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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Firstside Historic District (Boundary Increase)
Reference Number 13000248
State Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
Town Pittsburgh
Street Address Roughly bounded by the Boulevard of the Allies, Grant Street, Fort Pitt Boulevard, and Stanwix Street. Pittsburgh, PA
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 05/08/2013
Areas of Significance Commerce, Industry, Architecture
Link to full file
The original Firstside Historic District nomination established significance under NRHP Criterion A for Commerce and Criterion C for Architecture, while focusing almost exclusively on the warehouses in the district. The Firstside Historic District (Boundary Increase and Additional Documentation) does include 25 warehouses and they are an important part of the district (54% of the contributing buildings), but there are also other important commercial, industrial, and other properties located within the expanded district. The earlier nomination did not capture the true scope and scale of the commercial area associated with the Monongahela River trade, nor did it focus on the commercial architecture beyond the warehouses. This amendment seeks to expand and clarify the earlier discussion of significance. The original nomination explained that the Firstside District is commercially significant for its role in the economic development of Pittsburgh via the river trade ... [which] was so voluminous that Pittsburgh claimed for over a century to be the world's busiest inland port (Uhl and Mansell 1988: 9, 1 0). The large majority of the buildings in the boundary increase area share the association with the bustling trade accomplished at the Monongahela Wharf (not extant). The earliest resource housed a brass foundry for a maker of steamboat bells (rear of 120 Boulevard of the Allies) with warehouse and office space included within the building. Other industries and trades established offices, warehouses, and manufacturing/production facilities throughout the boundary increase area including many speculative building ventures that leased space in the prime warehousing district to multiple tenants. Additionally, there are 11 surviving restaurants and specialty shops, three firehouses, and three surviving single dwellings in the district. The original nomination also established Firstside Historic District's significance under NRHP Criterion C as a cohesive concentration of resources reflecting late nineteenth through early twentieth architectural styles in a primarily industrial/commercial quarter; the expanded district shares this significance. The boundary increase area contributing resources are distinct from buildings in other parts of Downtown Pittsburgh that similarly date from the period of significance from 1845-1938. They are distinguished by their scale, materials, styles, and historic functions. The Hartley-Rose Building, one of the previously-listed buildings in the boundary increase area, is significant under Criterion A for Industry; therefore, this amendment also adds industry as an area of significance for the expanded district. The Firstside Historic District (Boundary Increase and Additional Documentation) is significant under NRHP Criterion A for Commerce and Industry and under NRHP Criterion C for Architecture. The period of significance for the Firstside district begins with the rebuilding of the area in 1845 after a devastating fire and extends to 1938 (fifty years before the preparation of the original nomination) as the importance of the wharf was fading.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria