Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania

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Wilkinsburg
Borough
Entrance to Wilkinsburg's municipal building and library
Entrance to Wilkinsburg's municipal building and library
Location within Allegheny County
Location within Allegheny County
Wilkinsburg is located in Pennsylvania
Wilkinsburg
Wilkinsburg
Location within the state of Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°26′38″N 79°52′39″W / 40.44389°N 79.87750°W / 40.44389; -79.87750Coordinates: 40°26′38″N 79°52′39″W / 40.44389°N 79.87750°W / 40.44389; -79.87750
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
Area
 • Total 2.3 sq mi (6 km2)
 • Land 2.3 sq mi (6 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 15,930
 • Density 6,900/sq mi (2,700/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)

Wilkinsburg is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States adjacent to the city of Pittsburgh. The population was 15,930 at the 2010 census,[1] having lost more than 13,000 in the 70 years since 1940, when 29,853 people were enumerated. The borough was named in honor of William Wilkins, Secretary of War under President John Tyler.

History[edit]

Wilkinsburg was founded and developed by highly religious European immigrants. The borough has a remarkably high concentration of churches, mostly Protestant, which is unusual in a predominantly Catholic region of the country. Bars are prohibited within the borough limits. Wilkinsburg separated from the city of Pittsburgh in 1871. According to borough leader James Kelly, this was in order to maintain the religious integrity of the community. Wilkinsburg was known during this time by many as "The Holy City".

In 1916, the world's first commercially licensed radio station, KDKA, began broadcasting here as experimental station 8XK from a small garage owned by Frank Conrad before it was launched with its current call letters on November 2, 1920. In 1923, Wilkinsburg-based Russian immigrant Vladimir Zworykin designed and patented the iconoscope, the photocell "eye" of early television cameras. Today, ABC affiliate WTAE-TV is located in the borough on Ardmore Boulevard.

In more recent years, the borough has become economically depressed. On March 1, 2000, Wilkinsburg received national attention when Ronald Taylor, a man suffering from schizophrenia, killed three people and wounded two others in a spree that occurred in part at the local Burger King and McDonald's restaurants.[2]

Wilkinsburg was home to the infamous Larimer Avenue-Wilkinsburg (LAW) Gang, which was indicted by the federal government under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The indictment started in 1995, when the federal government began to investigate and arrest many people with criminal ties or activities.[3]

Geography[edit]

The central business district of Wilkinsburg

Wilkinsburg is located at 40°26′38″N 79°52′39″W / 40.44389°N 79.87750°W / 40.44389; -79.87750 (40.443827, -79.877371).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), all of it land.

Surrounding communities[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,529
1890 4,662 204.9%
1900 11,886 155.0%
1910 18,924 59.2%
1920 24,403 29.0%
1930 29,639 21.5%
1940 29,853 0.7%
1950 31,418 5.2%
1960 30,066 −4.3%
1970 26,780 −10.9%
1980 23,669 −11.6%
1990 21,080 −10.9%
2000 19,196 −8.9%
2010 15,930 −17.0%
Est. 2012 15,906 −0.2%
Sources:[5][6][7][8]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 19,196 people, 9,138 households, and 4,477 families residing in the borough. The population density was 8,335.1 people per square mile (3,222.4/km²). There were 10,696 housing units at an average density of 4,644.3 per square mile (1,795.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 29.25% White, 66.51% African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.81% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.55% from other races, and 2.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.13% of the population.

There were 9,138 households out of which 22.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 24.3% were married couples living together, 20.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.0% were non-families. 44.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the borough the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 78.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.0 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $26,621, and the median income for a family was $33,412. Males had a median income of $26,813 versus $26,196 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $16,890. About 15.9% of families and 18.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.8% of those under age 18 and 14.2% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation[edit]

Up until September 14, 1975, Wilkinsburg had inter-city passenger rail service. On that day Amtrak discontinued service, citing a total of 128 passengers boarding or alighting in the first six months of 1975, the lowest system-wide. The last train serving Wilkinsburg was the National Limited, which operated daily between New York City and Kansas City, Missouri.[9] The PennDOT-operated Parkway Limited provided commuter service to Pittsburgh for nine months in 1981 but was also canceled because of low ridership.[10][11]

Notable natives[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Wilkinsburg borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ Article at DigitalDuke
  3. ^ "RICO Comes to Town", Pittsburgh Business Times (1998)
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania". 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Wilkinsburg Rail Stop To End, Amtrak Says". Pittsburgh Press. September 9, 1975. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  10. ^ Fisher, Ken (March 3, 1981). "Commuters gear up for Parkway work". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  11. ^ Bowman, Lee (November 14, 1981). "Riders Bid Farewell To 'Parkway Limited'". Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  12. ^ "Amzi D. Harmon". Retrieved August 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]