Marshall-Shadeland, a Northside Pittsburgh Community with great Urban Potential

Marshall-Shadeland is a largely residential area that was annexed by Allegheny City in 1870. Growth followed and the neighborhood filled in by the early 20th century. Most housing was constructed for workers but some larger homes reside along Brighton and Woodland along with 1920s and 1930s in-fill in the north edge of the district. Decline probably began shortly after WWII and accelerated in the 70s and 80s.

Fortunately much of the urban fabric remains and there is hope that the district will once again become a thriving urban community given its convenient access to downtown and proximity to other stable districts (i.e. Brighton Heights, Mexicantown, West Allegheny, and increasingly Manchester). Recent renovations have occurred resulting in home sales in the 100Ks. Yet much blight remains and there is a lack of neighborhood retail and cultural amenities.

Click here to view the entire Marshal-Shadeland Album on my Flickr Page.

URBAN STRENGTHS

* Good access to downtown vial all modes of transportation.
* While there are no bike stations here dedicated bike lanes run down Brighton Rd and along the river.
* Great generational and ethnic diversity here.
* Fair amount of rental product at moderate prices. 1-bedrooms go for around $600-$800 and 2 & 3-bedrooms between $900-$1,100.
*For sale housing is very affordable with prices ranging anywhere from 30K to 180K depending on size and quality.
* Decent park amenities including two ballfields, a parkette, several cemeteries, and decent access to Riverview Park.
* Because of the hills and ravines there is overall great tree canopy. The neighborhood could use more street trees however.
* What does exist of Marshall-Shadeland’s business district (node at Marshall and Woods Run) is pretty urban. But its rough and there the streetscape is lackluster.

URBAN WEAKNESSES

* Some economic diversity, but pretty low-income area.
* Lots of vacancies throughout district.
* There is still a perception of crime here.
* Some retail amenities including a Kuhn’s Supermarket, Dollar Store, Wine & Spirits, a Café-restaurant, and several low key restaurants and bars.
* Very little nightlife in the district other than a couple restaurants and bars but Marshall-Shadeland does have convenient access to other vibrant areas such in the northside (Mexican War Street, West Allegheny, etc.).
* Even with some recent revitalization successes Marshall-Shadeland still retains a pretty negative perception.
* ADA is a mixed-bag here. The main streets and flat areas are well served by ADA infrastructure. Hilly and more obscure streets often have limited ADA or no sidewalks.
* A couple specialty schools within the district but nothing else. Several schools lie in adjacent districts but generally not well rated.
* Really no cultural amenities within Marshall-Shadeland but convenient access to what lies in West Allegheny and Mexicantown districts.

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