Beechview is located in Pittsburgh’s South End. It is bordered on the West by the neighborhoods of Banksville and Ridgemont, on the North by Duquesne Heights, on the Northeast by Mt. Washington, on the Southeast by Brookline, and on the South by Dormont Borough.
Beechview’s earliest days as a settlement share a history with Banksville. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the area’s economy consisted primarily of farms and coal mines. The earliest settlers were Scots Irish, followed by English, Welsh, and German. Before World War I, Italian and Jewish families began to move into the neighborhood as well.
In 1902, a trolley line was opened, which led to the first large-scale development of the area, and in 1905 Beechview was incorporated as a borough. In 1909, it was annexed to the City of Pittsburgh. An area adjacent to Beechview, known as Seldom Seen, was annexed by the city in 1924. It has been unpopulated since the 1960s, and the greenway is now part of our urban forest. The neighborhood began to grow even more in 1927 when the Liberty Tubes opened.
In 1987, the T (light rail transit) began operating along the old street car line. Several routes connect Downtown to the South Hills via Broadway Ave in Beechview.
In a city notable for its lack of immigration, Beechview is notable for being home to a rapidly growing Latino population. The neighborhood houses not only Maya Mexican Restaurant and a few small Mexican stores, but also the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. St. Catherine of Siena Church offers a Spanish-language mass. A few longtime residents who had the misfortune of being quoted in a moment of being less-than-tolerant were lambasted on local blogs here and here.
Beechview has an extremely hilly landscape and is home to Canton Ave, which–at a grade of 37%–seems to be the steepest street in the world.
UPDATE (11/20/2007): In our walk, we found out that Maya has closed, and the building is undergoing some kind of renovation.