A Brief History of Lawrenceville
Lawrenceville is one of the largest neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. This area is located northeast of downtown and is bordered by neighborhoods like Bloomfield, the Strip District and Polish Hill. Lawrenceville is actually now considered three different neighborhoods—Upper, Central and Lower.
Lawrenceville was founded in 1814 by William B. Foster, who was the father of Stephen Foster (composer of “Camptown Races,” “My Old Kentucky Home”). It got its name from Captain James Lawrence, War of 1812 hero (of “Don’t Give Up the Ship” fame). Lawrenceville was annexed to Pittsburgh in 1868 and was also the home of the Allegheny Arsenal, a Union Army supply and manufacturing center during the Civil War.
One of the original buildings in Lawrenceville was a log home built in the 1820s and survived all the way until 2011. Lawrenceville is also Hollywood famous—scenes from the Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway movie Love and Other Drugs was filmed there. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC opened a new building in Lawrenceville in 2009, moving patients from Oakland. Finally, Lawrenceville’s revitalization has allowed it to become one of the finest art, live music and dining hubs of the Western PA area. The history of Lawrenceville is crucial to understanding the growth of Pittsburgh.