Pittston Susquehanna River Sculpture Park
Mayor Michael Lombardo
Pittston, Pennsylvania

There was a time when Anthracite coal was king in this part of Pennsylvania. Now outcroppings and tailing piles are glum testimony to a glorious past. Mining created towns & communities but it also took from them — sulfuric acid from coal dumps leached into the river. Heavy rains turned iron, steel and coal into rust, slag and clinkers. The once bustling steel mills became non-competitive. Like Cripple Creek, the Yukon and the old gold mining town of Bodie, Nevada the area became a historic member of the past.

Enter new millennium, the world wide web (www), and a new mayor with vision. Dust and rust no longer...
Mayor Mike Lombardo is revitalizing this coal capital with gusto. Restoring the library and stone storefronts along main street was just the beginning. Now the public can enjoy new parks with expansive views of the historic Susquehanna River. New green areas replace old warehouses. What used to be docks for loading coal barges are becoming home for the racing shells of three nearby colleges. Move over Schuylkill!

Internet, yes! In January 2000, Mayor Lombardo turned to the internet to augment the transformation of his city. There he discovered abstract geometric sculptures by San Francisco sculptor Benbow Bullock, and the work of other contemporary sculptors. In less than four months, the City of Pittston had purchased over ten sculptures by Bullock and other artists for public sites throughout the city.

Now, two years later, a twelve foot high silicon bronze endless column,
"Tournesol Sauvage!" is at the entry to the Pittston library. Four other Bullock sculptures are being placed in a newly landscaped park over looking the Susquehanna. The old Lackawanna stone railroad station is being restored to become the city’s art museum. Changing exhibitions of contemporary art and a gallery of historic photographs further the dramatic revitalization of Pittston.

Art enhances, invigorates, and it is not expensive!
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Copyright © Benbow Bullock, 2007