A Brief History of the South Side

history of the south side

The South Side, a neighborhood located across from downtown Pittsburgh, is divided into two sub-neighborhoods, South Side Flats and South Side Slopes. The South Side has a business district along East Carson Street. The neighborhood is also home to almost 100 bars and pubs, making it a well-known neighborhood to visit for a fun night out. The South Side was originally known as the village of Birmingham, annexed to Pittsburgh in 1872. It was settled by German and Eastern European immigrants who came to Pittsburgh to work.

The immigrants who came to work on the South Side made it a central place for industry, including the Jones and Laughlin Steel Company, which closed in the 1980s and redeveloped. There’s also the 1906 completion of the construction of the Pittsburgh Terminal Properties, which made it the largest warehouse between New York and Chicago.

Fun Facts

history of the south side

Did you know Dr. Nathaniel Bedford planned a large part of Birmingham before it was named the South Side. He named streets after his friends and family—this is why South Siders will see Jane Street, Sarah Street and Carson Street. The South Side flats sub-neighborhood has one of the largest Victorian main streets in the United States. Some of the South Side’s streets are so steep that actual staircases serve as the street. Also, as many Pittsburghers know, the South Side has some of the tightest parking spaces in the city… and a high population of Pittsburgh parking chairs!

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