The Hill District has such a long and storied history that it’s difficult to know exactly where to begin. The Hill is made up of five neighborhoods: Bedford Dwellings, Crawford Roberts, Middle Hill, Terrace Village, and Upper Hill.
Bedford Dwellings runs along the northernmost section of the Hill, bordered by the Strip District (at Bigelow Blvd) the Middle Hill (at Bedford Ave), the Upper Hill (at Herron Ave), and Crawford Roberts (at Ledlie St).
After Franklin Roosevelt signed the U.S. Housing Act, the Pittsburgh Housing Authority became one of the first to be formed in the nation, and when construction began on Bedford Dwellings in 1938, it was the first large federally-funded public housing development.
The construction of Bedford Dwellings resulted in the razing of a number of buildings that had been deemed “slums”. This also included the destruction of Greenlee Field, where the Pittsburgh Crawfords of Negro League baseball played. The construction was also over the Lincoln Cemetery (which had already been partially covered by Greenlee Field). Bodies were moved to Woodlawn Cemetery in Wilkinsburg.
The Crawfords and Greenlee Field were owned by Gus Greenlee, a businesman who also founded and owned the Crawford Grill. The team won the Negro National League pennant in 1933, 1935, and 1936, and included some of the great players in baseball history, including Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Oscar Charleston.
Bedford Dwellings now includes the Bedford Hope Center, which provides a range of services including family and individual counseling, drug treatment, and crisis intervention.