Location, Location, Location.

Pittsburgh’s Hilltop comprises 11 city neighborhoods and the borough of Mount Oliver. Centrally located, it’s a quick shot over the Liberty Bridge to Downtown, and the Parkway is just minutes away from the south side of the Hilltop, right around the corner from Route 19. The South Hills Junction T Station is situated on the border of Mt. Washington and Beltzhoover, and that famous funicular, The Incline, connects Grandview Avenue to Station Square.

“I couldn’t ask for a better place to ride a bike,” says Dowling, the new resident and contractor. “I’m training for a triathlon, so I can ride my bike down Sycamore to the [Three Rivers Heritage] trail, go all the way to Homestead and then come back up via the Incline.”

“Although many people are unaware, the Hilltop communities are wonderful, if sometimes underappreciated places to live with amazing local businesses and amenities,” says Henry Pyatt, ‎Small Business and Redevelopment Manager in the Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment for the City of Pittsburgh.

Allentown. BC photo.

In Mt. Washington, a bustling business corridor exists on Shiloh Street, with enough restaurants, bars, and locally-owned shops to suit any taste. In nearby Allentown, East Warrington Avenue has undergone a resurgence in the past year, with small businesses and restaurants gobbling up vacant storefronts as quickly as they come on the market.

“Warrington is a really active street,” says Nick Miller, Allentown resident and co-owner of Allentown’s Black Forge Coffee. “Business doors are open, people are hanging out. It kinda feels like you’re walking down a couple blocks of Carson Street. There’s a lot of excitement in the air.”

Prior to opening his acclaimed coffee shop, Miller lived in Mt. Washington.

“I liked the neighborhood a lot,” says Miller. “We had an upstairs balcony with a view of Downtown and a huge front porch and yard. It was a three block walk to Grandview Avenue, and Shiloh Grille has an awesome brunch. Everything I needed I could get in Mt. Washington or down the street in South Side.”

Miller moved to Allentown 12 months ago to be within walking distance of his business. He says that sometimes he still can’t believe he gets to live where he is today.

“For a house that has a corner lot, brick foundation, three stories and a basement, and is literally 20 feet from Grandview Park, I feel like we should be paying three times as much.”

Chatham Village. BC photo.

Another new Hilltop resident, Danelle Ardell, closed on a property last week in Chatham Village, a quaint and quiet community within the larger neighborhood of Mt. Washington itself. The Village, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, functions as a co-op, with shared community fees for maintenance and upkeep.

I’m from the country,” says Ardell, who will be relocating to Mt. Washington from Beaver County. “I like trees and green space, but I also like city living and the excitement and cultural amenities that come with that. I wanted to live in a place that has elements of both.”

Chatham Village overlooks Emerald View Park, which itself surrounds both Mt. Washington and Allentown. The 257-acre urban park encompasses Grandview, Olympia, and Mt. Washington Parks and contains hiking trails throughout with unbeatable views of the city and its surrounding neighborhoods.

While most people are familiar with the mansions and condos that line Grandview Avenue and the spectacular view of Pittsburgh that they afford, they are in fact a small segment of the real estate available Mt. Washington and the Hilltop as a whole.

“We have something in every price point,” says Panza, the realtor. “There are so many great things that our neighborhood has. It surprises me most people don’t know about Mt. Washington beyond Grandview [Avenue].

Get a taste of the Hilltop during Next 3 Days, a celebration of the neighborhoods with a kick-off party, street fest and more on June 17—19 in Mt. Washington and Allentown. On Sunday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority will host a Home Buyer Workshop and Home Tour, beginning at noon at the Lofts of Mt. Washington, 200 Cowan St. A URA representative will be on hand to discuss their programs for homeowners, followed by a tour of more than a dozen houses in Allentown and Mt. Washington.

Brian Conway

Brian Conway is a writer and photographer whose articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and local publications. In his free time, he operates Tripsburgh. Brian lives in the South Side.