Situated north-east of downtown Pittsburgh, Lawrenceville is one of the largest neighborhoods in the city of Pittsburgh. It has an industrial history like many other riverfront districts, and the city identifies it as three distinct areas – Upper, Central, and Lower Lawrenceville – though there is no practical effect to these distinctions. As a result, Lawrenceville is typically regarded as a single large neighborhood.  In 2019, the Lawrenceville Historic District, which covers most of the area, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lawrenceville was founded in 1814 by William B. Foster, the father of composer Stephen Foster, who was born there in 1826. It was named after Captain James Lawrence, a hero of the War of 1812, remembered for his famous last words: “Don’t Give Up The Ship!” The Allegheny Arsenal was located in Lawrenceville due to its access to waterways and its nearness to the country’s only iron-producing region at the time. It was incorporated as a borough on February 18, 1834 and was eventually annexed to Pittsburgh in 1868.  One of the original houses, a log cabin built in the 1820s, stood at 184 38th Street until July 2011.


Historical maps depict two large islands in the Allegheny River, just across from Lawrenceville. Herrs Island, which went from 28th to 37th street, and McCullough’s Island (also referred to as Wainwright’s Island or “Good Liquor” Island), which stretched from 35th to 40th street. The name of Washington’s Landing is derived from an incident in 1753, when George Washington was thrown off his raft while crossing the Allegheny, and he managed to reach the safety of an adjacent island.

Washington’s Landing is still present today, but the location of his initial landing, McCullough’s Island, no longer exists. It is not known what caused the disappearance of the island. There are two potential explanations, either it eroded or the narrow channel between it and Lawrenceville caused it to be joined with the mainland.

The zip code for Lawrenceville is 15201, and a tiny portion is shared with Bloomfield and Garfield as 15224. Its unique landmarks include Allegheny Cemetery, Arsenal Middle School, Arsenal Park, and Doughboy Square. This neighborhood has kept its industrial-era vibe with aged warehouses and narrow row houses along the streets and alleys.

On May 2, 2009, UPMC’s Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh opened a new building in Lawrenceville, moving patients from Oakland leading to the area’s transformation and influx of job and business opportunities. The New York Times labeled the neighborhood a “go-to destination.” Lawrenceville’s main street, Butler Street, is home to a plethora of restaurants, bars, boutiques, furniture stores, and coffee shops. Additionally, Arsenal Lanes, a longstanding bowling alley with a bar, is located in the area. The Row House Cinema, which opened in 2014, features popular classic films.

The real estate market in Lawrenceville has had a significant increase in recent years, with price appreciation being second highest in the city after the South Side, according to Carnegie Mellon University. In 2015, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stated an increasing amount of developers coming to Lawrenceville to buy properties for resale, or “flipping” houses, though the gains from this have declined as the prices rise.

The neighborhood is also Hollywood famous—scenes from the Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway movie Love and Other Drugs were filmed there.  Lawrenceville’s revitalization has allowed it to become one of the finest art, live music and dining hubs of the Western PA area.


Like the recent renaissance in Pittsburgh, today this vibrant and exciting area is experiencing an exciting rebirth and regeneration.  Many new businesses and residential areas are on the rise.  It has become a destination for young and old to shop, dine and live.

Exploring Lawrenceville: A Guide to Dining, Drinking, and Attractions

Lawrenceville is a great example of a Pittsburgh neighborhood that has gone through a major revival. Just a decade ago, few people ventured into the area. Nowadays, however, it has become a hipster hub, and even beyond that, a popular destination for visitors from all walks of life.

The growth of Lawrenceville into a thriving destination for shopping, dining, and libations inspired us to develop a neighborhood guide with an overview of our most beloved establishments in each of these categories!

A Glimpse into the Past of Lawrenceville, Including a Map

Originally, Lawrenceville was located near the Allegheny river, making it the ideal spot for the Allegheny Arsenal (formed in 1814). However, during the Civil War, a devastating explosion occurred at the arsenal which caused the death of 78 people, mostly civilians. Subsequently, the area became an industrial hub with iron works being present. Eventually, the neighborhood was negatively impacted by Pittsburgh’s steel collapse in the 1980s.

In 2009, the opening of one of the world’s premier Children’s Hospitals by UPMC in Lawrenceville marked the start of the area’s revival. Low housing prices at the time made the neighborhood a hotspot for hipsters. Afterward, restaurants, bars, and activities opened up, and although the hipsters eventually moved on to cheaper locations, Lawrenceville has become one of the most desirable places to live and visit in the city.

Lawrenceville is the poster child for gentrification in the city of Pittsburgh, bringing both good and bad to the neighborhood. Among the positives, Lawrenceville boasts an array of fabulous eateries, from traditional local favorites to some of Pittsburgh’s highest-rated restaurants. The neighborhood is also home to a variety of bars, breweries, art events, boutique shops, and more.

What Lawrenceville has to Offer

Lawrenceville is a great place to visit, offering a wide variety of attractions to explore. From parks and recreation to art galleries and museums, there is something exciting for everyone. The city also hosts a number of events and festivals throughout the year, giving visitors plenty of reasons to visit. No matter what your interests, there is sure to be something in Lawrenceville to enjoy.

Lawrenceville is known as a hub for dining and shopping, but the area also has several more traditional activities. A few of the most popular among locals are:

  • Roberto Clemente Museum – A museum that requires a reservation to view its impressive collection of Clemente and Pirates memorabilia.
  • Kickback Pinball Cafe – Stop in for a bite and a cup of coffee, but stay for the variety of pinball machines available.
  • Arsenal Bowl – An upstairs bowling alley featuring late night specials such as live music, DJs, drink specials, and more.
  • Thunderbird Cafe – An intimate music venue located in Lawrenceville. Perfect for shows.
  • Redfishbowl – A local artist space in Lawrenceville open for shows and art sales.
  • Row House Cinemas – An independent film theater that specializes in indie films and themed movie runs.
  • Arsenal Park – A small park in the heart of Lawrenceville with a rich history, as outlined in the history section of this guide.

Retail Stores in Lawrenceville

Lawrenceville is home to a variety of retail stores. From clothing boutiques to home goods shops, the area has something for everyone. Additionally, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes to explore for a night out. Whether it’s a special occasion or just a day of shopping, Lawrenceville has plenty of options to choose from.

Lawrenceville features a variety of unique boutiques offering a wide selection of items such as clothes, home decorations, custom greeting cards, toys, and more.

Planning to Tour Lawrenceville? Here’s What You Should Know

Admittingly, Lawrenceville can be a challenge to navigate during rush hour due to the traffic. Those who attempt to cross one of the 28 bridges at Butler Street intersection will find themselves in a complete gridlock. Finding metered street parking can prove to be a difficult task regardless of the time of day.

For those who are only visiting the neighborhood for a short while, or on nights or Sundays, it should be possible to park on one of the side streets without too much difficulty; the main street is just a few blocks away. Bear in mind, however, that there may be an enforced hour limit (maximum of two hours) during the day, so this should be taken into account if one is planning to come during this time.

If you are looking for parking, your best option would be to hunt near Allegheny Cemetery or the boundaries of the area. Street parking can usually be found if you are willing to take a little walk to your desired destination.

Accommodations in Lawrenceville

One can find a variety of hotels in Lawrenceville for a comfortable stay. From luxurious resorts to budget-friendly inns, travelers can choose the right kind of accommodation that suits their needs. Guests can benefit from a range of amenities, including swimming pools, fitness centers, restaurants, and more. Whether they are on a business trip or a family vacation, there is a perfect hotel for everyone in Lawrenceville.

Lawrenceville is currently home to the only hotel in the area, the TRYP Hotel by Wyndham. This building was established in 2019 and offers rooms with contemporary amenities, easy access to nearby sightseeing spots, and a patio on the roof with a view of Lawrenceville and downtown Pittsburgh.

If you are looking for a place to stay close to Lawrenceville, there are several options to choose from. The Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn in the Strip District offer the benefit of free parking, while Friendship Suites and Hotel Indigo in East Liberty are a short drive away. To find more hotels in Pittsburgh, please visit our reviews database.

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