Situated at the historic center of what was once the City of Allegheny, the original town plan was laid out in 1788, and consisted of 36 square blocks surrounded by a common grazing area (now Allegheny Commons Park). Old Allegheny was annexed by the City of Pittsburgh in 1907 and became known as the Northside. Today, the Northside is a large and varied geographic area, combining neighborhoods that, like much of the City of Pittsburgh, are very much products of their topography. The Northside is home to many hidden gems, from large, stately Victorian homes to clusters of sturdy but affordable brick homes. There are several small business districts located throughout the sector, rather than a centralized commercial area. The Northside is also home to Riverview Park, one of the City's five regional parks.
Allegheny Center is a mixed-use neighborhood. The area includes several residential complexes, high-rises, and office buildings. Located in the center of the former Allegheny City, the 1960’s brought redevelopment that dramatically changed the neighborhood. The Allegheny Market House (a prominent landmark of the former Allegheny City’s downtown) and other buildings in the area were leveled to make way for Allegheny Center Mall. Traffic was rerouted around the neighborhood, eliminating the Ohio and Federal Street intersection, and separating Allegheny Center from the surrounding area.
Brighton Heights is a located in Pittsburgh’s Upper North Side on the edge of the city limits, overlooking the Ohio River to the west. Brighton Heights has two business districts. One is on Brighton Road, centered at the intersection of Termon Avenue, while the other is on California Avenue centered near the intersection of Orchlee St. Large maple trees line many of the residential streets, nicely complementing the stone and brick homes and churches throughout the neighborhood. The stately architecture and beautiful stained glass of many of the buildings in Brighton Heights make it a popular stop for Pittsburgh’s annual neighborhood house tours. The community in Brighton Heights is stable like its solid buildings, with many lifelong residents who know each other well.
Brightwood, which contains areas also referred to as Marshall-Shadeland and Wood's Run, is a neighborhood of approximately 7,000 people located in Pittsburgh’s Upper North Side, along the Ohio River. The neighborhood also includes the nearby industrial center of Brunots Island, which is accessible only via railroad bridge or boat. Brunots Island is comprised of facilities owned and operated by the Duquesne Light utility company. This primarily residential neighborhood is made up mostly of two-story brick houses. There are several businesses and recreational facilities scattered throughout the neighborhood, and residents are well connected to regional shopping areas and attractions by way of transit or automobile.
The neighborhood is also known as Deustchtown because of the many German immigrants who settled there--this also refers to the name of its national historic district. The historic district is centered on East Ohio Street, the neighborhood’s business district. Despite its historic nature, the neighborhood saw significant demolition from the construction of I-279 and I-579, a combination depressed highway and bridge that bisects the neighborhood. The neighborhood is still home to many businesses and fine brick rowhouses—the neighborhood is very walk-able, and has easy access to a wealth of recreational and cultural activities.
Fineview is a small neighborhood community mostly defined by its topography. The hilly landscape separates the community from its surrounding neighbors, yet it is still accessible. The topography allows for one of the best views of the city from a recently renovated overlook. The area is largely residential and although it is not a registered historic district, it has many charming older houses that have recently seen some new investment--several new homes have recently been constructed as well.
Northview Heights was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1931. In 1962, the Housing Authority of Pittsburgh opened a 999 unit housing complex that is a combination of high-rise and row homes. The complex, due to the neighborhood's topography and its design is somewhat secluded.
Observatory Hill, also known as Perry North, is located atop Pittsburgh’s Upper North Side. In addition to scenic hilltop views of the city, Observatory Hill is also home to many restored and renovated mansions, which are part of the annual Observatory Hill House Tour. The name Observatory Hill is taken from the beautiful Allegheny Observatory located atop a hill in Riverview Park. This is a hilly neighborhood and many streets are on steep hillsides that do not allow for through traffic. Observatory Hill is an ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood where new residents who are attracted by the area's quality of life have neighbors whose families have lived in the neighborhood for generations.
Perry South, commonly known as Perry Hilltop, contains a rich history, with its corridors of Perrysville Avenue and Federal Street both approximately tracing the path of the historic Venango Indian Trail. Commodore Perry used the Trail to carry supplies from Pittsburgh to Erie for his lake battle against the British during the War of 1812. Perry Hilltop contains many solid brick homes, as well as some fine examples of Victorian architecture and opportunities for home restorations abound. The neighborhood is conveniently located to the cultural amenities of the Northside and Downtown, and is well connected by transit.
Spring Garden is a valley community, centered around Spring Garden Avenue. During the period of its initial growth in the mid-1800s, Spring Garden was primarily industrial in nature. It was a center of meat packing, tanning, and soap production. The largely German and Austrian workforce of these industries sought to live close to their places of work, and the demand was quickly met by early developers of the area. Today, Spring Garden retains much of its original industrial feel while also remaining a cohesive community of many long-time residents.
Known today for its panoramic views of the city, Spring Hill-City View was originally named for the natural springs that ran through the area. Germans immigrated there from 1850 to 1920, giving the neighborhood a Bavarian atmosphere. Local street names include Rhine, Woessner, Haslage, Zoller and Goehring. Spring Hill is a neighborhood that enjoys both lush greenery and quick access to city and suburban amenities, less than ten minutes from Downtown and bordering directly on Interstate 279.
Summer Hill was annexed into the City of Pittsburgh in 1907 and is the northernmost neighborhood in the City of Pittsburgh. Summer Hill has a distinctly suburban feel, and is composed mostly of medium to large size lots with affordable housing in a forested setting. It enjoys easy access to Downtown, the Parkway North, McKnight Road, and North Hills shopping areas.
Overlooking Downtown and the Allegheny River, Troy Hill is a hilltop neighborhood that also includes the Route 28 corridor as well as the development of Washington’s Landing (Herr’s Island). Lowrie Street is the main street through the neighborhood. The 31st Street Bridge extends over Herr’s Island and the Allegheny River to the Strip District on the opposite shore. The Troy Hill Citizens Council is active in preserving the neighborhood’s character through numerous charitable events and beautification efforts. Though it has diversified greatly over the years, the feel of this neighborhood is still defined by the strong sense of community developed by the largely German immigrants who came here in the middle of the 19th Century.