Elizabeth, PA- an attractive historic Mon Valley Town

This is an old town for Mon Valley standards. It was incorporated in 1834 as a borough and had a population of 1,120 in 1850. Elizabeth maxed its population in 1940 at just under 3,000. Currently the Borough retains about half of its population, not terrible for a Mon Valley community as most have lost 66%. Early Elizabeth specialized in glass making, steamboat building, and ship building.

The center of Elizabeth has seen a fair amount of reinvestment with repurposed buildings and an attractive streetscape on 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Also some nicely preserved mid-late 19th century housing just SW of Dwtn. To become a viable urban place Elizabeth needs more stores and revitalized buildings, bike infrastructure, at least a couple walkable schools within the borough limits, and better parks. 
Click here to view the entire Elizabeth album on Flickr.

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Great tree cover and a fair amount of street trees as well.
* Good connectivity with gridded streets.
* Good economic diversity here with a slightly above average poverty rate.
* Population skews old but high percentage of family households (60%).
* Decent mix of for-sale housing 30K and the upper 100Ks, but certainly skews lower market.
* Pretty good neighborhood amenities including a post office, a drug store, dollar general, bakery, florist, a supermarket on the edge of town, and some nice boutiques and local stores.
* While there is some blight in the industrial waterfront and residential areas, not bad for the Mon valley. This seems like a pretty safe place.
* Excellent streetscape in Elizabeth’s modest dwtn. Good urban form as well helped by its mid-late 19th century fabric.
* Attractive historic buildings especially in the center of town. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Low density.
* No bike infrastructure.
* Decent access to Oakland & Downtown Pittsburgh as they are only a 30-40 minute drive. But public transit access is pretty limited.
* Not very racially diverse at the population is about 90% White.
* Rentals are limited but inexpensive.
* 3 modest parks exist in Elizabeth. None of them are spectacular.
* Cultural amenities include two community theaters and a handful of restaurants, cafes, and bars.
* No schools located within the borough all out in the outskirts.
* Really no modern in-fill here. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s