Situated north-east of downtown Pittsburgh, Lawrenceville is one of the largest neighborhoods in the city of Pittsburgh. It has an industrial history like many other riverfront districts, and the city identifies it as three distinct areas – Upper, Central, and Lower Lawrenceville – though there is no practical effect to these distinctions. As a result, Lawrenceville is typically regarded as a single large neighborhood.  In 2019, the Lawrenceville Historic District, which covers most of the area, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lawrenceville was founded in 1814 by William B. Foster, the father of composer Stephen Foster, who was born there in 1826. It was named after Captain James Lawrence, a hero of the War of 1812, remembered for his famous last words: “Don’t Give Up The Ship!” The Allegheny Arsenal was located in Lawrenceville due to its access to waterways and its nearness to the country’s only iron-producing region at the time. It was incorporated as a borough on February 18, 1834 and was eventually annexed to Pittsburgh in 1868.  One of the original houses, a log cabin built in the 1820s, stood at 184 38th Street until July 2011.


Historical maps depict two large islands in the Allegheny River, just across from Lawrenceville. Herrs Island, which went from 28th to 37th street, and McCullough’s Island (also referred to as Wainwright’s Island or “Good Liquor” Island), which stretched from 35th to 40th street. The name of Washington’s Landing is derived from an incident in 1753, when George Washington was thrown off his raft while crossing the Allegheny, and he managed to reach the safety of an adjacent island.

Washington’s Landing is still present today, but the location of his initial landing, McCullough’s Island, no longer exists. It is not known what caused the disappearance of the island. There are two potential explanations, either it eroded or the narrow channel between it and Lawrenceville caused it to be joined with the mainland.

The zip code for Lawrenceville is 15201, and a tiny portion is shared with Bloomfield and Garfield as 15224. Its unique landmarks include Allegheny Cemetery, Arsenal Middle School, Arsenal Park, and Doughboy Square. This neighborhood has kept its industrial-era vibe with aged warehouses and narrow row houses along the streets and alleys.

On May 2, 2009, UPMC’s Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh opened a new building in Lawrenceville, moving patients from Oakland leading to the area’s transformation and influx of job and business opportunities. The New York Times labeled the neighborhood a “go-to destination.” Lawrenceville’s main street, Butler Street, is home to a plethora of restaurants, bars, boutiques, furniture stores, and coffee shops. Additionally, Arsenal Lanes, a longstanding bowling alley with a bar, is located in the area. The Row House Cinema, which opened in 2014, features popular classic films.


The real estate market in Lawrenceville has had a significant increase in recent years, with price appreciation being second highest in the city after the South Side, according to Carnegie Mellon University. In 2015, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stated an increasing amount of developers coming to Lawrenceville to buy properties for resale, or “flipping” houses, though the gains from this have declined as the prices rise.

The neighborhood is also Hollywood famous—scenes from the Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway movie Love and Other Drugs were filmed there.  Lawrenceville’s revitalization has allowed it to become one of the finest art, live music and dining hubs of the Western PA area.


Like the recent renaissance in Pittsburgh, today this vibrant and exciting area is experiencing an exciting rebirth and regeneration.  Many new businesses and residential areas are on the rise.  It has become a destination for young and old to shop, dine and live.


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