Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield-Friendship Neighborhood

Bloomfield is referred by many locals as Pittsburgh’s Little Italy as it was settled by Italians from the Abruzzi region of Italy and has been a center of Italian-American population for many decades. Friendship is small adjacent district of large Victorian houses in the East End.

In 1868 Bloomfield and Friendship were annexed by the City of Pittsburgh. Development started more or less from west to east with narrow lot row-houses between the 1870s and 1890s. By the 1890s, the trolley extended to Friendship via Baum Boulevard and large square homes designed for professional-class families were constructed in Edwardian and Victorian styles. 

By the 1960s, many prominent families in Friendship moved to the suburbs repulsed by the construction of massive housing projects in nearby Garfield and misguided urban renewal in East Liberty. Zoning changes in the 1950s allowed landlords to subdivide these massive Victorian houses beauties into multi-unit apartments, and by the 1980s, over 70% of the housing stock were rentals. Bloomfield remained a solid working class neighborhood holding on to its Italian heritage.

Recently, the neighborhood has become an attractive place to buy or rent bolstered by the general gentrification of the East End and housing prices continue to steadily climb with more diverse residents. With great access to downtown, public transportation, neighborhood amenities, restaurants/bars, attractive historic homes, and proximity to other great East End neighborhoods like Oakland, East Liberty, Lawrenceville, and Shadyside; its no wonder that Bloomfield-Friendship has become such an in-demand location.

The Bloomfield-Friendship neighborhood is bordered by Penn Avenue to the north, Negley to the east, Baum to the south, and the Bloomfield Bridge/40th Street to the West. Friendship is a smaller sub-neighborhood that became an official City designated neighborhood in recent history. This is the area between Aiken-Negley and Penn-Liberty-Baum. 

Click here to view my Bloomfield photo album & here for my Friendship Albums on Flicker
URBAN STRENGHTHS

* Very good bike infrastructure, public
 transportation, and access to Pittsburgh’s 2 largest employment centers: Downtown and Oakland.
* For sale prices heating up in neighborhood but still plentiful housing options available for 200-350K and still slightly below national median levels. 350K-500K large homes available in Friendship. Rental prices also very reasonable. 1-bedrooms can be found for 600-1,300. 2-bedrooms in the 1,000s.
* Great access to many smaller parks, playgrounds, City pool, and Historic Allegheny Cemetery.
* Culturally, good access to diverse restaurants, bars, many art galleries along Penn Avenue. Also within walking distance to several other solid commercial districts… East Liberty and Ellsworth, Highland, and Walnut in Shadyside.
* Very good access to retail, restaurants/bars, grocery stores, etc. at 3 businesses districts (Liberty, Penn, and Baum/Center). 

URBAN WEAKNESSES

* Tree cover great between Gross and Negley, but pretty sparse west of
Gross St.
* Some sections of Liberty and Baum are pretty auto centric. Sections of Penn Avenue and Liberty can feel pretty dead at night. 
* Racial diversity is ok but over 65% of residents are white. Also percentage of family households are much lower than the average in Pittsburgh.

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