History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.
–David C. McCullough
Nestled just 7 miles outside of Downtown Pittsburgh, the Wilkinsburg community offers welcoming residential neighborhoods just minutes from the one of the country’s most thriving and most livable cities. The borough’s proximity to Pittsburgh and its location along main lines of transit from outlying areas were key to its founding and early development. The original village plan was drawn along both sides of the Great Road to Fort Pitt. Wilkinsburg truly began to flourish when the railroad came through in the 1850s, bringing access to jobs in other parts of the city. Nonetheless, Wilkinsburg values its independence. Wilkinsburg was annexed to the city in 1873, but Wilkinsburg residents fought to have that action reversed. Wilkinsburg returned to its independent status in 1876.
Our rich history rooted in innovation and education, our vibrant network of small businesses, and, of course, the pride and perseverance of the people who call Wilkinsburg home continue to shape our community. What might we learn about who we are by turning a careful eye toward Wilkinsburg’s history? What might we recognize in the story of our past that provides insight into the problems and opportunities we face today?
The Heart of Wilkinsburg is in its Neighborhoods and People
Even in its heyday, when Wilkinsburg businesses bustled with visiting shoppers, most Wilkinsburg residents worked outside of the borough. Wilkinsburg’s neighborhoods have long been home to commuting workers of every stripe, and its future and past go hand in hand.
Check out the latest Census Demographics to get a sense of the diversity and vibrancy Wilkinsburg’s Population brings.