hundred yards up Lincoln Way from where the park once was. I have no memory of the park, unfortunately, being born in 1969. I do remember a vacant flat lot there when I was a kid. I wish I'd have seen some of these old parks - I remember going to the old Pittsburgh Airport in 1978 and seeing a white roller coaster (maybe the wild mouse) in White Swan Park and bugging my grandparents to stop. Of course they didn't - lol - would have missed the plane to FLorida ;)

I saw a special this morning on WQED by Rick Sebak (I love his old nostalgic Pittsburgh shows) about things that aren't there anymore. I always thought I'd never been to West View Park since I was only 8 when it closed, but I think I may be mistaken. I always had very early childhood memories about little rides that I thought were in Kennywood, but when I mentioned them people looked at me funny - lol. Then I saw the West View Park Kiddieland sign and thought "HEY!! I remember that!" So I bet those rides I loved so much were there. <3

This topic is kinda ironic,been cleaning out the basement lately,look what I found. :)


LOL - that's awesome ;)
I believe that some of the rides from Frontierland in Cherokee were relocated to Ghost Town in the Sky, a theme park in Maggie Valley near Cherokee. This park, I know, was closed for a while recently so some of the rides from the past may not be there any more. In any case, I don't know if the carousel was one of the rides moved there but checking around about Ghost Town might lead you to something.

By the way, that wildmouse at White Swan called the Mad Mouse was eventually moved to Lakemont Park but only operated there for a year or two.

Arthur Bahl

That WVP employee button is really cool. it must have been a cool feeling finding something like that to revive memories.

P.S. those Rick Sebak shows are awesome. Some of these old rides and attractions (like the spinning disks on the floor) looked fun as hell.

Rick's shows are great!

I have so many great memories of West View,I wish it was still there. :( Miss that place still today.

What was cool when I worked there,the GM at the time(Jack Hickey)would write my friends and I a note to give to Pat Shultz(dont remember her title at KW) for free tickets,we would get a stack of them.He said in the note that we were coming from West View to see if our coasters were better or KW's.

By the way...West Views were better :)

Great times back then..

I moved to Ross Township in July of 1979, when I was 9. I never got to go into WV Park, as it was never open by the time I moved there. I knew that people would often go into the park after it closed and was vacant.

I was supposed to go with a friend and his dad, but there was a fire and we never did go. Yes, people did just walk through, and there were several fires.

North Hills never had a school picnic at Kennywood until 1983, when as an 8th grader, I met Carl Hughes, who was then President of Kennywood. I think I may have written our school board as well. I guess they never thought of having a school picnic elsewhere.

Mar-Jean Zamperini "Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was Syracuse." -Shemp Howard

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