Things to do in East Liberty

EAST LIBERTY BY THE NUMBERS

  • POPULATION
  • 6,236
  • 18 to 24: 11%
  • 25 to 34: 16%
  • 35 to 54: 24%
  • 55 to 64: 11%
  • 65+: 18%
  • RACIAL DIVERSITY
  • African American 61.12%
  • White 24.22%
  • Asian 8.2%
  • Multiracial 3.42%
  • Other 3%
  • EDUCATION
  • Less than a high school diploma: 17%
  • High school diploma or equivalent: 27%
  • Some college or associate degree: 28%
  • Bachelor’s degree: 14%
  • Master’s degree or higher: 14%
  • Data by Niche.
  • Nichelogo
  • HOUSING
  • Rent: 81.9%
  • Own: 18.1%
  • Median Home Construction Year: 1955
  • Median Rent: $665
  • Median Home Value: $81,548

 

A remarkable transformation is unfolding in East Liberty.

The story of this neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s East End is one of vacillating highs and lows beginning with its early bucolic days when farmland first made way for a thriving commercial center that served many of Pittsburgh’s industrial millionaires who lived in nearby neighborhoods. Sliberty, as it was called, flourished as a central shopping district until suburban sprawl and poor city planning decisions took their toll in the Sixties, bringing urban blight and crime upon the community.

But that is in the past as the neighborhood continues to undergo an expansive renaissance. The beautiful and ornate Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre, formerly the Regent Theatre, has reclaimed prominence as a cultural and educational heart of the community across the street from the gothic spires of East Liberty Presbyterian Church, built as a memorial to the Mellon family.

The East Liberty Development Inc. deserves kudos for their contribution in rehabbing many of the historic commercial buildings along the Penn Avenue corridor. Today the community—a neighborhood of 5,000 residents bordered by Highland Park, Morningside, Stanton Heights, Garfield, Friendship, Shadyside and Larimer—is regaining its place once again as a thriving place for businesses, residential living and shopping.

The redevelopment of the neighborhood has not been without controversy, however, mainly focusing on the issue of gentrification in the culturally diverse neighborhood. But attempts of late to create mixed-income residential housing may be addressing those concerns.

In addition, the community has become a rallying point for entrepreneurs and startups who work at one of several business accelerators that make their home here, including the Beauty Shoppe, Thrill Mill, AlphaLab Gear and ThinkTiv, all just a stone’s throw from the Google Pittsburgh offices in Bakery Square, which recently broke ground on Bakery Square 2.0.

Hip new restaurants continue to pop up to cater to the startup crowd, including Livermore, BRGR, Spoon, Plum, and Union Pig and Chicken. The community will soon be home to an Ace Hotel and Indigo Hotel as well.

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