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Houses on Liverpool Street

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originally Locust Street
1880s. 1300 block Liverpool St., between Manhattan and Fulton sts.

Laid out in 1832, Manchester was already an important industrial center by the time it became part of Allegheny City in 1867. This block is one of the most impressive in Pittsburgh and the focus of one of the largest National Register Historic Districts in the city. At 1423 Liverpool Street, ironmaster James Anderson built c. 1830 a two-story, five-bay brick house with a central hall and a two-story pedimented portico that overlooked the Ohio River. The house recalls an era of almost unimaginable calm before men such as Anderson turned the North Side into a hellfire of industrialization. (Anderson's tiny public library, eagerly used by a young Andrew Carnegie, was the model for Carnegie's later worldwide library donations.) The 1300 block of Liverpool Street was originally settled in the 1880s by German-Jewish merchants and professionals. Edgar Kaufmann, the client for Fallingwater (FA28), was born around the corner in 1885. The rows of tall houses, coupled with the wide, tree-lined, red brick sidewalks, create an exhilarating and sophisticated urban streetscape. The nine double houses on the north side of the block are identical in their Second Empire styling, and were originally erected as rental properties on land owned by Letitia Robinson, scion of Allegheny's founding family. Houses on the block's south side were put up individually by such well-known merchants as Charles Aaron and Gustave Langenheim, whose freestanding house at number 1315 is the star of the block. The neighboring houses are mixed in style, but visual unity is maintained by similar mansard roofs, flat incised stone lintels, and the repetition of such basic design elements in the dormers, windows, and porch columns.

The decline of industry and the building of PA 65, which severed Manchester from other parts of the North Side, contributed to the severe decline of the neighborhood in the twentieth century. Since the late 1960s, however, the Manchester Citizens Corporation (MCC) and Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF) have played key roles in neighborhood revitalization. The PHLF rehabilitated most of the buildings on the north side of this block in the late 1960s in a program that later involved hundreds more homes throughout Manchester. The MCC continues to lead Manchester's redevelopment through initiatives designed to replace the neighborhood's dilapidated public housing with new units for sale and rental, and overseeing necessary social and community services.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.
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Data

Timeline

  • 1880

    Built

What's Nearby

Citation

Lu Donnelly et al., "Houses on Liverpool Street", [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-01-AL69.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 90-91.

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