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Carnegie Library
Official name: Borough of Braddock
Named for: Edward Braddock
Country  United States
State  Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
Elevation 764 ft (233 m)
Coordinates 40°24′13″N 79°52′7″W / 40.40361°N 79.86861°W / 40.40361; -79.86861
Area 0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)
 - land 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
 - water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Population 2,912 (2000)
Density 5,159.9 /sq mi (1,992.2 /km2)
Settled 1742
 - Incorporated June 8, 1867
Mayor John Fetterman
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 15104
Area code 412
School District Woodland Hills
Location of Braddock in Allegheny County
Location of Braddock in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 8,561
1900 15,654 82.9%
1910 19,357 23.7%
1940 20,879
2000 2,912

Braddock is a borough located in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 10 miles (16 km) upstream from the mouth of the Monongahela River. The population was 2,912 at the 2000 census. The borough is represented by the Pennsylvania State Senate's 45th district, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives's 34th district, and Pennsylvania's 14th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.



The town is named for General Edward Braddock (1695-1755). The Braddock Expedition, particularly his crossing of the Monongahela River on July 9, 1755 at this place, led to the British general's own fatal wounding and a sound defeat of his troops who had been moving against the French at Fort Duquesne. This battle, now called the Battle of the Monongahela, was a key beginning in the French and Indian War.


Braddock is located at 40°24′13″N 79°52′7″W / 40.40361°N 79.86861°W / 40.40361; -79.86861[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.7 km²), of which, 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) (13.85%) is water. Its average elevation is 764 ft (233 m) above sea level [2].


The area surrounding Braddock's Field was originally inhabited by the Lenape, ruled by Queen Allequippa[3]. In 1742, John Frazier and his family established the area at the mouth of Turtle Creek as the first permanent settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains[3]. George Washington visited the area in 1753-1754, and was the site of Braddock's Defeat on July 9, 1755.

Braddock's first industrial facility, a barrel plant, opened in 1850[3], and the borough was incorporated on June 8, 1867[4]. The town and its industrial economy began in 1873, when Andrew Carnegie built the Edgar Thomson Steel Works on the historic site of Braddock's Field in what is now North Braddock, Pennsylvania. This was the first steel mill using the Bessemer process in America. It continues operations today as a part of the United States Steel Corporation. This era of the town's history is best known from the novel Out of This Furnace by Thomas Bell.

Braddock is also the location of the first of Andrew Carnegie's 1,679 (some sources list 1,689) public libraries in the US, designed by William Halsey Wood of Newark, NJ and dedicated March 30, 1889. The Library included a tunnel entrance for Carnegie's millworkers to enter the bathhouse in the basement to clean up before entering the facilities (which originally included billiards tables). An addition in 1893, by Longfellow, Alden and Harlow (Boston & Pittsburgh, successors to H.H. Richardson), added a swimming pool, indoor basketball court and 964-seat Music Hall which included a Votey pipe organ. The building was rescued from demolition in 1978 by the Braddock's Field Historical Society and is still in use as a public library. The bathhouse has recently been converted to a pottery studio; the Music Hall is currently under restoration.

The early population figures were these: 1890, 8,561; 1900, 15,654; 1910, 19,357; 1920, 20,879; 1940, 18,326. From its peak in the 1950s, Braddock has since lost 90% of its population[3]. During the early 1900s many immigrants settled in Braddock, primarily from Croatia, Slovenia, and Hungary.

Braddock lost its importance with the collapse of the steel industry in the US in the 1970s and 1980s. This coincided with the crack cocaine epidemic of the early 1980s, and the combination of the two woes nearly destroyed the community. In 1988, Braddock was designated a financially-distressed municipality. Today, the community exists as a shadow of its former glory. With high violent crime and virtually no economic opportunity, Braddock is struggling to make its way into the new century. The entire water distribution system was rebuilt in 1990-1991 at a cost of $4.7 million resulting in a fine system where only 5% of piped water is "unaccounted-for".

Since 2005, mayor John Fetterman has been focused on attracting new residents to the area from the artistic, urbanist, and creative communities. [3]. He has also initiated various revitalization efforts including the non-profit organization, Braddock Redux. [5]

He has made a recent appearance on The Colbert Report, CNN, FOX news, CNBC and the New York Times[6] expressing the needs of Braddock. The Guardian in the United Kingdom also wrote an article about him.[7] The BBC has also reported on him.[8]


As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 2,912 people, 1,161 households, and 695 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,159.9 people per square mile (2,007.7/km²). There were 1,624 housing units at an average density of 2,877.6/sq mi (1,119.7/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 30.12% White, 66.52% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.69% from other races, and 2.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.51% of the population.

There were 1,161 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.4% were married couples living together, 31.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.1% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the borough the population was spread out with 31.5% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 84.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.1 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $18,473, and the median income for a family was $20,669. Males had a median income of $26,333 versus $19,867 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $13,135. About 34.4% of families and 35.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 54.4% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable residents


  • The first A&P supermarket opened in Braddock in 1936.[citation needed]
  • George A. Romero's 1977 horror film Martin takes place in Braddock and was largely filmed there.
  • Thomas Bell's novel Out of This Furnace is set in Braddock during the 1890s to the 1930s[citation needed]
  • Mayor John Fetterman was interviewed on the Colbert Report February 25, 2009. Mayor Fetterman talked about the renewal and revitalization of Braddock which included in part encouraging new businesses and green initiatives. There are plans for a Subway restaurant which, when opened, would be the only restaurant currently in town, though there are 7 Subway franchises within about a mile of town. He noted that, Braddock should rightly receive money from the stimulus package to provide some much needed social justice and equity.

Further reading

  1. Chartrand, Rene (2004). Monongahela, 1754-1755: Washington's Defeat, Braddock's Disaster. United Kingdom: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-683-6. 
  2. Jones, Theodore (1997). Carnegie Libraries Across America: A Public Legacy. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-14422-3. 

Braddock will feature in the upcoming movie adaptation on the novel "The Road"


External links



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