Morningside

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.

housing adhd

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.

Brick-bottom bungalow-type houses

American Foursquares with some nice trimmings

Colorful frame houses in in a row

Foursquare/bungalow hybrid things

Different foursquares

Well, I just don’t know what these are

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.

italian connection

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.

Eerie.

Joe Natoli: 271-19-9.

Joe Paterno: 394-129-3.

I mean, all I’m saying is…

vilsack row

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.

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9 Responses to Morningside

  1. kelli weiss says:

    thx, such memories, of my street no less??
    dont recognize anything, we had all those steps up to our front porch, remember??

  2. Jason Ercole says:

    My father, Frank Ercole, played for the Morningside Bulldogs as well as my cousin, Rick Damico. My father always enjoyed talking about his days with the team. My father passed in 2004 but I have fond memories of playing at Morningside in tournaments when I played ball for Penn Hills. Thanks for the site. It brought back some nice memories.

    • Al De Renzo says:

      Jason,

      My name is Al De Renzo. I played football with your father before the Bulldogs. We played at Paulson Field, in East Liberty. Your dad was a good ball player. I think Paul Mazzi was the coach. We were in 7th grade. After 7th grade my family moved to Penn Hills. I remember seeing you dad at the highschool. Some of my family who still live in the “Burgh” are the Seppi’s, Vento’s, and the Monaco’s. The Monaco’s own Hofstots in Oakmont.

      Sorry to hear the Frand passed away.

      • Jason Ercole says:

        Hi Al! All those names you mentioned sound familiar. I’m certain my dad spoke of you. He loved telling stories about the area he grew up in, Lamar Ave. I think was the street he grew up on? I hope you and your family are well. Thank you for the kind words about my dad.

    • Ron Lyons says:

      Hey Jason. It’s Ron Lyons. Really sorry about your dad. I remember he use to catch with me in the back yard. Great man! My sister Sandy just showed me a picture of you and me down jefferson field. It’s a pretty goofy picture.lol

      • Jason Ercole says:

        Hey Ron! Wow, long time Brother! I moved away from Penn Hills after High School and have only been back a few times to visit since. I hope you and the family are well. And thank you for the kind comments about my dad!

  3. Chris Brining (Ruane) says:

    My Brother played for the Morningside Bulldogs back in the 50’s Johnny Ruane for Joe Natoli and was really good friend with Danny Monaco. At that time we lived in Homewood but then moved to Paulson Avenue on Dean St. 1957. What a great neighborhood to live in back then. Spent all my days in the summer at Paulson Pool. Went to grade school with Paul Mazzi (Jr.). Knew the Seppi’s and the Butler boys. Mr. Mazzi was my coach for the girls softball team. I moved to Morningside in 1969 and met my husband Jimmy Brining who was born and raised there. We moved away from there in 2004.

    • Vic Cserer says:

      I grew up on chislett st and lived at the field. PLayed baseball with Paul Mazzi and Babe Martion at Central in 69. I went to grade school with Mike Brining. Rasied my 2 kids on Chislett for 7 years before moving to the Balt-wash area in 84. That house above at 1621 chislett was 5 doors down from my childhood home. It may have been the home of Doc Fulton, who used to see people there before retiring. KNew Joe Natoli very well. Nice page, lotta memories. still drive through Moriningside sometimes when back visiting in Pgh.

  4. Kevinbarnes says:

    John63&kevin67sheraden/langleyguyswithmanyotherwestender’sbulldogsforever

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