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Old 03-15-2012, 10:57 PM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
3,933 posts, read 4,065,061 times
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This is a photo tour of what remains (very little) of the Schweizer Loch neighborhood on Pittsburgh's North Side, near the 16th Street Bridge. This was historically Pittsburgh's Swiss neighborhood. It seems to have been decimated by highways and demolitions over the years. It was once very dense with Antebellum row-houses.

I took these pictures with my cell phone rather quickly, so they're not quite up to my usual standards!

Discovering Historic Pittsburgh: The Remains of Schweizer Loch
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:08 PM
 
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I've always been intrigued by this area -- thanks for the info. Always makes me sad to see the bustling old photos of places like this and Beaver Ave. (which almost looked like Carson Street at one time!).
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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Change is the only constant, at least there is still a little bit of Schweizer Loch around because of the nature of change to a more industrial environment over there.

The entire North Side has similar changes, the East Street Valley, the previously mentioned Beaver Ave, out in Woods Run on the Alcosan property was a residential area as well, underneath the West End bridge there were many residences when I was a kid.

And the biggest changes were in the close North Shore area, before PNC Park was built, there were row houses as well as a senior citizens apartment building that were razed for the effort.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:33 AM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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Thank you for posting those photos and I love the old ones! You have a real talent. Thanks again for that tour.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Cortland, Ohio
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Great pictures, in some ways it reminds me of parts of Youngstown, although the architecture is different.
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
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Thanks, guys!

By the way, does anyone remember when more houses were standing in Schweizer Loch? When were most of them torn down?
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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I remember riding the bus in the early to mid 1970s and there was still some semblance of a neighborhood there because the bus took side streets through there to get in and out of town. By the mid-70s, PennDOT was buying up the area for the expressway and bridge (which took another decade to build), so a lot of the houses were already sitting empty and in disrepair. Expressway construction almost killed Deutchtown, too, because nobody was sure how much of the neighborhood would be razed. That left a lot of people in limbo for years, so nobody would invest in the neighborhood.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alleghenyangel View Post
Thanks, guys!

By the way, does anyone remember when more houses were standing in Schweizer Loch? When were most of them torn down?

There were a lot more houses down there just 15 years ago, particularly on South Canal St.

The Chestnut St. White Tower was also around in the 1990's.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Mt. Lebanon
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Very nice, especially considering the lack of subject matter. I think that yellow brick rowhouse standing all alone may be one of the oldest houses on the North Side...
Notice how the party walls extend up past the roof, that was a feature mandated by the city to slow the spread of fire in the era before there was a central water supply. The foundation of that house is rough stone, very different from the industrial looking cut stone everywhere else. The house has a cellar entrance on the sidewalk, another trait of very old rows. The maps of Allegheny show those streets laid out well before the rest of Deutschtown; there is a house on Pressley that dates from the 1830's, I think that South Canal house is at least that old, maybe older.

I also really like that Second Empire storefront on Voegtly. Its in the city directory first as a candy store, then a tavern, then a cheap hotel.

That neighborhood was born in the 1830's as the site of the Pennsylvania canal basin and so was full of warehouses and bars. The rail bridge across the Allegheny now is in the same spot as the canal boat bridge was carrying cargo over to Pittsburgh; imagine a bridge across the river that was an enormous wooden bucket of water...
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:18 AM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
3,933 posts, read 4,065,061 times
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Fascinating! I will have a couple house historian friends of mine look at the yellow brick house and see how old they think it might be. One of them might have more info.

It's a shame that Pittsburgh was destroying historic neighborhoods for highways as late as the 1970s and 80s.
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