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Forum Home > General Discussion > Has the gang situation gotten any better? Are we going to be like LA?

Albert W
Posts: 32

I recently read an article that was posted in 2007 on a blog: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/archive/index.php/t-122906.html .  The article was supposed to be a photo tour of Homewood, but the pictures are missing.  The gists of the article is that the crime in Homewood is what's keeping the neighborhood down.  One of the response to the article compares Homewood to the crime ridden neighborhoods of LA.  They said:  "Wow that's one of the nicest "tough" neighborhoods I've seen and it looks like it has character too. Great pictures as usual!

Strange that you would say that, seeing as how LA is known for having quite a few hoods that are physically very attractive, but rife with gang activity."


Just in case the above link does not work, here is the article:


Homewood: Pittsburgh's Toughest Hood.


Homewood, or more properly; Homewood-Brushton, is located in Pittsburgh's East End, and is the largest Black neighborhood in the city. Homewood is located north of the former main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which played a major role in the original development of the area. Most of Homewood lies in a dry river bed, and thus it is one of the flatest areas of Pittsburgh. The northern section of Homewood rises sharply, up one of the highest escarpments in the city. Views are spectacular from here. The housing stock is varied; the majority of the housing being brick single family detatched homes. There is some frame housing in the northwest corner of the neighborhood. This dates to the earliest development of the area, which was after the Civil War. The bulk of the neighborhood was built between 1880, and 1910. There is significant rowhousing, of the West Philly porchfront type in Homewood. There are a few apartment buildings and 2 and 4 family flats here, but single family homes make up the vast majority of housing here. There is a very degraded commercial district along N. Homewood Ave. Homewood was originally populated largely by Germans. Most of these moved out early in the 20th Century, after Italians began to move here in large numbers. There was a small Black enclave here from the begining. Most originaly came to work at a racetrack that operated here after the Civil War. Homewood remained largely Italian until the 1950's, with an enclave of somewhat successful Blacks, who constituted about 20% of the population. Redevelopment of the Lower Hill District in the early 1950's displaced several thousand very poor Blacks. Unwelcome in most of the city, many came to Homewood. Whites quickly moved away, and by 1960, Homewood had become 80% Black, and much poorer than before. Much of the previous Black population also left, moving to Wilkinsburg, and Penn Hills. Most of the businesses followed the flight out of Homewood, and most of those who stayed, left after riots occured following the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Crack hit the area very hard. Street gangs quickly formed, bringing a high level of violence to the neighborhood. There are many vacant and derelict properties in the neighborhood, though there are still quite a few middle class residents holding on who have maintained their property despite the neglect of slumlords and trashy tenants. The housing stock here is largely high quality, and would attract urban homesteaders in a booming city, but Homewood is too far out to compete with intown "brownstone type" areas for the limited number of hardcore urbanites in Pittsburgh.

Derelict commercial properties on Tioga St., near the city line, adjacent to equaly troubled Wilkinsburg. Homewood gangs terrorized Wilkinsburg drug dealers in the early 90's, resulting in an alliance between Wilkinsburg and East Liberty gangs that in turn, visited so much violence on Homewood and neighboring East Hills, that Homewood and East Hills, formerly enemies, had to call a truce so that they could both concentrate on the Wilkinsburg threat. The Feds had to invoke the RICO act to shut the Wilkinsburg gang down.

April 9, 2010 at 6:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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