Pittsburgh Neighborhoods: History of Allegheny Center

A Brief History of Allegheny Center

history of Allegheny Center

Allegheny Center is located on the North Side of Pittsburgh. The history of Allegheny Center begins in 1783, when Pennsylvania noted a 3,000 acre part of land just north of where the Allegheny River merged with the Ohio. John Redick created an initial plan for Allegheny City, 36 city blocks with a grazing area in the middle. Those blocks are still there today and so is the grazing area—it is now the park called Allegheny Commons. After 1907, the community served as a hub for residents of the North Side. Unfortunately, population dwindled when Allegheny Country Club members moved the club to Sewickley in the early 1900s and started building homes there (not to mention the upcoming Great Depression). In the 1950s, leaders started to figure out how to get the historic neighborhood revived again. Bring on a project consisting of razing over 500 buildings and constructing two professional ones, four apartment complexes, 50 townhomes, a mall and a public square. The mall, called Allegheny Center Mall, opened in 1965 and included a Sears, Woolworth’s and Zayre. It ended up not reviving business because I-279 was built and residents drove up to the north for their shopping. After more stores closed into the 1990s, the mall became an office complex.

Fast Facts about Allegheny Center

history of Allegheny Center

The initial 36-block radius planned by John Redick now includes the office building that was formerly the mall and many other public buildings. Most notably, the Children’s Museum is in Allegheny Center. While there are some businesses that do serve the office employees, most prefer to go to Allegheny West or East Allegheny. The neighborhood also houses the National Aviary and the newer Hazlett Theater.

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