Arlington and Arlington Heights are Hilltop communities in Pittsburgh’s South End.
Arlington is bordered on the North by Arlington Ave (South Side Slopes), on the West by Mt Oliver Borough, on the South by Parkwood Road and Becks Run (Mt Oliver neighborhood, St Clair, and Baldwin Borough), and on the East by the railroad tracks running parallel to East Carson Street (South Side Flats).
Arlington Heights is set within the northeast area of Arlington. Arlington borders it on three sides, Handler St (South Side Slopes) on the fourth.
The area was part of St. Clair Borough, which was annexed by the City of Pittsburgh in 1923. St. Clair Borough had been carved out of Lower St. Clair Township, which in turn split from St. Clair Township, which was one of the original townships of Allegheny County.
In its earliest years as a neighborhood (and just before), Arlington’s residents were mostly Polish and German.
During the Civil War, Fort Smalls was built in the Arlington Heights area near St. Peter’s Cemetery (though its exact location is not marked today). It overlooked Becks Run, and was one of several forts (called redoubts) in the region that were hastily constructed out of mud as General Lee’s army headed North (and eventually to Gettysburg, rather than Pittsburgh). The fort was built entirely by African American laborers.
In 1942, the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh built 660 low-rent housing units as the Arlington Heights Housing Community. Initially, tenants were restricted to war workers who had left their families in another town or lived too far from their jobs.