Highland Park

1920 - 1940

After the end of World War I and the recession that followed in 1919 and 1920, the Highland Park district experienced its second major building boom. By this time, the automobile had become a common sight on Pittsburgh’s streets, and had opened up for development areas of town that had previously been considered undesirable because of steep hillsides or distance from streetcar lines.


1910 - 1920

The pace of construction slowed in Highland Park after 1910, and nearly halted after the United States entered the Great War in 1917. Much of the easily-accessible land near the streetcar lines had already been filled, and the resulting scarcity of building lots, combined with continuing demand for houses in the district, began to drive the price of land beyond the means of small speculative builders. Most of the buildings constructed in this decade filled in the empty lots left over from the previous years.


1900 - 1910

The first decade of the 20th century was the time of Highland Park’s most intensive development. The present physical character of the district was established at that time, when about half of all the houses standing west of Highland Avenue were built. Construction was concentrated on the relatively flat streets in the central and western sections of the district, but there was some building in the hilly eastern part as well, particularly on Sheridan Avenue and Heberton Street (south of Bryant Street), the 1300 block of Sheridan, and along De Victor Place.


1880 - 1900

Later, in the two decades between 1880 and 1900, the infrastructure and amenities that would guide the future development of the neighborhood were put into place. During this period, Pittsburgh became the center of the newly-consolidated iron and steel, glass, and oil industries. The expansion of these industries drew masses on immigrants and other workers to Pittsburgh, more than doubling its population between 1880 and 1990.


1860 - 1880

The first phase of building in Highland Park began after the Civil War, in response to Pittsburgh’s growth during the war years and to the access provided by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Large country houses and clusters of small suburban dwellings began to appear in the neighborhood around this time. Maps from 1872 show that the Negley family properties between Hiland and Negley Avenues, north to Bryant Street, had been subdivided, and streets laid out there, by this time. Country houses, on substantial lots of ground, were scattered along Highland, Stanton, and Negley Avenues.


Historical Background

The first permanent European settler in Highland Park was Alexander Negley, a German who in 1778 purchased a 278-acre farm along the Allegheny River that he called "Fertile Bottom" and which extended over much of what is now Highland Park north of Bryant Street. His son Jacob married Barbara Winebiddle, the daughter of other local landowners, in 1795, and purchased the 443-acre farm (called "Heth’s Delight") that adjoined his father’s farm to the south and west in 1799.


National Historic District

The Highland Park Residential Historic District is significant because of the presence of a variety of nineteenth- and twentieth-century styles of architecture that reflect the development, growth, and maturity of the neighborhood. The architectural resources of the district are almost entirely residential in use, mostly single-family detached houses and double houses, with a small number of commercial, educational, and religious buildings as well. The period of significance of the district is 1860 until circa 1940.


Join in the Creation of the "Animal Adventure"

Artists Laura Jean McLaughlin and Bob Ziller welcome you to free community workshops that allow children and adults of all ages to help make the 20 animal figures that will be installed in August on the retaining wall on One Wild Place (formerly "The Hill Road") near the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
"Animal Adventure" is a mosaic mural project for Highland Park facilitated and funded by



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