A Brief History of Shadyside

history of shadyside

Shadyside, located in the East End of Pittsburgh, is a vibrant neighborhood with plenty to eat, drink and see. The Niche company named Shadyside as the best neighborhood in the ‘burgh for millennials.

Shadyside is home to retail-driven Walnut St., home to Pittsburgh’s oldest jewelry store, Henne Jewelers. In addition to retail, there are multiple restaurants on Walnut St., including Pamela’s Diner. Pamela’s has been serving breakfast to the Shadyside neighborhood for nearly 40 years (even President Obama and First Lady Michelle stopped by in 2009!).



The history of Shadyside starts with farmland, believe it or not. It became residential in the late 1800s and in the ’50s, the Walnut St. retail area began. For those who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, did you visit Shadyside when it was what the Pittsburgh Press dubbed “Our Greenwich Village.” The neighborhood was nicknamed this because it was a place for hippies to enjoy themselves in the 1960s and ’70s.  The original farm was annexed to the city of Pittsburgh as Shadyside in 1868.  Long ago, Shadyside also was home to an iron furnace and a small oil refinery!

UPMC Shadyside was originally in down town Pittsburgh, and known as  Homeopathic Medical and Surgical Hospital and Dispensary.  In 1910, it moved to Shadyside and in 1938 changed it’s name to Shadyside Hospital.  Early in it’s history, Shadyside Hospital performed the first X-ray in Western Pennsylvania and also established the regions first school of nursing.  The current structure of the hospital was built in 1972 and became part of UPMC in 1997.



Shadyside has 2 main shopping districts.  Walnut Street, and Ellsworth Avenue.  Both contain many blocks of locally owned stores and boutiques, as well as some well known national chains like the Shadyside Apple store.  Art galleries and antique shops are also present, as well as some great restaurants in Shadyside.

This vibrant area is host to many events in Pittsburgh every year, including the Shadyside Arts Festival.  Residents of the area, Pittsburghers as a whole and visitors from all over the world attend to shop, dine and enjoy themselves along Walnut Street.

Shadyside is bordered by Oakland, Bloomfield, Friendship, East Liberty, Larimer, Point Breeze and Squirrel Hill.


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