Spring Hill Gardens Apartment complex was built on a 8.5 acre sight overlooking Northside located between Buenta & Varley Streets. It opened on May 1, 1959. The development was originally intended for those displaced by Federal Urban Renewal projects to provide housing for middle income residents. People who’s neighborhoods were wiped out by construction projects. The complex was sponsored by ACTION Housing Inc. and financed by a $1,776,500 mortgage through the government’s section 221 program.
ACTION’s executive director Bernard Loschbough had hoped to integrate the predominantly white neighborhood by placing two black families in each building. It could not get to full capacity fast enough and consequently it was open to everyone. According to a Pittsburgh Post Gazette article from September 6, 1960, many of the white tenants living there would not have moved there without an assurance of an 80%-20% white to black ratio.
The private housing complex consisted of 209 units. Nineteen buildings 38 one bedroom units, 133 two bedroom and 38 three bedroom units. They were renting for $75, $85 & $95. Fidelis Realty Company handled management responsibilities for Spring Hill Gardens Inc., a non-profit group. All utilities were included except for electric.
Acme Grocery Store – Almost every Northside neighborhood had it’s own grocery store to cater to it’s population. The addition of 209 new families attracted the ACME grocery chain. The grand opening of Acme Grocery Store was February 9, 1961. It was located at Southside Avenue and Mathias Street in Spring Hill near the border of City View. The opening was hampered by a snow storm.