Brief History of Lincoln-Larimer
Located in the East End of Pittsburgh, Lincoln-Larimer is a neighborhood in Pittsburgh named after William Larimer. The history of Lincoln-Larimer is a rich one. He made a large amount of money in the railroad industry and ended up building a sprawling home overlooking East Liberty. The path the home was built on was nicknamed Larimer Lane and later became Larimer Ave. Italians were the dominant group in the neighborhood by the early 1900s. Whereas the Italians who moved to Bloomfield built row houses, Larimer’s Italians decided on detached brick homes, as the landscape still remains similar today. There is a commercial district with concrete foundries and bakeries—many are still around today. Unfortunately, since the 1960s, residents have moved to the suburbs and much of the Italian community no longer remains.
The Italians who settled in Lincoln-Larimer built Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in 1898 and it survived until the early ’90s. Larimer was actually considered Pittsburgh’s Little Italy until the 1960s—since then Little Italy has been considered Bloomfield. Going back to family who founded Larimer, William Larimer’s daughter Rachel married James Mellon (son of Thomas). Bringing Larimer into the Mellon’s ownership, this got the Mellons to sell or rent Larimer’s land to finance the coal industry in Pittsburgh. Many of James Mellon’s heirs used Larimer as their middle name (like William Larimer Mellon, the founder of Gulf Oil!). Lincoln-Larimer is surrounded on all sides by valleys.