Beltzhoover is a Hilltop neighborhood in Pittsburgh’s South End. It is bordered by Mt. Washington on the North and West, Bon Air on the South, and Knoxville and Allentown on the East.
Beltzhoover has a lot in common with Allentown: Both neighborhoods were settled in the late 1800s, largely by German families moving up the hill from the South Side, and both neighborhoods were laid out by Joseph Allen. The neighborhood was named for Melchior Beltzhoover, a German landowner and farmer who lived in the area from 1794 to the early 1800s. The area was annexed by the City of Pittsburgh in 1898.
McKinley Park takes up much of the land in South Beltzhoover. In the 1800s, the land was known as Butchers’ Grove and was a popular spot for butchers and slaughterhouse employees to have oxen roasts. Today, the Park is home to the City’s first free public skate park.
The neighborhood is struggling with vacant housing, violent crime, and vandalism. Neighbors have joined other Hilltop communities in a community planning process to address these issues. The South Side Local Development Co is building new homes along Beltzhoover Ave as part of a revitalization strategy that also provides grants to low- and moderate-income families for home renovations. One of Beltzhoover’s long-time community advocates, Sherman Wellons, recently passed away. Along with his many other accomplishments, Wellons helped put together a group of Beltzhoover men called Big Daddies to keep peace in the neighborhood following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.