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Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

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A Question of Physiognomy

Every city in the world is a city of neighborhoods, and Pittsburgh is no different. But neighborhoods seem more distinct here, and their hold on the residents is tenacious. The city's innate conservatism accounts, in part, for the endurance of and residential loyalty to Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, and its topography gives the city's ninety-one neighborhoods the hills, gullies, rivers, bridges, train tracks, and expressway traffic that create borders of striking prominence. Add to this mix Pittsburgh's traditional ethnic solidarity and the bonding that came from neighbors laboring side by side at death-defying jobs in the mills, and the result is the classic physiognomy of a Pittsburgh neighborhood.

The dozen neighborhoods presented here have visual and social cohesion, and a commonality of age, architectural styles, scale, color, and building materials. Mills that dominated many of these quarters are now gone, but certain places, such as Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church ( AL92), distill and broadcast the essence of a neighborhood. The architectural glory of Pittsburgh may ultimately rest not in its buildings but in its neighborhoods.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.

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