Bloomfield is located three miles from downtown Pittsburgh. It is bordered by Oakland, Polish Hill, Lawrenceville, Garfield, Friendship and Shadyside. Many refer to it as “Little Italy” because of its huge Italian-American population.
Today, Bloomfield also is home to other individuals of European descent as well as many college students. The neighborhood is close to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. It is also home to West Penn Hospital, a top medical institution in the region and part of the Allegheny Health Network. Bloomfield definitely hasn’t forgotten about its roots though, as they host Little Italy Days every year.
Bloomfield has a similar founding and history to Friendship up until the late 1860s. The neighborhood was not an independent borough, although it was annexed by the City of Pittsburgh in 1868. Originally it was inhabited by the native Delaware Indian tribe, Casper Taub, one of the Pittsburgh area’s earliest European settlers,claimed the land and then sold it to his son-in-law, John Winebiddle. Winebiddle’s kin divided it into lots to sell for development.
It was settled by German Catholic immigrants around that time, getting its name from the blooming flowers near the original site of the town. In 1900, Italians from the Abruzzi region settled in the area and formed the Immaculate Conception Parish in 1905.
Both ethnic Italians and Germans still occupy Bloomfield and give the neighborrhood an unique personality today. Many young adults describe Bloomfield as “creative and hip” and have moved to the area, partly because of its rich ethnic history and affordability.
Today Bloomfield is a thriving community with hip art galleries, coffee houses and restaurants to satisfy anyone’s craving… if you’re a burger lover… stop by Tessaro’s!
My father was a medical doctor and his doctor’s office was located at 4829 Liberty Avenue in the Bloomfield area of Pittsburgh, a block away from West Penn Hospital. His office was on the second floor above a corner drug store. He was a family practitioner and for 13 years he was busy day and night with morning, afternoon & evening office hours, making house calls and delivering babies…..He was on the medical staff at Shadyside Hospital and I would guess many in Bloomfield may remember him, “C. C Hess, M.D.” and he may have even aided in some of their children’s births. To dad’s surprise two children were named after him.
I lived in Bloomfield for 7 years. Every Sunday I could smell the sauce in the air on the way home from Church. I loved the pizza from Angelo’s and pasta from Vic’s (Santucci). Where I currently live the pizza is lousy and there isn’t a decent Italian restaurant to be found. I loved Bloomfield!