This view overlooks the California-Kirkbride section of Pittsburgh, with Manchester and the West End Bridge in the background. The neighborhood is a wedge of land between the railroad tracks at the northern edge of Manchester and a steep hill at the southern edges of Brightwood and Perry Hilltop. Most of the neighborhood is located on the flat river plain that comprises the majority of old Allegheny City Historically, this area had been part of Manchester but due to the barrier imposed by the railroad, it did not receive the industrial uses typical of Manchester except on its borders.
The neighborhood was developed almost exclusively between 1870 and 1900. During this period, industries including tanneries, slaughterhouses, and the local rail yard were flourishing in Allegheny City, and the men working in these industries needed housing for themselves and their families. To meet this need, several businessmen - often the owners of the businesses whose workers needed housing - bought land in California-Kirkbride and built rowhouses on it. The neighborhood thus consists almost entirely of rowhouses that were initially built for industrial workers and their families. A significant portion of the neighborhood's rowhouses were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, as the Old Allegheny Rows Historic District. These rowhouses, while intended for industrial workers of modest means, were designed to be beautiful and to offer the workers some amenities. Thus, the period from the 1870’s - 1900’s saw a change in the nature and appearance of city dwellings in the district from simple brick boxes intended to house the workers of a particular local industry, to an ornate polychromed speculative development with modern conveniences designed to appeal to the independent urban wage earner.
The neighborhood began to depopulate after the Great Depression. Over time, some of the neighborhood's structures have been demolished, so that there are now significant gaps in the rows of houses - as can be seen in this image - which are now vacant lots. Some current residents see these changes as improvements which will encourage new residents to maintain and preserve the remaining structures. (Extracted from Wikipedia)
Shot on April 10, 2016, California- Kirkbride neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA
© John Schiller Photography