A Brief History
Oakland is Pittsburgh’s second most populated neighborhood, with over 22,000 residents. Its name first was known in 1839 when it appeared in the newspaper Harris’ Intelligencer. The name came from the large amount of oak trees found on the farm of William Eichenbaum. After the Great Fire of 1845 that ravaged downtown Pittsburgh, many moved out to the suburbs. This move prompted the area to develop quite quickly, particularly along Fifth Ave. In 1868, Oakland was annexed to the City of Pittsburgh. Years later, Mary Schenley donated over 300 acres for a park and officials bought another 100 acres for her, hence the name Schenley Park. In 1895, Andrew Carnegie’s library, museum and concert hall complex opened. In 1925, work began on the Cathedral of Learning, what was at that time the world’s tallest educational building and still the world’s second tallest educational building.
Former President Teddy Roosevelt visited Oakland in 1917 for the war effort. The neighborhood is home to such Pittsburgh landmarks as St. Paul Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh and Phipps Conservatory. Baseball fans might know Oakland was the site of Forbes Field, which was built in 1909 as the third home of the Pirates and first home to our beloved Steelers. It closed in 1970 but Pirates fans actually still gather at the site on October 13th to commemorate Bill Mazeroski’s World Series winning home run.
Visitors to Pittsburgh from around the world stop in Oakland to explore, dine, shop and of course, learn!