Freeport, PA- an Allegheny Rivertown built on free port access

I included only the cohesive urban portion of Freeport in this evaluation. Freeport was first settled in the 1760s. The town received its name when David Todd declared the town to be a free and open port allowing boats to tie up along the river free of charge. Freeport’s position on the Allegheny river gave it an ideal spot for industry and trade going to Pittsburgh. This lead to the creation of several industrials throughout the 19th century including the Lucesco Oil Refinery and the Freeport Brick Company. Even for a Western PA river towns, freeport is quite small sitting at just 1,700 people. Its seen plenty of decline since its peak likely around 1930 but has done a decent job managing the decline with few vacant homes left standing. There is a 2-block commercial district along 5th street with some stores and food & beverage businesses with a decent sense of space. This is only a couple blocks away from a nice river front park. Surprisingly a decent # of homes selling in the 200Ks in Freeport and the town boasts good park amenities and good sidewalk and ADA curb infrastructure.

I don’t see much hope for a population reversal in Freeport so the most attainable positive urban impact would be revitalizing 5th Street’s many vacant storefronts and building up the popularity of the town. Freeport could encourage more immigration to at least stabilize its population as well.

Click here to view my Freeport album on Flickr


* Decent sidewalks with about half of the curbs up to modern ADA standards.
* Great economic diversity and decent generational.
* While Freeport has some blight it is a very safe community.
* Decent for sale diversity. Really no 1-beds available. 2-beds sell anywhere btwn 60K-120. 3 & 4 bed sell btwn 30K-300K, with a good number of well invested homes selling in the 200Ks.
* Good park amenities including an attractive riverside park, the expansive Freeport Community Park, the Market Street Park.
* Decent urban massing.


* Pretty low density for an urban area.
* Public transit is extremely limited in Freeport.
* While no transit exist, Freeport is only 30 min drive to downtown Pittsburgh.
* No bike infrastructure to speak of.
* Limited racial diversity as 95% of the population is white.
* Only the public middle school is open and in town.
* Very limited rentals, at least listed on Zillow. Very affordable however.
* Some cultural amenities including a decent amount of food & beverage bizs, a brewery, and a community theater.
* Retail amenities are limited to a family dollar, a couple boutiques & gift shops, a couple dessert joints, a gym, an antiques store, a couple banks, a doctor’s office, a local library and post office, and  several churches.
* Really no infill architecture to speak of.