Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sheraden Development

This 1908 photo shows construction of the Sheraden Bridge (look at that man-power!). To the right you can see the Murphy building and straight ahead is the hill that Langley School now sits on. The photo, as well as other neat old documents, can be found online on the Historic Pittsburgh website, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh's Digital Research Library.

There you can also find some old maps that give a detailed snapshot of how the neighborhood was first developed. This plat map from 1896 depicts the early Sheraden street grid with its original names, as well as the initial property lines, some of which have owners listed (note William Sheraden's "Mansion"). What's especially interesting is that it also depicts the type of structures that were present at that time, like brick and stone buildings, wood frame buildings, stables and sheds, and greenhouses.

Back in those days, communities were largely planned and built by property owners and private developers. Now, most cities engage in a public planning process to determine future development and land uses. Right now, the City of Pittsburgh is in the midst of creating a comprehensive plan that addresses a wide variety of topics, like housing, open space, transportation, and urban design. Find out how you can take an active role in shaping the future of Sheraden by visiting the PlanPGH website!

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