West Side Neighborhood Association of Binghamton, NY, Inc.

The West Side

Stylish, Dignified, Beautiful

House on Riverside Drive

Binghamton, New York

Schools, churches, hospital, synagogues, parks, offices, transportation, restaurants, museum, stores, carousel, pool, sports/fitness, arts/music

Houses on Chestnut Street "The 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.

Herschel Carousel, Recreation Park

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 centers.
  • Downtown's complete municipal, retail services, entertainment:
    • City, County government, major banks, insurance, engineering firms
    • Live theater, the Philharmonic, Tri-Cities Opera at the Forum
    • Broome Public Library (also branches at Foundry Plaza, West Middle School)
    • 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 Day parades
    • 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 eateries
  • Roberson Museum & Science Center's local history museum, planetarium and exhibits

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 recreation...
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 away.

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?

For SaleLook at 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.

  • Affordability: Broome 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.

House on Riverside DriveWithout 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.