Welcome to Deutschtown, a National, State and Local historic district, rich in cultural significance. Deutschtown, also called Dutchtown, (which means “Germantown”) dates back to the mid-1800’s and grew as the City of Allegheny expanded eastward. As its name implies it was once the heart of Pittsburgh’s German-speaking community, as well as many Swiss, Austrian and Croatian immigrants. Until the 1850s, the Deutschtown area was largely farmland. In 1890, the population of Allegheny City was 105,287, of whom 30,216 were foreign born, and 12,022 were born in Germany. Deutschtown’s expansion included beautiful green spaces, ornate Victorian homes and storefronts, grand places of worship and large social halls, many of which still exist today. Several other distinct architectural styles are abundant throughout the neighborhood and commercial district as well.
Explore Deutschtown with a self-guided walking tour focusing on building history and residential renovations.
Make some time to look at the handcrafted wayfinding map, designed by East Liberty tile artist Anders Anderson in 2013. Located at the corner of Cedar Avenue and East Ohio Street, it shows some of the more iconic or significant landmarks throughout Deutschtown, including the following:
1. Allegheny General Hospital: 1936
320 E. North Ave.
Originally opened in two adjacent brick houses on Stockton Avenue in 1886. The white brick and terra cotta landmark building fronting on East North Avenue was opened in 1936.
2. Third Ward Public School: 1898
Corner of Tripoli & James streets
Later became Latimer Middle School. Now The School House, which was renovated in 1985 and offers market-rate apartments.
3. John Schmittdiel Horse Shoer: 1867
Corner of Middle & Suismon streets
A local horse-shoeing shop, it was restored by a local resident and restoration architect.
4. Rahn Hotel: 1852
535-537 Suismon St.
Changed from grocery store to Farmers and Drovers Hotel in 1860. George and Katharine Rahn took over the hotel 1901, renaming it the Hotel Rahn. Current home to Max’s Allegheny Tavern.
5. Perry’s Hall: 1898
422 Foreland St.
Perry Homestead Loan & Trust Company constructed 422 Foreland in Classical Revival style. On most nights it hosted fraternal lodges and other organizations on the third floors while the first floor contained a grocery store, a meat market, and a bicycle shop. Current home to James Street Gastropub.
6. Park House: 1892
403 E. Ohio St.
Built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, popular in the Pittsburgh area throughout the 1890s. The Park House opened its doors at the end of Prohibition in 1933 and still operates, making it Pittsburgh’s oldest bar.
7. Aiken Building: 1884
406 E. Ohio St.
Features a new façade in the Colonial Revival style, constructed in 1899. Has housed a number of businesses, including the Cedar Building & Loan Association. Current home to Alex’s Ice Cream & East Park News.
8. Hollander Building: 1888
415 E. Ohio St.
German immigrant David Hollander operated a men’s and boys’ clothing store here. Later uses of the Hollander Building included at least three furniture companies: Roteman & Levine, Harris Brothers and the Republic Furniture Company. Current home Bistro To Go and second floor commercial tenants.
9. Klopfer Building: 1829
421 E. Ohio St.
German immigrant operated a women’s accessories shop here, taking the place of the store at 503 E. Ohio St. Currently home to the Allegheny County Magisterial District Court.
10. Mallin Building: 1928
435 E. Ohio St.
Built by Solomon Mallin, a Russian immigrant, in 1928. Once home to Dow’s drug store, a beauty salon, a millinery shop, a children’s clothing store, a pet store and a fabric store. Current home to Sweet Time Café & General Store, a US Mail Postal Station.
11. Beckert Building: 1887
502 E. Ohio St.
Constructed in the Victorian style; shows some influence of the Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne styles. Businesses that occupied the building’s storefronts in the post-World War II era included a shoe store, a model airplane store, and most recently Wheeler’s Paints.
12. D.L. Clark Building: 1903
528 E. Ohio St.
Built by Pittsburgh candy manufacturer David L. Clark, inventor of the Clark Bar. The Keystone Theater, a silent motion picture theater, opened here around 1916. Current home to Priory Fine Patries.
13. Waag Building: 1872
632 E. Ohio St.
Constructed in the Italianate style, most infamously known as a hotel and saloon. Niederst family ran the business during Prohibition – when they were repeatedly in court for operating a speakeasy. Current home of Grace Period.
14. Avery College: 1849
615 E. Ohio St.
Founded by wealthy philanthropist Charles Avery as the Allegheny Institute and Mission Church. Provided a classical education for black youths including study in Latin, Greek, mathematics and the sciences. In 1858, the institution became Avery College.
15. Teutonia Mannerchor: 1888
857 Phineas St.
Founded by immigrants in 1854. The name stems from the one of the oldest German Tribes. It remains a private membership club that furthers choral singing, German cultural traditions and good fellowship.
16. E&O Brewery: 1885
800 Vinial St.
One of the 21 branches owned by the Pittsburgh Brewing Companies. Eberhardt & Ober Brewing Co. brewed beers made in accordance with the German beer purity law. Current home of Penn Brewery.
17. Allegheny Commons East Park: 1867
Along Cedar Ave.
Pittsburgh’s oldest park. Designed to provide “breathing places” for the citizens of what was then the sooty city of Allegheny. Creation of the park reflected the 19th century movement to beautify American cities and improve urban living conditions.
18. Hampton Battery: 1871
East Park, Along Cedar Ave.
One of the first memorials erected in the Commons, it was built to honor a Civil War artillery unit. Restored in 2004 by the Allegheny City Society.
19. St. Peter’s Evangelical and Reform Church: 1880’s
500 Lockhart St.
Perhaps most well known as a Evangelical and Reform church, a Protestant Christian denomination. Several dominations have occupied this place of worship since its construction.
20. Allegheny Elks Lodge #339: 1860
499 Cedar Ave.
Instituted in 1896 with 103 charter members. Original building destroyed by fire, but rebuilt in 1926. Current building features ornate ballroom, a bowling alley, social rooms and more.
21. St. Mary’s German Catholic Church & Priory: 1888
615 Lockhart St.
Built in the Italiante style in 1954, had space for more than 900 parishioners, The Priory, founded in 1888, was home to Benedictine monks and priests, some of whom lived in residence.
22. Pittsburgh Platform: 1885
Stockton Ave., East Park
Defining document of American Reform Judaism. The 8-point statement encouraged ecumenical dialogue, emphasized the progressive nature of Reform Judaism, and identified Judaism as a religion.
23. Pennsylvania Main Line Canal: 1849
(Along the Allegheny River)
Built to transport goods in a more efficient manner. The main canal across the Allegheny River into Pittsburgh required an aqueduct of 1,140 feet, the longest on the Pennsylvania Main Line route.
24. H.J. Heinz Factory: 1890
The large multi-building facility was known for its progressive employee benefits: free medical care, a swimming pool, gymnasium, reading rooms and free classes for women in cooking and dressmaking.