Bridgewater, PA Historic town at the Confluence of the Beaver and Ohio Rivers

This small borough is one of the oldest communities in Beaver County. By 1870 it had a population of just over 1,000. That population grew slowly until 1930 where it maxed out at 1,800. Now about 800 residents remain in the Borough. Yet due to its historic development, Bridgewater has some nice urban attributes including a small but vibrant urban biz district along Bridge St., some nice historic homes laid out on a street grid, and some quality recreational amenities. To improve it urbanity Bridgewater needs to fill in the gaps of its historic main street with some quality mixed-use infill and additional residential to increase its low density. Bridgewater Commons on the Borough’s southern tip where the Beaver and Ohio Rivers meet includes several multi-family buildings set within a quality new park. More projects like this would go a long way to making Bridgewater a quality urban town.

Click here to view my Bridgewater album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* This is a solid middle class community with only a 7% poverty rate and medium income slightly above the state average.
* Median age is pretty high but 50% of households are family households.
* Some blight throughout Bridgewater but pretty low crime rates in the past 5 years.
* Stable for sale market with most housing selling in the 100K. Some product above 200 and below 100K.
* Park amenities included Bridgewater Riverside Park complete with a waterfront trail and amphitheater and the new acre Bridgewater Crossing.
* Nice historic building including lots of architecture from the mid to late 1800s.
* Quality urban form on the northside of Bridge St but mostly parking lots on the southside. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* While a lot of intersections have current ADA infrastructure, especially in the commercial district on Bridge St. sidewalks in the residential streets are hit or miss.
* Bridgewater has a country feel to it with its lack of infrastructure and low density.
* Bike infrastructure is limited to a  small disconnected all purpose path along the Beaver River.
* Racial diversity pretty limited. Over 92% White.
* Rental stock is pretty limited here, although the new Bridgewater Commons apartment complex should help with this.
* Cultural amenities include several nice restaurants and bars along Bridge St. Not much else although the quality cultural amenities of Beaver are nearby.
* In additional to restaurants and bars some nice stores along Bridge St including several boutiques and some neighborhood retail. No post office or library in the borough.
* No schools within the Bridgewater Borough limits but a catholic elementary just west of town in Beaver. Also several decent public schools within a 5-10 minute drive.

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