Vandergrift, Pennsylvania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Vandergrift)
Jump to: navigation, search
Vandergrift, Pennsylvania
Borough
Houses in Vandergrift
Houses in Vandergrift
Vandergrift, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Vandergrift, Pennsylvania
Vandergrift, Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°35′58″N 79°34′11″W / 40.59944°N 79.56972°W / 40.59944; -79.56972Coordinates: 40°35′58″N 79°34′11″W / 40.59944°N 79.56972°W / 40.59944; -79.56972
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Westmoreland
Settled 1895
Government
 • Type Borough Council
 • Mayor Louis Purificato
 • Council Brian Carricato President
Area
 • Total 1.3 sq mi (3 km2)
 • Land 1.2 sq mi (3 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 879 ft (268 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 5,455
 • Density 4,389.9/sq mi (1,694.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code 15690
Area code(s) 724
Website Vandergrift Borough.org

Vandergrift is a borough in Westmoreland County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, approximately 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Pittsburgh. Early in the 20th century, it had the largest sheet steel mill in the world. In July 1915, the borough of Vandergrift Heights was consolidated with Vandergrift. In 1900, 2,076 people lived here; in 1910, 3,876. The 1915 consolidation almost doubled the Vandergrift population when Vandergrift Heights added approximately 3,438 new residents (1910 population). By 1940, 10,725 people lived in Vandergrift. The population was 5,455 at the 2000 census, and 5,205 in 2010. Many of the exterior shots in the 2011 science-fiction film I am Number Four were filmed in Vandergrift, which was a stand-in for the fictional town of Paradise, Ohio.[citation needed]

Etymology[edit]

History[edit]

In the 1890s the Apollo Iron and Steel Company ended a bitterly contested labor dispute by hiring replacement workers from the surrounding countryside. To avoid future unrest, however, the company sought to gain tighter control over its workers not only at the factory but also in their homes. Drawing upon a philosophy of reform movements in Europe and the United States, the firm decided that providing workers with good housing and a good urban environment would make them more loyal and productive. In 1895, Apollo Iron and Steel built a new, integrated, non-unionized steelworks and hired the nation's preeminent landscape architectural firm, Olmsted, Olmsted and Eliot, to design the model industrial town: Vandergrift.

Vandergrift, Pennsylvania – before and after

July 1895, before construction of the town
May 1896

Mosher (1995) shows how Vandergrift was representative of the new industrial suburbs of Pittsburgh. Caught up in a dramatic round of industrial restructuring and labor tension, Pittsburgh steelmaker George McMurtry hired Frederick Law Olmsted's landscape architectural firm in 1895 to design Vandergrift as a model town. McMurtry believed in what was later known as welfare capitalism, with the company going beyond paychecks to provide for the social needs of the workers; he believed that a benign physical environment made for happier and more productive workers. A strike and lockout at McMurtry's steelworks in Apollo, Pennsylvania, had prompted him to build the new town. Wanting a loyal workforce, he developed a town agenda that drew upon environmentalism as well as popular attitudes toward capital's treatment of labor. The Olmsted firm translated this agenda into an urban design that included a unique combination of social reform, comprehensive infrastructure planning, and private homeownership principles. The rates of homeownership and cordial relationships between the steel company and Vandergrift residents fostered loyalty among McMurtry's skilled workers and led to McMurtry's greatest success. In 1901 he used Vandergrift's worker-residents to break the first major strike against the United States Steel Corporation.[1]

St. Gertrude Roman Catholic Church and the Vandergrift Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), of which, 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (5.34%) is water.

Climate[edit]

Vandergrift has a continental climate with cold winters averaging 22 degrees in January and 82 in July.

Air and water quality[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 2,076
1910 3,876 86.7%
1920 9,531 145.9%
1930 11,479 20.4%
1940 10,725 −6.6%
1950 9,524 −11.2%
1960 8,742 −8.2%
1970 7,889 −9.8%
1980 6,823 −13.5%
1990 5,904 −13.5%
2000 5,455 −7.6%
2010 5,205 −4.6%
Est. 2012 5,140 −1.2%
Sources:[3][4][5]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 5,455 people, 2,414 households, and 1,489 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,389.9 people per square mile (1,698.5/km²). There were 2,772 housing units at an average density of 2,230.8 per square mile (863.1/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 94.43% White, 3.45% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.37% of the population.

There were 2,414 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the borough the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 23.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.7 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $26,935, and the median income for a family was $35,984. Males had a median income of $29,781 versus $20,829 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $16,285. About 12.0% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.9% of those under age 18 and 13.9% of those age 65 or over.

Ancestries[edit]

People of German descent form the largest single ethnic group in the borough, making up 27.7% of the population, followed by Italians, accounting for 25.8% of the population. People of Irish ancestry are another sizable group, at 16.4%. The largest block of Eastern European ancestries include Polish, at 8.3% and Slovak, at 6.6%.[6]

Economy[edit]

Arts and Culture[edit]

Entertainment[edit]

Casino Theater

Riverside Drive In

Victorian Vandergrift Museum & Historical Society

Festivals and Parades[edit]

May

  • "Vandergrift Ethnic Days". The carnival and ethnic food festival takes place at Kennedy Park and is sponsored by Vandergrift Fire Companies Nos. 1 and 2.[7]
  • Memorial Day. A parade begins at Vandergrift Elementary School and proceeds down Grant Ave. to a veteran's memorial service at the Casino Theatre.[8]

June

August

September

October

  • "Vandergrift Oktoberfest". This usually a three day festival held in Kennedy Park by the Vandergrift No. 2 Volunteer Fire Department.[9]

November

  • "Lightup the Night". This is the annual Christmas parade and celebration on Grant Ave. the Friday after Thanksgiving.[10]

Religion[edit]

64.19% of Vandergrift residents are affiliated with a religious congregation. Of those affiliated, 55.4% are Roman Catholic, 12.2% are Methodist, 9.9% are ELCA Lutheran, 6.5% are Presbyterian, 16% are "other".[11]

Vandergrift Churches:

Saint Gertrude Roman Catholic Church

First United Methodist Church

New Hope Lutheran Ministries

Franklin Avenue Church of God

Sports[edit]

Government[edit]

Borough Council[edit]

Vandergrift has a weak mayor-council government system. In a "weak" mayor-council system, the mayor has no formal authority outside of the council; he/she cannot appoint and/or remove officials, and lacks veto power over council votes.[12] The mayor of Vandergrift is Louis Purificato. Vandergrift Borough Council is elected every two years.

State Representation[edit]

At the state level, Vandergrift is within Pennsylvania's 55th House of Representatives District, represented by Joseph A. Petrarca, Jr. (D), elected 1995. Vandergrift is also within Pennsylvania's 38th Senatorial District, represented by Jim Ferlo (D), elected 2003.

Congressional Representation[edit]

Federally, Vandergrift is part of Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District, represented by Democrat Mark Critz, elected in 2010 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of long-time Democratic congressman John Murtha. Critz ran for re-election to a second full term in the 2012 election, but was defeated by Republican challenger Keith Rothfus. Critz garnered 48.5% of the vote to Rothfus' 51.5%.[13] The state's senior member of the United States Senate is Democrat Bob Casey, elected in 2006. The state's junior member of the United States Senate is Republican Pat Toomey, who was elected in 2010.

Education[edit]

Public[edit]

Vandergrift is within the Kiski Area School District.

Private[edit]

The former St. Gertrude School in Vandergrift, which was established in 1922, served students in kindergarten through sixth grade, until it officially transitioned to a regional school with a new name in fall 2005. The formal announcement and dedication of the Cardinal Maida Academy took place with a special Mass Nov. 27, 2005 at St. Gertrude Parish, and Cardinal Adam J. Maida, whose episcopal motto is “To Make All Things New,” returned to his roots in the Diocese of Greensburg to help a small Catholic school celebrate a new beginning.[14]

Colleges[edit]

Colleges and universities between 20–30 miles from Vandergrift include Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Butler County Community College, Community College of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Saint Vincent College, Seton Hill University, Westmoreland County Community College, Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Carlow University, and Point Park University Penn State University, New Kensington Campus.

Media[edit]

Newspaper[edit]

Radio[edit]

Television[edit]

Vandergrift lies within the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area and is served by KDKA-TV (CBS), WTAE-TV (ABC), WPGH-TV (FOX), and WPXI (NBC).

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Public Transportation[edit]

The Westmoreland County Transit Authority provides service to Vandergrift directly via the Route 15 bus. It runs Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm between New Kensington and Avonmore. It stops at McMutury Towers, Jackson/Longfellow Avenues, and Grant/Sumner Avenues six times a day. About 2 miles from downtown Vandergrift, the Route 14F bus, from New Kensington to Pittsburgh, and the Route 12 bus, from New Kensington to Greensburg, both stop in the Allegheny Plaza parking lot below Save-A-Lot. Visit the WCTA website for details on schedules, fares, and service alerts.

Utilities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

  • Rudy Minarcin – professional baseball pitcher
  • Angelo Donghia – award winning interior designer and founder of Donghia, producer of furniture, textiles, lighting and accessories
  • James Veneris – refused to return to the United States following the Korean War. He remained in China and lived there until his death.
  • Anthony E. Gallo – Playwright. Author of the play Vandergrift! and eleven others. Margherita to be produced by Nederlander Company in New York City
  • Louis Palatella-Academic All-American, University of Pittsburg, Allegany-Kiski Hall of Fame-Football and All East Team, San Francisco 49er Offensive Guard played 5 seasons. Vince Lombardi orchestrated trade to bring Lou to Green Bay in 1959. Leader in the Alcoholic Beverage Industry.
  • Mendes Napoli- President of Napoli Management Group, a talent agency in Los Angeles, California specializing in the representation of television news and broadcast journalists.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anne E. Mosher, "'Something Better than the Best': Industrial Restructuring, George McMurtry and the Creation of the Model Industrial Town of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, 1883-1901," Annals of the Association of American Geographers 1995 85(1): 84-107.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  3. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  6. ^ http://www.city-data.com/city/Vandergrift-Pennsylvania.html
  7. ^ http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourallekiskivalley/yourallekiskivalleymore/1889604-87/fire-vandergrift-carnival-ethnic-event-potoka-park-saturday-annual-companies#axzz2CvqMvB21
  8. ^ http://triblive.com/x/valleynewsdispatch/s_739452.html#axzz2CvqMvB21
  9. ^ http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/vandergrift-octoberfest/nGrRg/
  10. ^ http://www.officialvandergrift.com/LightUpTheNight.html
  11. ^ Source: Jones, Dale E., et al. 2002. Congregations and Membership in the United States 2000. Nashville, TN: Glenmary Research Center.
  12. ^ ^ Saffell, Dave C. and Harry Basehart. "State and Local Government: Politics and Public Policies." McGraw Hill. 9th ed. Pg. 237
  13. ^ http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us/ElectionsInformation.aspx?FunctionID=13&ElectionID=53&OfficeID=11#12
  14. ^ http://www.cardinalmaidaacademy.org/aboutus/Pages/default.aspx

External links[edit]

Media related to Vandergrift, Pennsylvania at Wikimedia Commons

See also[edit]