Glen Hazel: A Historic Neighborhood in Pittsburgh

Glen Hazel, located in the eastern part of the City of Pittsburgh, is a neighborhood with a rich history and a strong sense of community. Situated on a hilltop along the picturesque Monongahela River, Glen Hazel offers a unique blend of natural beauty and urban living. In this article, we will dive into the development of Glen Hazel, its notable features, and the efforts of individuals like JaQuay Edward Carter to preserve its history and promote community pride.

Development of Glen Hazel

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Glen Hazel’s origins can be traced back to World War II when the Federal Works Agency developed the neighborhood as a government housing project for defense workers called Glen Hazel Heights. Built between 1941 and 1942, Glen Hazel Heights was one of the largest defense housing projects in the country, comprising 1000 units. However, in the 1970s, the defense housing was demolished, making way for a new public housing project and a senior living facility.

Geographical Location and Surrounding Neighborhoods

Nestled along the banks of the Monongahela River, the area shares borders with Hazelwood to its west and Squirrel Hill South to its northeast. The Glenwood Bridge, spanning the Monongahela River, connects Glen Hazel to the neighboring community of Hays in the south. This strategic location offers residents easy access to nearby amenities and attractions.

Community and Neighborhood Pride

One individual who has played a significant role in preserving the community’s history and fostering community pride is JaQuay Edward Carter. Born and raised in Glen Hazel, Carter has deep roots in the neighborhood, with four generations of his family calling it home. After completing his education in Ethnic and Diversity Studies and History Education, Carter returned to his hometown with a passion for history and a desire to celebrate the pillars of the community’s past.

In January 2018, Carter founded the Greater Hazelwood Historical Society of Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring pride and preserving the neighborhood’s rich history. Through educational programs, community events, and the exploration of shared history, Carter has garnered a large following and continues to inspire and unite people in the community.

Notable Features and Attractions

While primarily known for its public housing development and nursing home, the area offers more than just residential buildings. The neighborhood boasts several notable features and attractions that contribute to its unique charm. Some of these include:

  1. Monongahela River: The picturesque Monongahela River, which runs along the community, provides residents with stunning views and recreational opportunities. From boating and fishing to leisurely walks along the riverbank, the Monongahela River adds to the natural beauty of the neighborhood.
  2. Glenwood Bridge: The Glenwood Bridge, a vital transportation link, connects Glen Hazel to the neighboring community of Hays. This bridge serves as a gateway for residents to explore and access amenities in the surrounding areas.
  3. Community Parks: Glen Hazel is home to several community parks, offering green spaces for residents to relax, exercise, and spend time with family and friends. These parks serve as gathering places and contribute to the overall well-being of the neighborhood.

Efforts in Preserving History

The Greater Hazelwood Historical Society of Pittsburgh, founded by JaQuay Edward Carter, has been instrumental in preserving the history of Glen Hazel. Through its initiatives, the society aims to document and share stories, photographs, and artifacts that reflect the neighborhood’s past. By engaging with the community and offering educational opportunities, the society ensures that the history of Glen Hazel is not forgotten.

Future Outlook and Community Engagement

Looking ahead, the future of the neighborhood appears promising. With the efforts of organizations like the Greater Hazelwood Historical Society of Pittsburgh and the dedication of individuals like JaQuay Edward Carter, the neighborhood is experiencing a resurgence in community engagement and pride. By embracing its history, fostering connections, and promoting inclusive community events, Glen Hazel is poised to continue growing as a vibrant and welcoming place to call home.

Glen Hazel, a neighborhood with a storied past, stands as a testament to the resilience and spirit of its residents. From its origins as a defense housing project during World War II to its present-day focus on community pride and historical preservation, Glen Hazel has evolved into a thriving community. Through the efforts of individuals like JaQuay Edward Carter and organizations like the Greater Hazelwood Historical Society of Pittsburgh, the neighborhood’s unique history and sense of community continue to be celebrated. As the area looks towards the future, it remains a place where history and progress intertwine, creating a truly special place to live and visit.

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