Fairywood, one of the western most neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, was created in the early 1900’s by the Pennsylvania Railroad as a residential area for rail workers. Legend has it that the Railroad named the area. The neighborhood is bordered by Windgap and the borough of Ingram.
Once occupied by several public housing developments, the area has fallen on hard times since the 1960’s and 1970’s. Many of the developments were torn down, with the residents relocating to other areas of the city. Many of the original homes in Fairywood have been torn down and demolished.
Construction on the former “Industrial Highway”, once meant to connect Route 60 to Route 51 in Esplen and bring more life and business to the area stalled in the 1970’s, and it’s now known as the abandoned ghost highway.
While Fairywood has declined in the last decades, there is some hope for the area. UPS, ModCloth, Giant Eagle and Amazon currently have distribution and commercial centers there, and there are plans for more commercial and industrial development in the area.
Fairywood Elementary School was built in 1922 and admitted into the Pittsburgh Public School System, only to be closed in 1939. Later reopened in 1943, it educated the children in the neighborhood until it’s final closing in 1984. Local residents referred to the grove in the area of the school as “woods full of fairies.”
Fairywood, like alot of Pittsburgh neighborhoods, can be reborn!