Sunday, September 25, 2016

Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Johnstown is a rust-belt city of some historical significance, forever associated with the tragic Johnstown Flood of 1889. That flood took over 2,200 lives and was one of the greatest disasters in American history.

Walking around the old city of Johnstown, which has declined in population from 67,000 at its peak in 1920, to just 20,000 people today, one can sense the ghosts of the past. There are countless historic buildings, some of which pre-date the great flood, and are documented with historical plaques indicating their significance. There are five National Historic Districts in the city of Johnstown.  I wandered around the downtown Johnstown Historic District, as well as the Old Conemaugh Borough Historic District, which is a mostly residential neighborhood adjacent to downtown. I also walked around the residential neighborhood directly south of downtown. Here are some of the highlights of my visit to this fascinating place. My favorite was the charming central square park, with fountain, in the heart of the city. 
 
 



A historic plaque in Johnstown ;)


Old Conemaugh Borough Historic District


Napoleon Street


Interesting Victorian Era dwellings are scattered around the central business district.


Old Conemaugh Borough Historic District


St. John Qualbert Cathedral - built 1896.

Old Conemaugh Borough Historic District

It would be easy, but not true, to say these historic buildings would have fared better in a more vibrant city than Johnstown.
In Pittsburgh, they replace these with apartments no working person can afford.

Old Conemaugh Borough Historic District


Downtown Johnstown Historic District

Napoleon Street

Johnstown YWCA

Napoleon Street


 
Fountain at downtown Johnstown's charming Central Park

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