Oakland is Pittsburgh’s most populous neighborhood, just east of downtown and bordered by Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Bloomfield, Greenfield, Hazelwood and the Hill District. Oakland’s name was first used in 1839 in a local paper known as Harris’ Intelligencer. An abundance of large oak trees on the Eichenbaum farm, settlend in 1840, most likely led to the area’s namesake. After the Great Fire of 1845 in downtown Pittsburgh, Oakland developed rapidly. The year 1860 saw a large amount of commercial development begin to center around Fifth Avenue.
Known as Oakland Township at that time, in 1868 it was annexed into the City of Pittsburgh. In 1889, Mary Schenley donated 300 acres in Oakland to the city for what is now called Schenley Park. City officials purchased another 100 acres, and Mary also gave more land for Schenley Plaza, where Andrew Carnegie built a library, a museum and a concert hall, opening in 1895.
Considered Pittsburgh’s educational center, the neighborhood is home to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, the latter of which is the result of a 1967 merger of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, founded in 1900 and Mellon University, founded in 1913.
The University of Pittsburgh relocated to Oakland in 1909. It was originally known as the Pittsburgh Academy, incorporated in 1787 and located in Allegheny City, on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
The neighborhood boasts some of the most impressive architecture in Pittsburgh. The Cathedral of Learning, part of the University of Pittsburgh, was constructed over a period of years starting in 1925 and was at the time the tallest educational building in the world. It is currently still the 2nd tallest university building and the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.
Heinz Chapel and St. Paul Cathedral are also located there. The main branch of the Carnegie Library and Museum as well as Phipps Conservatory reside in Oakland as well.
The Pittsburgh Pirates were once located in the neighborhood, playing at Forbes Field, built in 1909. It was actually the third stadium the Pirates called home. It was, however, the first home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Forbes Field in Oakland was closed in 1970, but some remnants of the field are still there.
This vibrant neighborhood attracts thousands of students and visitors from around the world. There are many businesses, restaurants and shops to delight in…!