National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

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 Mooncrest Historic District
Reference Number 13000741
State Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
Town Moon Township
Street Address Roughly bounded by Thorn Run Road, University Boulevard, Lee Drive, Fern Hollow Road , and Old Thorn Run Road
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 9/18/2013
Areas of Significance Community Planning and Development, Social History
Link to full file
Mooncrest is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A in the areas of Community Planning and Development and Social History. Its period of significance begins in the year of its construction, 1943, and extends to 1963, a date 50 years ago and five years after its buildings were sold to individual residents and investors. It is an intact example of the federal government's response to a housing crisis affecting defense workers during World War II. The government's large-scale planning and construction of war worker housing supported the rapid mobilization of U .S . industrial infrastructure for war, which was in turn critical to the Allies' victory. Unlike many other, temporary dwellings for war workers, Mooncrest was designed to become a permanent contribution to Moon Township's housing stock, and therefore displays many of the hallmarks of progressive housing design of the early-mid 20th century. Features such as low-rise, attached housing, curvilinear streets, and a self-contained site plan are intact and convey the approach of the federal government to building a high-quality living environment for working-class wage-earners during World War II. As the first housing development in Moon Township, Mooncrest was originally served by its own elementary school and grocery store and was the location of Moon Township's first municipal building. Also unlike many other war housing communities, Mooncrest was racially integrated. It thus provided important opportunities for African Americans to build wealth through access to employment and, later, home ownership and rental income, contributing to the diversity of Moon Township even as it boomed into a sprawling, mostly white and affluent suburb during the 1950s and 60s. Moon crest was unique among Pittsburgh-area war housing projects in providing these opportunities because it was the only one to be sold to individual investors after the war. Others transitioned to low-income public housing or became cooperatives. Mooncrest has retained a high degree of integrity as a master-planned community despite the fact that its buildings have been individually owned and managed since 1958.


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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