Vandergrift, PAÂ tucked away NE of Pittsburgh, PA (founded in 1895) was the first town of its kind. This town was a planned industrial town and created to be sold to the workers of a Steel company that was founded at the time.Â George McMurtry, who was president of Apollo Iron and Steel (located in Apollo across the river from Vandergrift) needed to room to grow his company.Â Vandergrift was a large 650 acre farm that was picked to be the place for this new town.Â Frederick Law Olmsted designed the town and after being approached by George McMurtryÂ at the 1983 World’s Fair.
Lots in the town were offered to the workers of the mill so they could have their own homes.Â The town was built with paved streets and sidewalks.Â The homes included water, natural gas, electric and sewer lines.Â The town was actually built in advance and control turned over to the workers.Â At this time in history, this was a unique idea in America.
Today, Vandergrift is getting reborn.Â Buildings in the town are being renovated and updated with the help of the V.I.P (Vandergrift Improvement Program).Â Washington Avenue boasts of its large Victorian Homes with some on the National Register. There are lots of cute shops and on holidays and special occasions and Kiski Area football games residents and visitors line the streets for parades.
Read more about how Vandergrift was recently recognized nationally:
“A real estate Web site has determined Vandergrift ZIP code 15690 — which includes portions of Allegheny, Parks and Gilpin townships — is among the best places in the country to buy a home.
Using a system that considers home values and school performance, cyberhomes.com ranked the Vandergrift area as the fourth-best community in the country to live in its “2009 Home Value-Schools Ratings Report Card.”
In addition, businessweek.com created its ranking and put Vandergrift at the top. The site used Cyberhomes data in building its list.
What makes Vandergrift’s appearance on the lists notable is the relatively low value of homes in the area.
The median sales price in the Vandergrift area, according to Cyberhomes, is $65,600.
Median sale prices for the three communities ranking higher on the Cyberhomes list range from $260,000 to more than $725,000.
“(We) selected Vandergrift as an example of an area where home values are relatively affordable — as compared to the national average and Pittsburgh area — and schools performance is very highly rated,” said Sarah Weissman, Cyberhomes product manager.
The median sales price in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area is about $125,000, according to Cyberhomes.”
Quoted from TibLive News
Photos Copyright – Amy Myers, 2001-2009