Historic Pittsburgh
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(Family around kitchen table with lace tablecloth) [Teenie Harris Collection]

(Portrait: Rochna Family in Kitchen)[Carnegie Museum of Art Collection of Photographs]

Impeded by the intersection of two major rivers and the abrupt ascent of hills, the city grew up and outward into livable spaces with ingenuity and resourcefulness. The placement of bridges, the pathways of commuter railroad lines, the sites of industry, and locations of houses of worship were boundaries that made Pittsburgh a city of self-contained communities where ethnicity, race, religion, and socioeconomic status have traditionally distinguished one neighborhood from another.

During the prime of Pittsburgh’s iron and steel manufacturing years, factory and mill laborers settled in thickly populated areas affected by the noises and smoke of industry. Many African American workers, who migrated from the southern states, and immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe clustered themselves more deeply into communities where their traditions and faiths could be shared in peace. In contrast, the professional and managerial classes increasingly moved farther from the pollution and dense populations. Railways that reached to the far ends of the city encouraged development of new commuter neighborhoods full of spacious houses and green space.

Despite present-day mobility and increasing suburban sprawl, the neighborhoods nestled between the rivers and on the hillsides of Pittsburgh still maintain much of their unique flavor and continue to shape the character of the Pittsburgh home.

    --Anna Maria Mihalega, May 2004

Dog Tricks [Spencer Family Collection]

Family Portrait

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