The West Side
Stylish, Dignified, Beautiful
Binghamton, New York
Schools, churches, hospital, synagogues, parks, offices, transportation, restaurants, museum, stores, carousel,
pool, sports/fitness, arts/music
West Side is the Best Side!" is a phrase many of us heard growing up. Come
see why. Stylish. Dignified. Beautiful. The West Side of Binghamton offers
terrific opportunities for single-family home ownership - the area's best
housing values, fire and police protection, schools, stores, hospital services,
parks, places of worship, and neighbors!
Just west of the confluence...
of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers is Binghamton's
West Side. With a large park at its center,
it is a neighborhood in the old sense. Family friendly with grand
old houses, tree-lined streets, an easy walk to shops, churches, parks
and schools - a complete town-in-the city.
A tradition of quiet, residential living...
It's a place for sunny Sunday afternoons on an old porch
with neighbors, friends, and family. The irregular street plan, large old
tree canopy, wide sidewalks and grassy spaces of parks and public places
give the visitor and dweller a sense of ease and permanence. Binghamton
is ever a valley city. Lush wooded hills close many West Side street vistas.
Magnificently diverse architecture showcases Greek Revival, Italianate,
and Gothic styles to many stately Queen Annes with unique designs by Perry,
Vosbury and Bartoo. At center-West Side is a 20-acre old oak grove, once
the Bennett farmstead, which became Recreation Park
by gift of George F. Johnson of Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company fame. With
its lovingly restored early 20th century Herschell carousel and band organ
- admission to ride is forever free.
It's a stroll from...
Doctors', dentists' and lawyers' offices along Riverside Drive. Further
west , Lourdes Hospital offers one of the nation's largest community cancer
Downtown's complete municipal, retail services, entertainment:
City, County government, major banks, insurance, engineering
Live theater, the Philharmonic, Tri-Cities Opera at the Forum
Broome Public Library (also branches at Foundry Plaza, West
See Binghamton Senators hockey, concerts and shows at the Arena; catch
Double-A Binghamton Mets baseball at NYSEG Stadium
Art Mission, other fine art galleries
First Night, St. Patrick's, Memorial Day, July 4th, Columbus
Downtown merchants offer A to Z: Boscov's Department Store, Java Joe's
to Lost Dog Cafe quaint Washington Street shops, State Street bars and
Roberson Museum & Science Center's local history museum, planetarium
This is no idle community!
West Side living is front seat to the annual Chris Thater
Memorial Races; USTA Tennis Challenger; Summer Music Festival Concerts
in the Parks; National Night Out, Empire State Games venues; charity walks
and running races; youth baseball and softball tournaments. Back home,
there are many neighborhood block parties!
A place of worship and learning...
There are two synagogues and numerous historic Protestant
and Catholic churches - one listed on the National Register. Our City School
District offers two West Side elementary schools, a middle school, and
a high school. Binghamton High features the Rod Serling School of Fine
Arts, an International Baccalaureate Program and cooperative programs with
Binghamton University. Catholic Schools of Broome operates an elementary
and highly acclaimed high school. The West Side is convenient to Binghamton
University, one of four New York State University Centers.
Powerful array of municipal services...
60% of taxes are targeted for public safety. The Fire
Department, staffed with 150 firefighter/EMTs is alert 24 hours, 365 days
per year; citywide response is under 2½ minutes. With one of the
lowest crime rates in the State, the City's Police Department is 200 strong
with community policing, state police undercover and targeted street crimes
units. The City is one of five statewide with new live-scan digital fingerprinting
technology. New field mobile data terminals run instant license/warrant
checks on scene.
From Mom-and-Pops to supermarkets...
How convenient. On your way to the gym? Supermarket?
Stop at a branch bank. Drop clothes at the cleaners. Pick up items
at a health food store or bakery without leaving the West Side. There are
gift shops, ice cream parlors, drugstores, lighting stores, auto parts,
florists and many more. Restaurants range from take-out pizza, oriental
or fast cuisine to candlelight dining and a cyber cafe.
A great place for fitness and
The West Side has safe streets for walkers, cyclists
and runners. Recreation Park offers tennis and basketball courts, a swimming
pool, playground equipment, softball and soccer fields, an ice skating
area and a sledding slope.
Remarkably easy area to get around...
Most parts of Broome County are accessible from the West
Side in a drive of 25 minutes or less. Frequent, efficient public transportation
serves the neighborhood. Binghamton University is a short bus or car ride
Creative and interesting people...
Artists, architects, carpenters, caterers, lawyers, managers,
musicians, politicians, university professors and students. The West Side
is a place for thoughtful people who appreciate the charm of a small City,
stability of established neighborhoods, harmony between community and nature,
with a supportive local government.
Buying a home?
West Side homes. Matchless materials, workmanship, incomparable interior
spaciousness. Field stone foundations, oak floors, heavy hewn 2"x 10" floor
joists and leaded glass windows. Interior wainscoting, paneled doors with
transom windows and sidelights, interior pocket doors, porch columns and
elaborate Ionic capitols. Clapboard, shingles, turrets, second floor sleeping
porches, swept dormers and bull's-eye windows. Visit one. Close the 2"
thick front door. Hear that solid thud of a well built home.
offers one of the most affordable housing markets in the country. The West
Side has great buys. Median home value is $71,500. Lovely homes are available
in a variety of styles and sizes. Considering materials and exquisite craftsmanship,
many have 2 to 4-fold replacement costs.
Municipal Services: Standard
water, sewer, and curbside trash collection (Binghamton/Broome leads nationwide
in citizen recycling participation - 64% is recycled).
Gas, electric, telephone and cable utilities; new water filtration plant.
Property Tax Breaks: The
City offers incentives to restoration-minded buyers of designated landmarks.
Tax on increased assessment is applied over a 10-year period: 5 years at
sale price, then a 5-year phase-in. The Commission on Architecture and
Urban Design approves all facade changes. Additional State/Federal incentives
are available for National Register properties.
"Parlor City" Origins
The "West Side" refers to the lands west of the confluence of the Susquehanna
and Chenango Rivers where, in 1800, Joshua Whitney settled the first village
on the Bingham Patent at Chenango Point. Until the late nineteenth century,
much of the West Side was rolling, wooded farmland. A few dwellings were
situated along Front and Leroy to Oak Street and sizable farms of the St.
John and Johnson families flanked the old "River Road."
In the decades following the Civil War, Binghamton grew
from a stagnant backwater depot on the Chenango Canal to a manufacturing
boomtown. Helped by a good railroad system, inexpensive real estate, and
an eager immigrant labor force, Binghamton manufacturing companies sprang
up to make everything from shoes, scales, time recorders and pianos to
sleighs. Cigar making was the largest industry, employing over 5,000 hands.
With the rapid downtown growth, suburbanization began.
a bridge spanning the Chenango at Riverside Drive, the quiet terrain of the West
Side became an appealing refuge from the dust and noise of the City. Wealthy
"West-Siders" built palatial homes with opulent architecture, characteristic
of the day - conspicuous living belying the area's original nickname: "The
Parlor City." The parlor of the Victorian home was a well-appointed front
room, a center of social gatherings, neighborhood gossiping, reading, playing
music or games. Residents of the new era could relax in their parlors or
on porches and watch a bustling modern city at work.