A Brief History of Garfield
Garfield is a neighborhood in the East End. Just like Greenfield, this area is also known for its steep hills. The neighborhood’s streets run north-south with a 20 percent incline. The neighborhood is bordered by Bloomfield, Friendship and Highland Park.
The history of Garfield is just like Bloomfield and Friendship, the land was acquired by Casper Taub from a Delaware Native American tribe. The area’s first settlers were blue-collar Irish Catholics, those that worked in the steel mills. Garfield was known in the 1960s as a stable, working-class area. Women used to sit on their stoops and catch up nightly after their children went to bed and both men and women worked hard. Today the neighborhood is undergoing a revitalization and influx of capital.
Ever wonder how this area got its name? The first owner of a lot in the neighborhood bought his plot on September 19, 1881, the day President James Garfield was buried. After that, the name just stuck. Funny how that happens! To stop what they saw as the decline of the neighborhood in the ’70s, parishioners at a church known as St. Lawrence O’Toole founded the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, using private and government funds to renovate housing units and commercial properties like restaurants and local theaters. As the renaissance of Pittsburgh continues, so will the revitalization of this historic neighborhood.