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Pittston and West Pittston

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The twin towns of Pittston and West Pittston sit near the confluence of the Susquehanna and Lackawanna rivers. Pittston is dominated by several fine churches, including two with twin towers: Edwin Forrest Durang's St. John the Evangelist (1893; William and Church streets) and Louis Giele's Baroquestyle St. Casimir's (Lithuanian) Catholic Church (1909; Church and Butler streets). At Broad and Main streets is the former Miners Savings Bank (1894) by Lansing Holden, four urbane floors of limestone and Roman brick.

Once, many Pennsylvania towns along the Susquehanna boasted residential districts that took advantage of their riverfront setting. Only West Pittston's riverfront remains unsullied by street widening, flood protection, or commercial development. Large houses in a parade of styles march along Susquehanna Avenue facing the greensward and the river beyond, and suggesting the character of Wilkes-Barre's River Street before it gave way to commerce. Highlights include the Theodore Strong house (1851) at 708 Susquehanna Avenue, a pristine hipped-roof Italianate cube with central cupola, and, at number 606, the John Muirhead house (1903), an eclectic brick Craftsman house. The town also has several monumental churches by Philadelphia architects, notably Edwin Forrest Durang's brittle First Methodist Church (1873) at Wyoming and Montgomery avenues, and Isaac Pursell's Richardsonian Romanesque First Presbyterian Church on Exeter Avenue (1890).

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas

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