Mount Washington, located on the south side of Pittsburgh, was rated the most beautiful vista in Amercia by USA Weekend. Known for it’s breathtaking views of the Pittsburgh skyline and it’s inclines, the Duquesne and Monongahela (the oldest continuous inclines operating in the world), Mount Washington is one of the most popular gathering places for Pittsburghers and visitors alike.
Mount Washington was once known as Coal Hill, with several mines operating at the base. There was also a quarry operation, which provided the gray sandstone to build the second Allegheny County Courthouse. 1876 saw Coal Hill’s name changed to Mount Washington, and in 1877 the first drawing of the view of the City of Pittsburgh was done from the top.
The original immigrants, mostly Germans, had settled Mount Washington by the early 1800’s. Working in the plants and mines next to the Monongahela River, they became wearing of the steep footpaths and steps up the Mount to their homes every evening, as they were barely passable by even a team of horses. Proposals were made to construct inclines (known as Seilbahns in their former countries) and the first incline, the Monongahela Incline, was built in 1869. The Duquesne Incline opened in 1877. There were at one time as many as 4 inclines on Mount Washington. These inclines carried not only people, but horses, wagons and freight as well.
Two of Pittsburgh’s most famous tunnels run under Mount Washington… The Liberty Tunnels (or Tubes, as Pittsburghers like to call them) and the Fort Pitt Tunnels. The Liberty Tunnels open in 1928 and the Fort Pitt Tunnels opened in 1960.
Tourists and residents of Pittsburgh travel to Mount Washington regularly for the views and the variety of restaurants to dine and relax in on Grandview Avenue.