While riding along Route 6 in Pennsylvania, I passed through the town of Port Allegany. On the corner of Mill and Main, in the middle of town sat a small but eye-catching park featuring colorful glass block structures. I couldn’t resist stopping for a look. The park is called Serenity Glass Park.
Though the park was small, and at the time of my visit was still under construction, you immediately got the sense that its very existence was big on meaning. What was being constructed was being done so lovingly.
Dedicated to the Employees of PC Glass Block
As I walked around the roadside park looking at the structures, I saw the following block and everything became clear:
The town of Port Allegany’s economy had apparently been largely dependent on glass manufacturing.
In 2016, Pittsburgh Corning, a manufacturer of glass blocks and long-time local employer, shuttered its doors.
Celebrating Small Town America
When passing through small towns like Port Allegheny, there is often a sense of community and a unique flavor that I don’t experience where I live, on my island of nearly 8 million people.
Here on Long Island, we seem to go out of our way to avoid contact with each other rather than find ways to come together and celebrate what binds us. We are faceless, nameless, anonymous ants scurrying about. Our lives are filled something bought from a franchise.
Perhaps this type of existence I live is why I love traveling through small town America. It’s like an expedition to find normalcy.
Sometimes I just want to hug these little towns and keep them close so that they live forever.
Visit Serenity Glass Park
You’ll find the lovely little park along Route 6 in the town of Port Allegany, Pennsylvania.
Location: 4 N Main St, Port Allegany, PA 16743