Observatory Hill- Pittsburgh’s Highest Point

Observatory Hill or Perry Hilltop was named both in honor of Commodore Perry and the Historic Allegheny Observatory, the City’s first astronomy building gracing the top of Riverview Park. The district also hosts the highest elevation in the City of Pittsburgh at 1,370 feet at the Brashear Reservoir and WPNT-FM  Radio Tower.

This North Hills district has remained a middle class strong hold in the northside and thus retained much of its historic housing and fabric. Riverview Park was a large factor in the neighborhood’s success. Observatory’s urban business district along Perrysville Ave has not fared as well and is littered with vacancies and limited retail amenities. Cultural amenities are also very limited. Building up the Perrysville Avenue business district should be the # 1 revitalization priority for the neighborhood. Secondary priorities include installing bike infrastructure, permanent affordable housing, opening new high quality schools, and improving pedestrian and ADA infrastructure.
Click here to view the full Observatory Hill Album on Flicker

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Convenient access to downtown especially via the car but decent transit and biking routes.
* This is a very diverse neighborhood among all measures.
* Very diverse for-sale price points starting at around 50K for a modest fixture upper to the 200Ks for a large historic home and everything in-between.
* Riverview Park is accessible to all in the neighborhood and holds almost any recreational amenity one needs.
* Overall pretty safe district, although some blight still remains.
* Lots of high quality historic architecture.
* The urban form of the business district is good but very small.
* Great tree cover.

URBAN WEAKNESSES

* Streets generally connect but are very curvilinear due to the district’s extreme terrain.
* Other than bike lanes in Riverview, Bike infrastructure is non-existent.
 * Not a ton of rental product but generally affordable. 1-bedrroms run between $500-$700, 2-bedrooms btwn $700-$1,100, and 3-bedrooms to the low to mid $1,000s.
* One deli and no restaurants or bars.
* Cultural amenities are basically non-existent. One needs to travel several miles south to the Allegheny Commons district and Downtown.
* Low-Medium density.
* Other than a couple convenience stores there is a bank, hair salon, thrift store, but not much else in the way of retail here.
* Perry High School is located here but rated poorly. No other schools within Observatory Hill.
* Most roads host sidewalks and ramps but ADA infrastructure is often missing.

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