Neighborhood Descriptions


The Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh is a thriving commercial and residential area. In fact, Oakland is Pennsylvania's third largest "Downtown." Only Center City, Philadelphia and Downtown Pittsburgh can claim more commerce and activity than Oakland. Oakland is surrounded by the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, Bloomfield, Hill District, and Bluff.

Art museums, history centers, prestigious universities, grand architecture, quaint coffee shops, international cuisine, arcades, art cinemas, live entertainment, and two main thoroughfares all describe the hustle and bustle that is Oakland. In short, Oakland is the cultural, medical, educational, spiritual, and technological center of Pittsburgh, boasting many world-renowned institutions and attractions. Moreover, it is the entrance to the charm and natural beauties of expansive Schenley Park.

Many Oakland residents are students at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, or Carlow College, creating a diverse student/residential body that is comprised of individuals from at least 90 nations. Long considered the cultural center of Pittsburgh, Oakland also houses the Carnegie Library Main Branch, the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Carnegie Music Hall, and Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.

If it's shopping and dining you're after, be sure to cruise the Craig Street business district. Once the sun goes down, grab your favorite beverage in one of Oakland's many nightclubs, or catch The Rocky Horror Picture Show or another classic movie at the Beehive at King's Court Theater.

Memories of Roberto Clemente and Honus Wagner remain strong in Oakland, where the outfield wall of Forbes Field still stands. The landscape is dotted with the architectural genius of Henry Hornbostel -- Rodef Shalom synagogue, and all visitors must be sure to visit Phipps Conservatory.

Fifth and Forbes avenues, Pittsburgh's two main east-west traffic arteries, pass through Oakland, with bus stops on nearly every corner. Most Oaklanders get around by bus or by foot, lending a true "city" closeness and atmosphere.


Shadyside, in the heart of Pittsburgh's East End, is a residential Pittsburgh neighborhood with a village-like feel. Walnut Street and Ellsworth Avenue, Shadyside's prosperous commercial and entertainment core, offer a bustling atmosphere of boutiques, shops, lounges, and restaurants designed to suit the discriminating tastes of residents and visitors. Popular with students, faculty, and staff from nearby Carnegie Mellon University, Shadyside is surrounded by the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Squirrel Hill, Oakland, Bloomfield, Friendship, East Liberty, Point Breeze, and Larimer. Shadyside was the original name of the Pennsylvania Railroad Station in that area. Wood and farmland, replete with shady lanes at the time of its development in the mid 19th century, provided the inspiration for the appropriately named Shadyside neighborhood.

Well-maintained, stately Victorian mansions stand in quiet elegance alongside carefully restored homes. Apartment and condominium buildings full of hardwood floors and old-fashioned architectural character, along with newer, modern homes and buildings are woven together, making a unique and beautiful neighborhood.

Since the 1920s, a mix of affluent families, young professionals, artists, students, and apartment dwellers have settled in Shadyside.


Bloomfield, located just east of Downtown Pittsburgh, is surrounded by the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Shadyside, Friendship, Garfield, Lawrenceville, and Oakland. Bloomfield is easily accessible via Liberty Avenue, Penn Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard. Bloomfield's name was derived from the many wild flowers that bloomed there years ago. Bloomfield is home to one of Pittsburgh's largest, and most active, business districts along Liberty Avenue. Card shops, shoe stores, Italian restaurants, and groceries abound, attracting shoppers not only from nearby neighborhoods but from the entire Pittsburgh region.

In the late 1800s, mill workers in nearby Lawrenceville constructed small row houses designed for single families and businesses in the style of their homeland. Today, well-maintained row homes along quaint, narrow streets characterize Bloomfield. Here homes are often passed down through families, and grandchildren usually live just a few blocks from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Bloomfield residents are deeply rooted in the community and are proud of their recreational and youth programs.

Squirrel Hill

Squirrel Hill, located east of Downtown Pittsburgh, is surrounded by the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Greenfield, Hazelwood, Glen Hazel, Swisshelm Park, Regent Square, Shadyside, Oakland, and Point Breeze.

The Squirrel Hill neighborhood is one of Pittsburgh's most popular, with a variety of ethnic restaurants, delis, bakeries, old fashioned grocery stores (which still deliver), and landmark taverns, as well as chic new eateries, trendy boutiques, movie theaters, and upscale shops. Frick Park and Schenley Park border Squirrel Hill, offering residents a wide range of recreational activities including biking (be prepared for hills), walking, rollerblading, ice skating, tennis, and golf.

Homes in Squirrel Hill range from high-rise apartments on Forbes and Murray Avenues to sprawling brick mansions on Fair Oaks. Whether you're looking for a quaint apartment, or a contemporary house with a garage, you'll find it in Squirrel Hill.

South Side

The South Side, which is divided topographically into the Flats, the Slopes, and the South Shore, is located south of both Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland. Commuters and visitors to the South Side enjoy convenient public transportation in the form of buses and the "T".
Pittsburgh's South Side is a unique mix of residents -- older neighbors whose families have lived on the same street for generations, and young families and single professionals attracted by the thriving arts and cultural communities.

South Side Flats

The South Side's East Carson Street business district is one of the longest in Pittsburgh, and features unique retail shops, galleries and restaurants. The neighborhood also has developed a thriving arts and cultural community. The South Side of today reflects a rich history. The numerous churches stand representative of the area's varied ethnicity. Row houses dominate the South Side flats, while townhomes are available in the new South Shore development along the river.

South Side Slopes

One of the Pittsburgh's little-known jewels, narrow winding streets and a network of steps connect the hillside community known as the South Side Slopes. Graced with spectacular views of the city and an abundance of green space, the Slopes provide affordable living only minutes from Downtown, Oakland, and historic Carson Street.

The housing on the South Side Slopes was originally built for the many immigrant workers who came to work in steel mills at the turn of the century. These houses are often one room wide, two rooms deep, and up to three or four stories high. They are tucked into the hillside with narrow walkways between them. Many of these charming homes, mostly built in the 1800s, offer spectacular views of Pittsburgh's skyline at an affordable price.