It’s time to share the love!
In the past, we’ve urged people to wear their hearts on their sleeves for the places they love in Pennsylvania. They’ve gathered in groups to demonstrate their love, holding up valentines, weathering the cold and snow. “We love this place! It’s special!” they proclaimed. (The feature image above is from a previous year and shows fans of the Hoke House, a Pennsylvania At Risk list place that needs a new tenant to prevent demolition.)
This year we’re taking the valentines online, just as we’ve done with the Statewide Conference on Heritage and so much else in our lives. For an icebreaker at the conference, we asked attendees to share their favorite place in Pennsylvania. The answers came from all over the state and reflected examples that ranged from small historic sites to grand landscapes.
Some have fond feelings for communities where they’ve walked the streets and admired collections of buildings and layers of history.
JG expressed love for the core of Upper Darby (Delaware County) saying “It’s an unparalleled mix of stunning (if a bit beat up) architecture with a vibrant community and delicious, inexpensive food.”
JTV proclaimed for “Bellefonte (Centre County) with all of its history and historic architecture.”
Someone else had trouble choosing between idyllic Eagles Mere (Sullivan County) and the bustling metropolis of Philadelphia.
CS had a recommendation for showing visitors the sites in Pittsburgh: “Lots of favorites! The one I visit most often is to take visitors to Pittsburgh on a ride up the Duquesne Incline. The observation deck at the top is a great spot to point out the history of the city.”
It seems AM put on a thinking cap to try to answer our question: “PA has so many stunning, take-your-breath-away places, but my personal favorite is Erie 🙂”
Other towns that got some love were Manayunk (Philadelphia County), Brookville (Jefferson County), and Cammal (Lycoming County).
Not surprisingly, many of the answers highlighted some of the unique historic sites that Pennsylvania is noted for.“Old Economy Village in Ambridge (Beaver County) is a historic place unlike any other in Pennsylvania,” one respondent recommended. It’s just one of Pennsylvania’s 169 National Historic Landmarks, along with the Wharton Esherick House and Studio, suggested by another person: “My first visit there was magical!”
MB recommended The Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford (Delaware County), which offers tours of the National Historic Landmark studios of artists N.C. Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth. (Make a day of it and check out another recommended spot just up the road: Baldwin’s Book Barn.)
KP didn’t want to be pinned down, but shared one recommendation: “I don’t think that I can pick just one, but one of my favorites is Joanna Furnace in Berks County, PA!”
EH also couldn’t pick just one spot and provided a list: “Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, Tyler Arboretum (Delaware County), Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia County), Chanticleer (Delaware County), to name a few!”
Naturally, preservationists love distinctive architecture! One favorite place is The Cathedral of Learning on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is a 42-story Gothic Revival skyscraper commissioned in 1921.
Intrigued by a particular building type, one person shared: “That is a surprisingly hard question to answer. I pick PA’s fabulous array of historic market houses. Broad St. Market in H[arrisburg], Central Market in Lancaster and York and Reading Terminal Market in Philly are all favorites. Plus, all the ones I haven’t seen yet!” We love a preservationist on an architectural treasure hunt!
We talk about preservation of places people love – and sometimes that love is about connection to the land or conservation places and wide-open spaces. One person answered our question: “Slate Run, Lycoming County…AKA the middle of nowhere!” (I suspect they like fishing!)
KLT has strong feelings for “The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, hands down.” (This is a National Park Service designation and the mission to preserve “the natural, cultural, and scenic resources and values of the Delaware River valley and provide opportunities for resource-based recreation, education, and enjoyment.”)
Sometimes wide-open spaces are very personal and reflect our personal connection to years of history. One person wrote “Kauffman Cemetery, overlooking the valley and the farm I grew up in.”
CM has a big heart. Their answer was “So many wonderful places in PA. I have too many places that I love and enjoy visiting. I cannot pick just one, but if I would have to it is Cumberland County – my home county.” JM, also a county lover, recommended Bucks County.
So tell us…..
What’s your favorite place in Pennsylvania? Let us know in the comments.
Check back throughout this month. You’ll hear from some special friends about the places they love. This is our virtual “share your love” celebration.
Help us save special places across Pennsylvania by making a donation or becoming a member!