Penn Hills is a home rule community located east of the City of Pittsbugh. It is bordered by Verona, Oakmont, Plum Borough, Monroeville, Wilkins Township, Wilkinsburg and the City of Pittsburgh. It is the second largest municipality in Allegheny County.
Over 200 years ago, Forbes Road was cut by George Washington through the area as path through the wilderness to the west for his troops in the French and Indian War. This path became what is known as Saltsburg Road today. Until 1800, it was the only east west link in this area of the nation. In 1778, Thomas Wilson settled 400 acres bordered today by Frankstown, Lime Hollow and Coal Hollow Roads. The forming of Allegheny County in 1788 saw Penn Hills as part of Pitt Township. In 1850, a committee was appointed to review the boundaries of a new township, named Adams. The area saw it’s name changed to McNair Township and then Penn Township in 1851. Penn Hills Township was adopted in 1958 and in 1976 it became formally known as Penn Hills.
Early industry in Penn Hills included coal mining and drilling for oil. This meant that the railroad industry was also a large part of the area, with a large and active rail yard cut through the hills. In 1906 Carnegie Steel Company purchased land from the Hershey family and founded the Universal Atlas Cement Company. For many years it was the largest employer in the area.
Penn Hills covers almost 20 square miles. The main roads, Frankstown Road, Saltsburg Road and Universal are home to many businesses and services. The area is comprised of a wide variety of architecture, both young and old, and is home to many long-time residents. Recently, Penn Hills has been recognized as one of the best real estate values in the area, with home prices extremely affordable.