A GLIMPSE AT NORTHSIDE’S GLORIOUS PAST
The Northside has undergone many changes since it’s Allegheny City days. Before 1906 Allegheny City had many manufacturing plants, retail stores, educational institutions, a traction-rail streetcar system & 4 inclines. For many years the Northside was able to retain it’s Market House which was built in 1863. It was located at the corner of East Ohio & Federal Streets which used to connect before the Allegheny Center complex was constructed. East Diamond Street & South Diamond Street were the intersection at the south end. There were many retail businesses that surrounded the Market House including shoe stores, clothing stores, restaurants, furniture stores like Hahn & Sears department store. The East Ohio Street business district extended as far as Etna to the east and connected to the West Ohio Street Business District.
The Allegheny Market House was torn down in 1966 to make way for the Allegheny Center complex, the mall opened in 1965. Allegheny Center was built by ALCOA. It was experimental as he first inner city, in-door mall in the United States. Many of the businesses on the perimeter of the Market House eventually moved into the mall including Wilken’s Jewelry, Thom McCann’s & Sears. As a result all of those buildings were demolished. Allegheny Center Mall contained over 100 retailers. Many of them were parts of national chains such as Zayre, Sears, F.W. Woolworths, Ames, Eva Gabor Wigs, Fanny Farmer Candies and National Record Mart. Outside of the mall there were businesses like Sun Drugs, Sweet Williams, Your Father’s Mustache and Isaly’s. Allegheny Center Mall also hosted promotions featuring Newscasters, Soap Stars, Neighborhood performers, photos with Santa Claus, A Christmas Train for children, the Easter Bunny and much more.
Allegheny Center Mall lasted about 30 years. Shopping on the Northside was disastrously affected by the closing of the Mall. The Northside has yet to recover from this. In fact, the business districts were reduced even further with the construction of 279 slicing up East Ohio Street and the demolition of many other building allowed to go into decay from years of neglect. This however is not unique to the Northside. Inner city shopping across America seemed to lose their appeal due to suburban malls that were much bigger became a trend, as well as moving to the suburbs. Now that the trend has come full circle again and people are moving back to the convenience of the cities, perhaps Northside will benefit from the creation of new shopping districts.
It is first of all necessary for the convenience of it’s residents. Even more it could attract new money to the neighborhoods stimulating construction and growth.
Please support these following Northside Businesses…
Posted in: Website Updates