Lawrenceville is one of the largest neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. The neighborhood is located northeast of downtown Pittsburgh and is bordered by neighborhoods like Bloomfield, the Strip District and Polish Hill. This area is actually now considered three different neighborhoods—Upper, Central and Lower Lawrenceville.
Lawrenceville was founded in 1814 by William B. Foster, father of composer Stephen Foster, who was born there in 1826. It is named for Captain James Lawrence, hero of the War of 1812, famous for his dying words, “Don’t Give Up The Ship!” Strategically, the area was selected as home to the Allegheny Arsenal, due to “The area’s accessibility to river transportation and its proximity to what was then the nation’s only iron producing district”. Incorporated as a borough on 18 February 1834, Lawrenceville was annexed to the city of Pittsburgh in 1868. One of the original buildings, a log home built in the 1820s, survived until July 2011 at 184 38th Street.
The neighborhood is also Hollywood famous—scenes from the Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway movie Love and Other Drugs were filmed there. UPMC’s Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh opened a new building in Lawrenceville in 2009, moving patients from Oakland. Finally, 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.