The History of New Kensington, Pennsylvania

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This article is brought to you by the lawyers of sexual abuse in New Kensington. We want to encourage you to learn more about the history of the city.

History of New Kensington

New Kensington is a city within Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Before European settlement, it was a hunting ground for Native Americans of the Six Nations. In the mid-1700s, European-Americans began to settle in the area. Fort Crawford was built near the mouth of Pucketa Creek by the Continential army troops in 1777. However, by 1793, it was left abandoned.

The city of New Kensington was established in 1891 as part of Burrell Township. The Burrell Improvement Company of Lower Bureel had deemed the location as a prime spot to create a city. Naming it New Kensington, in order to avoid confusion with that of the Philadelphia neighborhood, the area was developed to rival Pittsburgh. On June 10, 1891, a public sale for lots of the land was held. Early developments in the area were:

  • The Pittsburgh Reduction Company (now Alcoa)
  • Adams Drilling
  • New Kensington Milling
  • New Kensington Brewing
  • Goldsmith and Lowerburg
  • Logan Lumber Keystone Dairy
  • The 9th Street bridge
  • A railroad station
  • A fire department
  • An opera house
  • A hotel
  • A passenger boat to navigate the Allegheny River
  • The Kensington Dispatch newspaper
  • A local chapter of the YMCA
  • A streetcar line running to Natrona via the West Penn Railways

In 1941, the modern workers' housing project Aluminum City Terrace was built in New Kensington. Designed by Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius, it set new stands for federal housing design. The housing project was intended for defense workers of Alcoa; however, it was used to rehouse displaced citizens from other parts of the city. In 1948, tenants of the project decided to come together and acquire it from the U.S. government in order to form a co-op.

Today, New Kensington includes the neighborhoods of Mount Vernon, Parnassus, Valley Camp, Valley Heights, Pine Manor and 40 Acres. It has a population of 13,113 people and is situated 18 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, along the Allegheny River.

Read more: An Overview of Carnot-Moon, Pennsylvania

Historic Sites

New Kensington is home to a number of landmarks and establishments that tell the history of the city. Three of those historically significant sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). These include the New Kensington Production Works Historic District, New Kensington Downtown Historic District and Mount St. Peter Roman Catholic Church.

Mount St. Peter Roman Catholic Church

Mount St. Peter Roman Catholic Church was founded in the early 1900s by Italian immigrants. During World War II, the current Catholic Church building was built by hand by parish members using materials from the dismantled Richard B. Mellon mansion in Pittsburgh. On July 4, 1944, the church was dedicated. On May 5, 1998, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

Today, the Catholic Church is regionally known for its Festa Italiana that's held every year in August. During the festival, you can enjoy the games provided for children, gambling for adults, dancing and homemade Italian food. As of 2009, the church's congregation has around 5,000 members.

Valley Junior/ Senior High School

Valley Junior and Senior High School is part of the New Kensington–Armond School District. Located in the heart of the city on Stevenson Boulevard, it serves students from grades 7th through 12th. The public school has a population of 823 students and a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Based on state test scores, 43% of its students are proficient in reading and 15% are in math. The school has an overall Niche grade of a C and a GreatSchools rating of 2 out of 10.

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Are you suffering from the trauma of a hospital abuse incident? You may still be entitled to compensation. Contact our New Kensington hospital abuse attorneys to discuss your potential claim. We will help you figure out your legal options. Call now to get started with a free case review.

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