Dan Rooney is a man of few words. When he speaks, it is best to listen. When he speaks about Pittsburgh's North Side, listen carefully—there is much to be learned about the amazing history of Allegheny City and the evolution of an American community.
Allegheny City, known today as Pittsburgh’s North Side, was the third-largest city in Pennsylvania when it was controversially annexed by the City of Pittsburgh in 1907. Founded in 1787 as a reserve land tract for Revolutionary War veterans in compensation for their service, it quickly evolved into a thriving urban center with its own character, industry, and accomplished residents. Among those to inhabit the area, which came to be known affectionately as “The Ward,” were Andrew Carnegie, Mary Cassatt, Gertrude Stein, Stephen Foster, and Martha Graham. Once a station along the underground railroad, home to the first wire suspension bridge, and host to the first World Series, the North Side is now the site of Heinz Field, PNC Park, the Andy Warhol Museum, the National Aviary, and world headquarters for corporations such as Alcoa and the H. J. Heinz Company.
Dan Rooney, longtime North Side resident, joins local historian Carol Peterson in creating this highly engaging history of the cultural, industrial, and architectural achievements of Allegheny City from its humble beginnings until the present day. The authors cover the history of the city from its origins as a simple colonial outpost and agricultural center to its rapid emergence alongside Pittsburgh as one of the most important industrial cities in the world and an engine of the American economy. They explore the life of its people in this journey as they experienced war and peace, economic boom and bust, great poverty and wealth—the challenges and opportunities that fused them into a strong and durable community, ready for whatever the future holds. Supplemented by historic and contemporary photos, the authors take the reader on a fascinating and often surprising street-level tour of this colorful, vibrant, and proud place.
How many viewers of Monday Night Football featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field realize that the stadium—like nearby PNC Park, the Pittsburgh Science Center, and the Warhol Museum—sits on Pittsburgh's North Side, once a thriving Allegheny City? Lest we forget, two North Side authors—Steelers owner Dan Rooney and architectural historian Carol Peterson—have filled the void in a volume that is both intimate and informative. . . . As a joyful paean to a once-important and thriving industrial city that still retains a prideful sense of place, the book fully succeeds in its purpose.
Takes readers on a fascinating and often surprising street-level tour of this vibrant, colorful and proud place.
The North Side is coming back. . . . This book tells the Allegheny City/North Side story from the days of canals and cotton mills through the present day. Dan Rooney, who grew up in the neighborhood, has joined with Carol Peterson, a tireless scholar of Pittsburgh's history, to coauthor this essential story. . . . If you have any interest in the way American cities evolved—and if you have a particular interest in Pittsburgh—this is the book for its largest section, the North Side.
This book is an invaluable reference tool for anyone interested in Pittsburgh. It is a serious, thoroughly researched history of the North Side with a wealth of fascinating detail. Architecture, land use, business trends, demographic shifts, and natural disasters all take their place in this sprawling history, mirroring trends in the larger American society. Dan Rooney's afterword urges an optimistic approach, saying 'we must all come together with a common purpose: to make the North Side a grand place to work and live.' In our often-divided society, that's a ringing cry for cooperation that should resonate with Pittsburghers who love their city.
Valuable for readers interested in western Pennsylvania history and in the nature of our state's most important industrial city.
Dan Rooney was Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers and former United States Ambassador to Ireland. A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he is the author of Dan Rooney: My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL.