Pittsburgh Neighborhoods: Marshall-Shadeland


Marshall-Shadeland, a neighborhood on the North Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has a rich history and a diverse cultural landscape. This area, also known as Brightwood, has played host to a myriad of ethnic groups throughout its history, each contributing to its unique identity.

Historical Overview

Marshall-Shadeland was annexed by Allegheny City in 1870 and has since then served as a residential district. This neighborhood extends west to the Ohio River, with its residential area ending at California Avenue. The area towards the Ohio River is primarily industrial, housing the Woods Run Penitentiary, now known as the State Correctional Institution – Pittsburgh.

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The Many Names Of Marshall-Shadeland

The neighborhood has been known by several names over the years, reflecting its dynamic history and the diverse groups that have called it home.

Woods Run

One of its earliest names, ‘Woods Run’, was a tribute to early settler John Ross. Even today, the neighborhood’s library still carries this name as the Woods Run branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. In her article about the library, reporter Patricia Lowry described Woods Run as one of the most quintessentially Pittsburgh places.

Shadeland-Halls Grove

In a 1974 Neighborhood Profile by the City of Pittsburgh Department of Urban Planning, the area was referred to as “Shadeland-Halls Grove”. This label distinguished between the residential neighborhood and the industrial district of “Woods Run”.


The name “Marshall-Shadeland” was used in a 1977 Neighborhood Atlas. This Atlas aimed to reflect neighborhood boundaries defined by residents rather than public officials. Archibald M. Marshall, an Irish grocer, dry goods merchant, and landscaper of West Park, inspired the name. The Atlas pointed out that Marshall-Shadeland was predominantly Slovak, with Italians, Carpatho-Rusins, Russians, Irish, and Germans also represented.

Marshall Shadeland


More recently, residents have started to refer to the area as Brightwood. This name is now used by the City of Pittsburgh’s website and the Brightwood Civic Group, an organization of area advocates.

Marshall-Shadeland is bordered by Woods Run Avenue to the north, Marshall Avenue to the south, and Riverview Park, Highwood Cemetery, and Uniondale Cemetery on the east. The neighborhood shares land borders with the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Brighton Heights to the north, Perry North to the northeast, Perry South to the east, and California-Kirkbride, Manchester, and Chateau to the south.

Across the Ohio River to the west, Marshall-Shadeland runs adjacent to Stowe Township, McKees Rocks, and the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Esplen. The McKees Rocks Bridge westbound starts at PA Route 65 in Brighton Heights, then passes over Marshall-Shadeland, the Ohio River, Stowe Township, and ends at PA Route 51 in McKees Rocks.

City Steps

Marshall-Shadeland is noted for its 29 distinct flights of city steps. These steps not only provide a quick and efficient way for pedestrians to traverse this hilly area but also connect residents to public transportation.

Marshall-Shadeland, also known as Brightwood, is a neighborhood with a rich history and a diverse cultural landscape. Its unique identity has been shaped by the many different ethnic groups that have called it home over the years. Today, Marshall-Shadeland continues to be a vibrant and evolving part of Pittsburgh’s North Side.

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