Springdale, PA- Childhood home of Rachal Carson located only 25 mins from Downtown Pittsburgh

Springdale’s claim to fame is that it is the childhood home of marine biologist and author of Silent Spring, Rachael Carson. Perfect setting as Rachael Carson witnessed first hand the environmental destruction that modern industry can create on the environment and liked in the shadow of a very distinctive power generation plan with massive twin smokestacks. Other than this claim to fame, Springdale is yet another rivertown built on industry during the turn of the 20th century. Its population peaked in 1960 at 5,600 and has been in a steady decline ever since now hosting just over 3,000 residents.

Springdale is a relatively stable post-industrial town with a medium income near the Allegheny Co. average, limited poverty, and some blight (concentrated along its main street and near the Allegheny River). The main street hosts several nice in-tact blocks with a decent array of local businesses,. Beyond this Pittsburgh Street becomes pretty drab and semi-autocentric. It would be nice to see more businesses and in-fill along Pittsburgh St. and a renewed interest in Springdale. This might happen as some river towns along route 28 closer to Dwtn Pittsburgh have started to witness revitalization. If not, Springdale will likely continue on without much change.
Click here to view my Springdale Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Some nice historic architecture.
* While transit access isn’t great, only a 23 minute drive to Dwtn.
* Economically this is a very middle class community.
* High percentage of family households (56%)
* Crime below the national average, although there is some grit and vacancy especially Btwn Pittsburgh St and the River.
* Good tree canopy.
* Some local retail along Pittsburgh St but not a ton (i.e. dollar general, ice cream, a bookstore, jeweler, florist, post office, public library, and a couple banks and salons).
* The junior high and high school are walkable and located within Springdale Borough limits. A Christian school located in the adjacent Cheswick community.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Sidewalks are consistent but really no ADA standard curb cuts.
* Modern in-fill is very limited.
* Transit access is so .
* No bike infrastructure.
* Pretty low density for an urbanized area.
* Relatively stable housing market, but not much variety in price point. For-sale generally ranges from 60K-180K depending on size and condition.
* Rental options are very limited.
* Park amenities limited to Veterans Memorial Field (home to several sports fields) and couple other greenspaces
* Cultural amenities limited to a handful of Americana restaurants, some bars, a local brewery, and the Rachael Carson Homestead Museum.
* Good urban form for several blocks along Pittsburgh St. but beyond this it becomes pretty semi-autocentric. Same idea follows for the streetscape.

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