Monongahela, PA the Oldest Mon Valley Community

What is now the City of Monongahela was founded in 1769 making it oldest settlement in the Monongahela River Valley . The word Monongahela is Native American meaning “falling banks”. This is also the home of famous quarterback Joe Montana. This historic town peaked with nearly 9,000 residents in 1950. Now that population has dwindled to just over 4,000 souls. Compared to the rest of the Mon valley this isn’t a terrible population loss. The Mon City is quite stable all things considered and boasts a nice Main Street and pretty strong housing market.

Areas where the Mon City could improve from an urban standpoint include the installation of bike paths, improved public transit, rental apartment options along with additional cultural amenities and retail. It would also be great to see a couple public schools relocate with the City limits as opposed to being on the outskirts of town along with some quality urban infill.

Click here to view my Monongahela, PA photo album on Flickr

URBAN STENGTHS:

* Decent ADA infrastructure and sidewalks through Mon City. Some residential streets without sidewalks and the main st is hit or miss with ADA curb ramps.
* Good economic diversity and a relatively low poverty rate compared to other Mon Valley cities. Good generational diversity and a much lower median age than other Mon Valley cities.
* For sale housing is pretty stable for the Mon Valley. Half of product selling above 75K into the low 200Ks.
* Several modest parks spread throughout Mon Valley. The impressive is the Aquatorium, a 3,000 seat amphitheater facing the Mon River.
* While there is still blight throughout Mon City, Crime is lower than the Nat. average.
* Solid urban form remains along Main St. Streetscape needs an update and trees. Good tree canopy through the Borough’s residential areas.
* Lots of interesting historic architecture including many homes from the early to mid 19th century. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Limited racial diversity. Mon City is more than 90% White.
* Poor public transit and access to major employment center in the Pittsburgh Metro.
* No bike infrastructure here.
* Rentals are limited but cheap.
* Cultural amenities are pretty limited and consist of several restaurants, bars, & cafes, the longwell historic house, and the Aquatorium.
* Decent neighborhood retail amenities especially along Main St: Pharmacy, a Foodland, dollar general, hardware store, a library & post office, and good array of boutiques and local stores.
* A Catholic grad school is the only school within Mon City limits. The middle and high school are out on the edge of town. 

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