Mt. Lebanon Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (December 2016)|
|Home Rule Municipality|
Uptown Mt. Lebanon along Washington Road (Rt. 19 Truck)
|Motto: "A Community with Character"|
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Mt. Lebanon Historic District
|NRHP Reference #||14000813|
|Added to NRHP||September 30, 2014|
Established in 1912 as "Mount Lebanon," the community's official name was changed to "Mt. Lebanon" when its home rule charter took effect in 1975.
The first settlers arrived in 1773-1774, having purchased the land from the descendants of William Penn; other pioneers soon bought land from the state government.
In 1912, Mount Lebanon Township was incorporated as a "First Class Township" under Pennsylvania state law. It had formerly been a part of Scott Township, which in turn traces its origins to the long-defunct St. Clair Township. Mount Lebanon was not named for two Cedar of Lebanon trees that were planted in 1850 on Washington Road near the top of Bower Hill Road, but was named after the area from which they came, Mount Lebanon, due to the similarities between the two landscapes. Prior to the incorporation of the township, the "Mount Lebanon" name was used for the area of Upper St. Clair Township near the cedar trees. In the 1880s, a post office located near the transplanted cedar trees was named "Mount Lebanon". Incorporators of neighboring Dormont Borough initially tried to use the "Mount Lebanon" name in 1909, but were opposed by residents of the future Mount Lebanon Township.
In 1928, Mount Lebanon became the first First Class township in Pennsylvania to adopt the council-manager form of government and has had an appointed manager serving as the chief administrative officer since that time.
Mount Lebanon was a farming community until the arrival of streetcar lines, the first line to Pittsburgh opening on July 1, 1901 followed by a second in 1924. After the arrival of the streetcar lines, which enabled daily commuting to and from Downtown Pittsburgh, Mount Lebanon became a streetcar suburb, with the first real estate subdivision being laid out in November 1901. Further, the opening of the Liberty Tubes in 1924 allowed easy automobile access to Pittsburgh. Between the 1920 and 1930 censuses, the township's population skyrocketed from 2,258 to 13,403. Today, Pittsburgh's mass transit agency, the Port Authority of Allegheny County, or "PATransit," operates a light rail system whose Red Line, which runs underneath Uptown Mt. Lebanon through the Mt. Lebanon Tunnel, merges with the 47L line in Pittsburgh's Mt. Washington section. Mt. Lebanon's only platform station, Mt. Lebanon Station, is in Uptown Mt. Lebanon; the adjacent Dormont Junction and Castle Shannon stations are in neighboring municipalities. And as of the census of 2000, there were 33,017 people living in Mt. Lebanon.
On May 21, 1974, the electorate approved a Home Rule Charter, which took effect on January 1, 1975; as such, the community is no longer governed under the provisions of the Pennsylvania Township Code. Mount Lebanon became one of the first municipalities in Pennsylvania to adopt a home rule charter. In the charter, the official name of the municipality became Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania; the word "Mount" is abbreviated in all government documents, although the U.S. Postal Service continues to use "Mount."
The subdivision of Carelton Hills won a national liveability award in 1974.
Mt. Lebanon is a suburb of Pittsburgh 7 miles (11 km) south of the city's downtown. There are two small borders with Pittsburgh neighborhoods to the northeast (Brookline) and north (Banksville). The remainder of the northeast border is with the borough of Dormont. The entire western border is with Scott Township. To the south are the two towns which, due to their comparable size and affluence, are most often compared with Mt. Lebanon: Upper St. Clair to the southwest and Bethel Park to the southeast. To the east is Castle Shannon, and finally, to the east-northeast is Baldwin Township (not to be confused with the Borough of Baldwin).
Uptown Mt. Lebanon is the central business district and has Washington Rd. (U.S. Rt. 19 Truck) as its main thoroughfare. (U.S. Rt. 19 Truck continues into Pittsburgh and back out into the city's northern suburbs and beyond.) Uptown Mt. Lebanon is one of the more built up central business districts outside of Pittsburgh, featuring numerous coffee shops, small galleries, pizzerias, and clothing boutiques. The neighborhood is organized as The Uptown Mt. Lebanon Business and Professional Association.
There are sizable business districts along the borders with Upper St. Clair and Castle Shannon, as well.
Communities within Mt. Lebanon
Neighborhoods within Mt Lebanon include: Beverly Heights, Cedarhurst Manor, Hoodridge Hilands, Mission Hills, Sunset Hills, Virginia Manor, Twin Hills, and Woodridge.
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,017 people, 13,610 households, and 9,023 families residing in the township. The population density was 5,457.2 people per square mile (2,107.1/km²). There were 14,089 housing units at an average density of 2,328.7 per square mile (899.1/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 96.21% White, 0.61% Black, 0.07% Native American, 2.29% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.80% of the population.
There were 13,610 households, out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.3% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.00. The median age was 42 years.
In the township the population was spread out, with 24.8% under the age of 18, 4.0% were 18 to 24, 26.9% were 25 to 44, 25.4% were 45 to 64, and 18.8% were 65 years of age or older. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $60,783, and the median income for a family was $79,744 (these figures had risen to $73,765 and $98,731 respectively as of a 2007 estimate.) Males had a median income of $56,183 versus $37,008 for females. The per capita income for the township was $33,652. About 2.2% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.
Mt. Lebanon is well known for its historically well-ranked schools. The district has seven elementary schools (Foster Elementary School, Hoover Elementary School, Howe Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Markham Elementary School, and Washington Elementary School), Two middle schools (Jefferson Middle School and Andrew W. Mellon Middle School), and one high school (Mt. Lebanon High School), currently undergoing renovations and new construction. Mt. Lebanon High School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education each of the three times it requested certification: 1983-84, 1990–91, and 1997–98.
Keystone Oaks High School is physically located in Mt. Lebanon, serving the youth of the adjacent communities of Greentree, Dormont and Castle Shannon. Seton-La Salle Catholic High School, a Diocese of Pittsburgh school, is also physically located in Mt. Lebanon.
The Mt. Lebanon Public Library, founded in 1932, is funded almost entirely by the municipality and county. Its home is a $4.2 million building, with shelves for 140,000 books, seats for 165 persons, and more than 50 public computers. When the building opened in 1997, it won an architectural design award and was featured in the architectural issue of Library Journal. Circulation is 563,000 items/year, and attendance averages 111 per hour.
St. Bernard school, a private Catholic school in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, is located in Mt. Lebanon.
A large portion of Mt. Lebanon was listed as the Mt. Lebanon Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. The district contains 3,341 contributing buildings and 21 contributing sites. Most of the buildings (89%) are residential, though two commercial areas are included.
The district is a significant example of the transition from a rural agricultural area to a suburb made possible first by the trolley/streetcar, c. 1901, and later by the automobile in the 1920s and 1930s with the opening of the Liberty Tubes in 1924. The boundaries of the district include those areas that were developed between 1874 and c. 1945.
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Mt. Lebanon provides many recreational opportunities for its residents. Fifteen parks are scattered over 200 acres (0.81 km2) throughout the community. In addition to the parks, there is an Olympic size swimming pool, open in summer, and a regulation size ice rink and recreation building located adjacent to Mt. Lebanon Park on Cedar Blvd. Mt. Lebanon also boasts one of the oldest public golf courses in western Pennsylvania and has several tennis and basketball courts which are open year round. Other recreational facilities include a Sand volleyball court, bocce courts, platform tennis, a plethora of picnic pavilions and over eight children's playgrounds. Mt. Lebanon School District's sports teams are a big part of the community. The mascot is currently the Blue Devil, which has occasionally stirred controversy.
Mt. Lebanon has a fairly large number of famous people associated with the town. People from Mt. Lebanon have excelled in acting, such as Ming-Na Wen, Joe Manganiello, and Gillian Jacobs; athletics, such as gold-medal wrestler Kurt Angle; politics, such as Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch; business, such as self-made billionaire Mark Cuban; and science, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation pioneer Peter Safar and astronomer Sandra Faber. Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux used to reside in Mt. Lebanon as well, though he now resides in Sewickley, a similarly affluent community along the Ohio River about thirty minutes away, as does Josh Wilson, shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers. Mt. Lebanon-born Keith Van Horne played for the Super Bowl XX champion Chicago Bears. Frank Cappelli, local legendary children musician graduated and still resides in Mt Lebanon. The supervising director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008 TV series), Dave Filoni grew up in Mt. Lebanon. The founder and former CEO of Chicago-based Groupon, Andrew Mason, also grew up in Mt. Lebanon. Science fiction author William Tenn lived in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Rocky Bleier, former Steeler running back, currently lives in Mt. Lebanon.
- "Weekly list of actions taken on properties: 9/29/14 through 10/03/14". National Park Service. October 10, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
- Wallace F. Workmaster (September 21, 2006). "Historical Society of Mt. Lebanon - How Mt. Lebanon Was Named". Retrieved October 26, 2009.
- "Mt. Lebanon History & Information". Retrieved 9 October 2009.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Pace, Laura. "Black History Month: Mt. Lebanon's past of not selling homes to minorities is highlighted by Muhammad Ali's effort to buy in Virginia Manor". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Pennsylvania Code Title 302, Sec. 27.1-101 et seq.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Washington Road - Mt. Lebanon, PA - Something for Everyone". www.washingtonroad.com. Internet Archive Wayback Machine. 2007-08-21. Archived from the original on 2007-08-21.
- Susan Fleming Morgans (December 2006). "A Grand Tour". Mt. Lebanon Magazine. pp. 26–27.
- Elaine Wertheim (October 2003). "Shades of Mt. Lebanon". Mt. Lebanon Magazine. pp. 46–53.
- "Number and Distribution of Inhabitants:Pennsylvania-Tennessee" (PDF). Fifteenth Census. U.S. Census Bureau.
- "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- Laura C. Ricketts; Mt. Lebanon Historic Preservation Board (February 26, 2014). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Mt. Lebanon Historic District" (PDF). Mt. Lebanon, PA. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
- "Recreation". Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
- Mary Niederberger (November 17, 2005). "Mt. Lebanon High School marks 75 years of theater". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. pp. South Section.
- Cathy Booth Thomas (2002-04-22). "A Bigger Screen for Mark Cuban". Time Magazine.