Morningside is a neighborhood in the northern part of Pittsburgh’s East End. The neighborhood was farmland until 1905 when the installation of a streetcar line quickly transformed the area into a suburb. The neighborhood is mainly residential with a small business district in the north part of town. The area used to be populated largely by Italian immigrants, and though the neighborhood has become more diverse in the last 50 years, the area retains definite links to its Italian heritage.
Most of Morningside’s houses were built in the last century. In many of the neighborhoods I’ve been to so far, the architecture follows loose patterns and certain themes pop up over and over again. The architectural theme in Morningside: 20th century. Seem pretty broad? Here’s a sampling from Chislett Street. It’s hard to keep up.
view from baker street
Folks who live on Baker Street get a great view of the Monongahela Allegheny (thanks Erick, no thanks decaf coffee) from their back windows.
Many Morningsiders maintain strong connections to their Italian roots. Spigno Saturnia is a small agricultural town near Naples from which many Morningsiders emigrated. The building pictured below is a clubhouse of sorts.
(MTV’s Jersey Shore has created a whole new set of stereotypes. I usually avoid such things, but when talking about Morningside’s Italian community and showing a picture of the Italo-America Society building, I can’t help but share that the adjacent buildings are a tanning salon and a pizzeria. I remember a time when tanning salons were associated with losers of all stripes, not just Italians. Thanks a lot, MTV.)
Morningside’s Italian connections are further manifested in Joe Natoli field (who led the pre-high-school Morningside Bulldogs football team to a 30 year record of 271-19-9…DAMN), St. Raphael school and church, the John L. DelSignore Bocce Courts, and the annual Festival of St. Rocco with Italian mass, dancing and fireworks.
Joe Natoli: 271-19-9.
Joe Paterno: 394-129-3.
I mean, all I’m saying is…
Frederick G. Scheibler was a prominent Pittsburgh architect during the first half of the 20th century. Born and raised in the area, Scheibler had 150 commissions in and around southwestern PA, most of them in Pittsburgh’s ‘suburban’ neighborhoods. ‘Vilsack Row’ on Jancey Street may not look like much at first glance, but Scheibler’s 1914 design was considered progressive and design-forward (is that a term?)
morning glory coffeehouse
It’s pretty slim-pickings when it comes to dining options in Morningside, but if the lack of options keep you headed back to the same place over and over, count yourself among the lucky that Morning Glory Coffeehouse is your slim-picking-pick. They have a pretty large veggie menu (including a Margherita Pizza Bagel and Chai Latte Oatmeal), hot and cold drinks duh, knitting sessions, and they were voted the Best Place to See Unusual Folk Music by the City Paper last year. Get that ass to Mo Glo.
new series: why on earth don’t you live in pittsburgh
Seriously, why on earth don’t you live in Pittsburgh? 1621 Chislett Street.
6 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms. 2500 sq ft. Built in 1925. $179,000.
parting shot: morningside
Morningside, as viewed from a portion of Stanton Heights. You can kind of see how Morningside is tucked into a little flat valley. You can also kind of see that the architecture might be a little more uniform than I made it out to be in my earlier post. Trust me, it’s wild down there.
Get down with Morningside at their website.