Content and photos by Zachary Shapiro
Savvy, stylish, modern, yet classic are all terms one would use to describe Shadyside. With its name originating simply from the resulting aesthetics of a train station in the 19th century (the railroad tracks created ‘shady lanes’), Shadyside is home to possibly the richest cultures and styles you can find in a neighborhood in Pittsburgh. Historically, Shadyside was the home of the Homeopathic Medical and Surgical Hospital in 1972 which was bought by UPMC in 1977. Now, it is home to one of the finest Geriatrics and Cardiology centers in Pittsburgh.
Obviously, one would not hope to reside in the hospital. Rather, one should look to the two prominent styles of architecture located in Shadyside. There are classic Victorian homes, varying in size from enormous mansions to quaint 2 bedrooms, as well as modern yet comfortable apartments and condominiums. Some common residents found mingling among the many artisan streets would be young professionals, graduate students, and the affluent families of Pittsburgh.
A more well known family name is “Negley” specifically William B. Negley, lawyer for Thomas Mellon (the founder of Mellon Bank). The Negley mansion still stands located in Shadyside on Fifth Avenue. One can easily see why he built such a home here. With the public school district being rated one of the Country’s top ten large urban school district by www.greatschools.com, Shadysides residents are able to send their children to a plethora of great public or private schools within walking distance of home. When school is out and weekend arrives, look no further than a short walk to Walnut Street for many forms of entertainment.
Shadyside's Walnut Street is known for its Galleries and high-end shops. One can find the latest in hot fashion at American Apparel, J-Crew, Cheeks, Apple, Banana Republic, and many more boutique shops all within a two block strip. Walnut Street has over eighty stores and shops all crammed on one very artistic street with a boutique feel. The restaurants found on Walnut Street are only exceptional. Mercurio's is home to some of the finest pizza and pasta found in Pittsburgh while Cappy's Cafe provides rich and flavorful coffee to grab before the workday or a tasty beer when the day is over. There is a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s in the area if you’re like me and are more inclined to cooking a healthy homemade meal at the end of the day. Regardless of taste, one will not go hungry anytime soon in Shadyside. After all the restaurants have been explored, its nice to know convenient gyms and Yoga studios can be found on Walnut Street as well.
Did I mention there are two other streets in Shadyside that also contain fine restaurants, boutique shops, and hours of entertainment? Well after exploring all of Walnut Street, walk on over to Ellsworth Avenue and S. Highland Avenue to continue the fun. There are plenty more great restaurants, night life and interesting shops located on these two streets. The vintage clothing store named Eons is a cool place to stop by. Don’t forget to look for both the annual Arts Festival or Summer Jams festival to enjoy all the creative work of the aspiring artists in the Pittsburgh.
Other items to note, Walnut Street, Ellsworth, and S. Highland Ave are all within very reasonable walking distance and the neighborhood of Shadyside is only six miles from downtown. With the homes being packed quite closely, and many apartments residing in Shadyside, garage space is considered a hot commodity. However, easy public transportation and car sharing services makes Shadyside accessible regardless of owning a vehicle or not. The traditional academies, fantastic food, reasonable location, artistic vibe, and plentiful fun activities are all the key qualities of Shadyside’s charm. It’s a cool and upcoming place that caters to a variety of residential homes. Regardless of whether your taking a day trip with family, going on a date, spending a week in the city, or looking for a new home, take a trip to what was once a simple train station with shady lanes... visit Shadyside today!