Pittsburgh Neighborhoods: Homewood

History of Homewood

Homewood: A Historic Neighborhood in Pittsburgh

Welcome to Homewood, a historic neighborhood in Pittsburgh, PA. Known for its rich history and vibrant community, This historic neighborhood has undergone significant changes over the years. From its early days as a retreat for wealthy industrialists to its current efforts towards revitalization and development, Homewood has a story to tell. In this article, we will explore the geography, history, demographics, and future prospects of this fascinating neighborhood.


Homewood is situated in the eastern part of Pittsburgh and is bordered by several other neighborhoods. To the east lies East Hills, while Larimer and Shadyside can be found to the west. Lincoln-Lemington is located to the north, and Point Breeze is to the south. This strategic location has shaped Homewood’s development and its interactions with neighboring communities.

Early History

The history of Homewood dates back to its incorporation in 1832 and subsequent annexation by the City of Pittsburgh in 1834. The neighborhood gained prominence with the arrival of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1852, which provided a convenient stop for wealthy industrialists looking to escape the city’s pollution. Both Andrew Carnegie and George Westinghouse called Homewood home during the late 19th century.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the neighborhood experienced a wave of immigration, with German, Irish, and Italian families settling in the community. This influx of diverse populations contributed to the neighborhood’s growth and cultural richness.

Rise and Fall

By 1950, Homewood was a thriving working-class community with a population of 34,000. However, the construction of the Civic Arena in the lower Hill District led to the displacement of thousands of African American families, many of whom relocated to Homewood. This influx of low-income African Americans changed the demographic makeup of the community, leading to the flight of white families to suburban areas.

Two significant events in 1968 had a profound impact on the area. The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sparked riots and looting, causing irreparable harm to the local business community. Additionally, the Fair Housing Act provided African Americans with the opportunity to move to a wider range of communities, leading to the exodus of more affluent families from the area. The population continued to decline, reaching less than 6,000 by the 2000 census.


The demographics of Homewood have shifted over the years. In 2000, the neighborhood had a population of 9,300, with 98.3% identifying as African American. However, recent efforts towards revitalization and development have sparked hope for positive change in the community.

Community Assets

Despite the challenges, the neighborhood is home to several community assets that continue to bring positive programs and effects to the neighborhood. The Carnegie Library, YWCA, and CCAC (Community College of Allegheny County) are just a few of the institutions working towards the betterment of Homewood. Additionally, various community-based organizations have been operating in the area for years, addressing specific problems and now collaborating to create a comprehensive development process.

These organizations include Building United of Southwest PA, Community Empowerment Association Inc. (CEA), Homewood Brushton Community Ministries, Homewood Children’s Village (HCV), Homewood-Brushton Business Association (HBBA), Operation Better Block, Inc., Race Street 2050 Inc., Homewood-Brushton YMCA, and YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. Together, they are working towards a brighter future for Homewood.


A Comprehensive Community Plan

The Department of City Planning of Pittsburgh is taking steps to develop a comprehensive community plan for Homewood. This plan will consolidate past work and investments made by the HELP Initiative, a program focused on neighborhood revitalization. The city planning department has secured the necessary funding to create a roadmap for Homewood’s future.

Future Prospects

Momentum is building for positive change in the area. With the collaborative efforts of community organizations, the support of city planning initiatives, and the determination of Homewood’s residents, the neighborhood is on the path to redevelopment. Following the progress in neighboring communities like East Liberty and Larimer, Homewood is poised to become the next community in Pittsburgh’s East End to experience revitalization.


Homewood is a neighborhood with a storied past and a resilient community. From its origins as a retreat for industrialists to its challenges and current revitalization efforts, the neighborhood has weathered many storms. With a comprehensive community plan in the works and the dedication of various organizations and residents, the future of Homewood looks bright. As the neighborhood continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly retain its unique character and contribute to the diverse tapestry of Pittsburgh.

Homewood Coffee Mug



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