Perry South, or Perry Hilltop, is a Pittsburgh neighborhood on the north side of the City of Pittsburgh. The area’s name comes from Perrysville Avenue, at one time part of the Venango trail. This was an old Indian path leading north of what was then Allegheny City and used by Commodore Perry to supply troops in Erie to battle the British in the war of 1812.
The neighborhood is bordered by Marshall-Shadeland, Observatory Hill, Northview Heights, Spring HIll, Fineview and California-Kirkbride.
Developed in the late 1800’s into a streetcar suburb, Perry South is almost exclusively residential, however there is a small business district along the intersection of Perrysville and Charles Avenues. The Perry Hilltop Citizens Council spearheads efforts to prevent decay and revitalize the neighborhood business district.
The southwestern corner of Perry South was once known as Pleasant Valley, and before that Snyder’s Hollow. The neighborhood was originally settled by Germans, Irish, Italians and Poles. This area gave way to the streetcars from the Pleasant Valley Street Railway. These trolleys are what first allowed the rest of Perry South – on the hilltop – to be developed and settled. The owners of the company also developed many of the row homes, a series of which are now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Perry South is also the neighborhood that Josh Gibson, Hall of Fame Catcher for the Homestead Grays, called home in the 1920’s.