Sunday, February 23, 2014

McKeesport - The Library District

"The Library District" is the neighborhood of grand residences that surrounds the 1902 McKeesport Carnegie Library, and within walking distance to downtown McKeesport. The neighborhood is also home to the McKeesport Little Theater.  Home to prominent McKeesporters and the high society of its day, in the early decades of the 20th century, it is one of several old mansion districts in the city. Other affluent neighborhoods included Shaw Avenue and the surrounding streets (Millionaire's Row in the Victorian era), Park Street (East Park neighborhood), and Myer Park.

The neighborhood has survived fairly intact, and it is the most pleasant residential neighborhood near downtown McKeesport. Few McKeesport neighborhoods were immune to the decline of the city over the past several decades, and The Library District has some abandoned buildings and signs of decay in spite of its elegant, tree-lined streets, manicured lawns, and many well-maintained older homes. There are several excellent examples of 1920s Romantic Revival architecture here.

Hopefully, this neighborhood (among others) will be re-discovered by people who seize the opportunity to live in a luxury home for the cost of a used car.

Tudor Revival is one of the prominent architectural styles in the neighborhood.

Some of the homes have stucco walls and feature a Spanish Revival influence.

Four squares are common in this early 20th century neighborhood.

Hopefully, someone will save this gem.

Another gem in need of restoration.

Vacant church across the street from the Library. Oh, the possibilities!

This gorgeous home was a foreclosure and recently sold for less than $18k.

Vacant apartment building across the street from the Library. This would make an ideal preservation project. The city should find a way to restore it as a neighborhood revitalization project.

The Carnegie Library of McKeesport - 1507 Library Avenue - built 1902. Architect: William J. East. 

First United Methodist Church


  1. I have never been in this section of McKeesport. These homes are magnificent! I've only seen the blighted areas of this town, so it's good to know most of these homes have been well-maintained.

  2. It makes my heart hurt to see those beautiful homes in ruin. I often wonder if the families that grew up in those homes would see how they look now, how awful that would be. ( I know that they are gone from here, but....imagine!)

  3. Such beautiful homes. It often makes me wonder why people insist on refusing to sell a vacant home in decay, or asking monsterous amounts of money for a home in ruins. Frankly I'd rather see a beloved home in my family restored then rotted away to nothing sinmply for the hopes of getting more money out of it.

  4. I never knew about this part of town! Thank you so much for featuring it.

  5. I never knew about this part of town! Thank you so much for featuring it.

  6. Thanks for giving some love to the neighborhood where I grew up, from 1965-75. It was laid out around 1905 as the Library Manor Plan by James Evans, who owned a lot of the uphill land in McKeesport. I lived on Carnegie Avenue, across from the well-kept Germanic-looking house, which my great-grandparents built in 1918. The little tudor around the corner, on Coursin Street, was built by my great aunt and uncle in 1927. Sad to see its present condition, but also glad to see so many of the houses both occupied and relatively maintained. It was a solid community until the steel crisis of the 80s, like much of McKeesport.