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Braddock, Pa. Very very sad.

SouthSideSlayer

Cyburbian
Messages
86
Points
4

Braddock is a suburb of Pittsburgh; its population decreased by half between 1950 and 1970 from a high of 16,000. It has dropped since then to the current population of 4,500.

Eighteen percent of the housing units in Braddock are vacant.

The average value of a single-family home is $21,000.

Today, no public schools are within Braddock.


__________________________________________________

OK, this is a quote from mrherodotus, posted at www.skyscraperpage.com













__________________________________________________
his website:

http://herodotus.topcities.com/urban/enter/index.html
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Looks like North Philly.

Bethlehem, PA looks just as bad. These are old steel towns that have gone belly up since we started importing steel from other countries.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Just remember, we don't need no factories. EVERYONE can be a computer software designer. Or a Rock Star. Or run a teddy bear shoppe in a "Historic District."

Oops! Software and high tech are in a tailspin, too. Welcome to the glories of globalism. At least the financiers and CEOs of the multinationals that make the investments in China will do well.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,841
Points
59
Ouch. Why is Braddock faring so poorly compared to other Pittsburgh suburbs? Racial transition? Middle class residents who could afford to move up, with nobody to replace them?
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
5,903
Points
31
I'm not originally from here, so I can't ask Mom. People her age tell me that when they were children, they'd ride the streetcar to Braddock to shop the downtown (clothes, etc.). It was the best place to shop. My town is about 10 or 12 miles from Braddock, I think. The streetcar connected the industrial towns in the Turtle Creek Valley/Westinghouse Valley (Westinghouse, steel mills - Edgar Thompson steel works is in Braddock).

I think the streetcar line in this town was abandoned in the 1950's. Part of the right of way is in my front yard.
Greengate Mall was built six miles east of here in the 1960's. I'm sure it drew business away from places like Braddock.

Note the Westinghouse Bridge in the background of the picture of the river and mill. It carries US 30 over the Turtle Creek Valley.

I know middle class families who moved out of Braddock around 1980. There are racial stereotypes about the city, but I've only really been through it once, so I can't tell if it's true. There is a newer waterfront development across the Monongahela River from there, but it's on level ground near the river.

There is new development around Braddock, too. Braddock is out of the way as far as highways go. 376 is the closest, but it's pretty congested, and the streets that go to Braddock from there must be steep, windy and narrow. I don't know the exact route of the proposed Mon Valley Expressway, but it may help to improve Braddock.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,119
Points
28
These sure are great pictures!

Looks like it used to be quite a town in it's day. If there were only some way to rehab them all without gentrifying them into a bunch of yuppie condos.

Is this still a union town? What is the racial composition of Braddock?
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
Super Amputee Cat said:
Looks like it used to be quite a town in it's day. If there were only some way to rehab them all without gentrifying them into a bunch of yuppie condos.
I am going to have to disagree with you on this one Cat. Preservation and redevelopment while turning Braddock into a livable community is OK, even if it means property value increases and new people move in.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm,

On another look I think picture #4 tells a lot. The blighted central city / inner ring suburb and the big sprawlmobile SUV from elsewhere...
 

SouthSideSlayer

Cyburbian
Messages
86
Points
4
Dan said:
Ouch. Why is Braddock faring so poorly compared to other Pittsburgh suburbs? Racial transition? Middle class residents who could afford to move up, with nobody to replace them?
I asked him about this:

Originally posted by mrherodotus


Well, I think that the biggest problem places like Braddock have is this. It is a small compact place, hard by the mills. In the days when few people drove, it was imperitive to live close to your job.
Thus, places like Braddock thrived. After WWII, the unions gained large pay increases for the mill workers. Suddenly, these workers could afford a home in a new suburb, and a car to take them back and forth. Braddock couldn't compete with that. Thus it began to empty out. All that remains are stubborn holdouts, and POOR Blacks. Houses sit empty and deteriorate because there is no demand for them. Thus the community is in a death spiral. It took 50 years for it to reach this point. There are many others, (Homestead, Clairton, Alliquippa, New Kensngton) that are at various points on this road, but none are anywhere near as far gone as Braddock.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,119
Points
28
What happened to the pictures?

I am going to Pittsburgh this weekend and was considering taking a look a Braddock. I remembered this old thread, but I guess the linked pictures are no longer available.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,889
Points
38
Super Amputee Cat said:
What happened to the pictures?

I am going to Pittsburgh this weekend and was considering taking a look a Braddock. I remembered this old thread, but I guess the linked pictures are no longer available.
Gallery abuse. The OP's photos have been removed from the Cyburbia Gallery.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,119
Points
28
NHPlanner said:
Gallery abuse. The OP's photos have been removed from the Cyburbia Gallery.
OP? What is that?

I would hardly call those old pictures abuse. They were quite relevant to the topic at hand and some of the best digital photography I have ever seen.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
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38
Super Amputee Cat said:
OP? What is that?

I would hardly call those old pictures abuse. They were quite relevant to the topic at hand and some of the best digital photography I have ever seen.
OP=Original Poster.

It wasn't the pics in this thread that were an issue....the OP was bandwidth leaching (posting pics in the gallery and linking them to other websites without posting them in the Cyburbia Forums.....a violation of the gallery rules. He/she was notified of the issue, given an opportunity to post in the Forums, did not, and at that point his/her gallery was purged, and posting priviledges suspended)
 

Floridays

Cyburbian
Messages
769
Points
21
some stats:
Braddock compared to Pennsylvania state average:
Median household income below state average.
Median house value significantly below state average.
Unemployed percentage above state average.
Black race population percentage above state average.
Hispanic race population percentage below state average.
Foreign-born population percentage below state average.
Length of stay since moving in significantly above state average.
House age significantly above state average.
Number of college students below state average.
Percentage of population with a bachelor's degree or higher significantly below state average.
Population density above state average for cities.
 

JCDJ

Member
Messages
10
Points
1
NHPlanner said:
OP=Original Poster.

It wasn't the pics in this thread that were an issue....the OP was bandwidth leaching (posting pics in the gallery and linking them to other websites without posting them in the Cyburbia Forums.....a violation of the gallery rules. He/she was notified of the issue, given an opportunity to post in the Forums, did not, and at that point his/her gallery was purged, and posting priviledges suspended)
Was it an actuall notice that he actually got and could react to, or was it the kind of "notice" I got where I didn't even know I got a message until a mod made the rash decision to delete 5 months worth of photos (and I didn't even hotlink).
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,841
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59
[ot]The images were hotlinked from http://herodotus.topcities.com, not Cyburbia. The owner probably moved them from there.

Besides, you can post images from the Cyburbia gallery in a Cyburbia thread; you should only get a warning if you use the gallery for a multiple photo thread on another site, that isn't duplicated here.

Be nice, all.[/ot]
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
Braddock

My hometown, New Kensington, north of Pittsburgh on the Allegheny is in similar straits. At one time it had the largest aluminum factory in the world (Alcoa) located there. Since that moved out the town has been in a constant degradation sprral. The last time I drove down 5th Avenue, the main drag, I don't think I saw a single occupied store front. For a while, the hospital was the largest employer, but all but emergency services has been shut down. From the news reports the city has become a crack dealing, crank making center. Really depressing. I guess one of the reasons "you can't go home again" is that home, in some instances, doesn't exist. It's sort of the urban equvalent of altzheimers.
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
Points
26
Tom R said:
My hometown, New Kensington, north of Pittsburgh on the Allegheny is in similar straits. At one time it had the largest aluminum factory in the world (Alcoa) located there. Since that moved out the town has been in a constant degradation sprral. The last time I drove down 5th Avenue, the main drag, I don't think I saw a single occupied store front. For a while, the hospital was the largest employer, but all but emergency services has been shut down. From the news reports the city has become a crack dealing, crank making center. Really depressing. I guess one of the reasons "you can't go home again" is that home, in some instances, doesn't exist. It's sort of the urban equvalent of altzheimers.
Bringing more recent events/discussions into this thread, what effect might a potential full Pittsburgh-Allegheny County 'city-county' merger have on little burgs like these? (Yes, I know that New Kensington, PA is not in Allegheny County) My take - _anything_ will be an improvement on the current situation there.

Mike
 

Tom R

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2,274
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25
loop

mgk920 said:
Bringing more recent events/discussions into this thread, what effect might a potential full Pittsburgh-Allegheny County 'city-county' merger have on little burgs like these? (Yes, I know that New Kensington, PA is not in Allegheny County) My take - _anything_ will be an improvement on the current situation there.

Mike
I have been away too long to get a feel for the situation. An answer off the hip,- it couldn't hurt. I lived in New Castle County, Delaware where they have county government with only cities being independent. At least there wasn't as much of the "Balkanization" of local government as they have on PA and Ohio.
 

michaelskis

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19,465
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44
Is it me, or are allot of post industrial cities in PA like this. It just gives me the impression that cities in other states have adapted, but some (not all) PA cities have decided that the Industrial Revolution was their past, and it will be their future. I think that several of them have great potential to be great once again, if they get to work now.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
Pa

michaelskis said:
Is it me, or are allot of post industrial cities in PA like this. It just gives me the impression that cities in other states have adapted, but some (not all) PA cities have decided that the Industrial Revolution was their past, and it will be their future. I think that several of them have great potential to be great once again, if they get to work now.
Pittsburgh itself has come a long way with medical and high tech stuff. But some of these little towns don't really have a new reason for being. A couple of them I've seen, Verona and Oakmont, seem to be on an upswing. They're on the river and a significant secondary road between some of the suburbs and Pittsburgh. Some of these little "holler" towns have next to nothing going for them. Old, obsolete housing, rough terrain and off the beaten path. New Kensington should be doing better than it is. I'm not sure why. Racism probably has something to do with it. It used to be a pretty corrupt town with a strong mafia influence alaYoungstown. (Another old steel town that hasn't come back.) I wonder if that is a factor. Could be.
 

Super Amputee Cat

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2,119
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28
Tom R said:
Pittsburgh itself has come a long way with medical and high tech stuff. But some of these little towns don't really have a new reason for being. A couple of them I've seen, Verona and Oakmont, seem to be on an upswing. They're on the river and a significant secondary road between some of the suburbs and Pittsburgh. Some of these little "holler" towns have next to nothing going for them. Old, obsolete housing, rough terrain and off the beaten path. New Kensington should be doing better than it is. I'm not sure why. Racism probably has something to do with it. It used to be a pretty corrupt town with a strong mafia influence alaYoungstown. (Another old steel town that hasn't come back.) I wonder if that is a factor. Could be.
What about downriver towns like Rochester, Beaver Falls and New Brighton? How are they doing. I only got a fleeting glimpe of them yesterday on the way to the turnpike from Pittsburgh. I also saw what had to be the longest railroad yard I had ever seen south of Rochester. New Brighton seemed to have a pretty lenghty downtown, but it was sometimes hard to tell when one town ends and the other begins.

There was also this town south of Sewickley located along the railroad tracks with the river directly behind them. Haysville? Very interesting housing stock. My kids would have loved to live there with all the trains whizzing by. Wish I had been able to take a picture of it.
 
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biscuit

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Tom R said:
Pittsburgh itself has come a long way with medical and high tech stuff. But some of these little towns don't really have a new reason for being. A couple of them I've seen, Verona and Oakmont, seem to be on an upswing. They're on the river and a significant secondary road between some of the suburbs and Pittsburgh. Some of these little "holler" towns have next to nothing going for them. Old, obsolete housing, rough terrain and off the beaten path.
I think you've hit the nail on the head here. Some of these little boroughs just have no reason for being. They are off the beaten path, have no industry, little commercial, an aging population and hardly any tax revenue for redevelopment. One of the big problems here in Allegheny County is the governmental structure. There are 130 different, townships, boroughs and cities within the county and each one is responsible for it's own policing, fire protection, often school districts and so on. With their dwindelling population and property values many of the poorer municipalities have had to raise their tax millage to astronomical levels further retarding growth and development. A city-county merger would help alleviate this but many of the weatlthy suburbs and most of the local 'politicians' who have their own little fifedoms to rule over will make it a hard proposition to follow through on.

Many of the Allegheny River towns like Oakmont and Aspinwall have done really well and are desirable places to live for a lot of families. It's even in the works to reinstate the commuter rail line between these river valley towns and downtown Pittsburgh - A good sign that many are healthy and growing. I have no idea why New Kennsington isn't doing the same.

The Mon River Valley (where Braddock is located) has probably suffered more than any area of the region. This is where most of the very heavy industry (coke plants, steel mills, glass makers, etc.) was once located. The topography makes it very difficult to get to the towns there and once the the plants closed there was no real reason to make the effort to reach them. The housing stock is often old and very "mill house" in character, and any one who could afford to renovate or build new left when the jobs did. So unless something drastic occures, or Southwestern PA suddenly finds itself in a major housing crunch (that'll be the day), places like Braddock will simply continue to decline, decay and eventually fade away.
 

Tom R

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2,274
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towns

Super Amputee Cat said:
What about downriver towns like Rochester, Beaver Falls and New Brighton? How are they doing. I only got a fleeting glimpe of them yesterday on the way to the turnpike from Pittsburgh.

I can't say that I'm that familiar with them. It's amazing how "Localized" I was when I lived there. I can remember the entire horizon being taken up by a Jones and Locklin plant that would light up the skys like a sunset when they opened their coke furnaces. And, it's not just the decline of the steel industry. A lot of these towns centered around the under ground coal mines. Literally company towns. The mines are all but gone except for the boney (waste) piles, subsidence and acid drainage.
 
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