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.
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.
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?
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?
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***
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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