From its founding in 1814 by William Barclay Foster, Lawrenceville has been the center of historic events. During the Civil War, the riverside community became home to the Allegheny Arsenal, where 78 people perished in an explosion in 1862, making it the worst civilian disaster of the war. Lawrenceville evolved into a lively, walkable neighborhood that barely slept because of the high volume of shift workers at places such as Iron City Brewery, St. Francis Hospital, and the steel mills. Businesses, churches, all-night diners, and other gathering places were easily accessible to residents, and families became closely associated with the landmarks where they worked, worshipped, and socialized. Having celebrated its 200th birthday in 2014, Lawrenceville remains a bustling community with a vitality equal to that of the immigrant days, and it continues to be a place of camaraderie where individuals are dedicated to their neighborhood.
Authors: Joann Cantrell and James Wudarczyk