In Allegheny West on the North Side, trees line brick sidewalks bordering Italianate, Victorian, and Greek Revival style houses. It’s the smallest neighborhood in the city of Pittsburgh and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Today, restaurants and shops line Western Avenue, but the little town uphill from the confluence has its own storied history.
Shawnee and Delaware tribes called this land home until the late 18th century. In 1787, land was given to Continental soldiers as part of their pay for service in the American Revolution. By the middle of the 19th century, it was a popular residential district, especially among wealthy iron and steel families along “Millionaires Row” on Ridge Avenue. This was considered Allegheny City before it was annexed into Pittsburgh in 1907. Some of those residences still stand today, and a few have been integrated into CCAC’s campus.
Food & Drink
Midday: Stop in to Peppi’s — a Pittsburgh institution since the ‘80s — for its popular subs, or grab a bite at The Modern Cafe, a family-run bar and cafe. Tip: They carry Leona’s ice cream sandwiches!
Evening: Don’t skip the pad Thai from Nicky’s Thai Kitchen. Pair it with a bottle from Refucilo, an Argentinian winery with great jazz nights, or a craft beer from Four Points Brewing or 412 Brewing. For a sweet treat, go to Pittsburgh’s first Black-owned ice cream parlor, Happy Day Dessert Factory.
Buy your next read from Pittsburgh’s oldest used bookstore, City Books. The owner, Arlan, always has a great selection of local authors up front, plus a “blind date with a book” section, which makes a great gift.
After you treat yourself to a new book, keep the self-love going at Pittsburgh Acupuncture & Massageworks across the street.
Calvary United Methodist Church on Beech Avenue. (Francesca Dabecco / City Cast Pittsburgh)
Go, See, Do!
No matter your religion, you should visit Calvary United Methodist Church to see its trio of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows — a dazzling design among the top 10 largest Tiffany windows in the world. Just down the street, find Emmanuel Episcopal Church, one of the last designs by Henry Hobson Richardson. The red brick church looks like it belongs in a storybook. See it for yourself at one of their Sunday jazz services.
For a taste of Pittsburgh’s arts history, visit 850 Beech Avenue, the birthplace of Gertrude Stein, an American novelist, poet, playwright, and LQBTQ+ icon. Down the way on Allegheny Avenue, find the historical marker for impressionist painter and suffragist Mary Cassatt. And on Western Avenue, step into The Parador Inn, a Reconstruction-era mansion that’s one of the settings for Marcia Davenport's 1943 novel “The Valley of Decision.”