The South Side is a great place to live, work and play and is an important Pittsburgh neighborhood with a tax base that contributes significant revenues to the City and Allegheny County. The neighborhood has a rich, historic past, which many residents have called home for decades. The main business district, E. Carson Street, is a National Historic District, home to the longest Victorian business district in the United States with 15 blocks of Victorian architecture. Other sections of the South Side, including Jane and Sarah Streets, also hold significant historic value and need to be recognized.
The South Side is home to a burgeoning arts community, including WESA/WYEP and the iconic Fredosaurus Rex, City Theatre, Steeltown Entertainment Project, the Brew House artists’ lofts, along with a number of art installations and galleries.
South Side residents are a diverse mix of ages and backgrounds. It’s hard not to bump into someone at the coffee shop who has been a lifelong resident of the neighborhood and can share stories from working the steel and glass factories. With three large universities in close proximity, the South Side is also home and playground for college students. Phillips Elementary attracts young families seeking exemplary education. Empty nesters are moving to the neighborhood for its walkability and vibrancy. The South Side also includes a number of elderly and low-mid income residents who need to be brought into the fold. It’s important to preserve and protect each of these demographic groups as the older residents share the rich history of the community while younger citizens will become the future of the South Side, both as business owners and residents.
Too often, the fabric of the South Side – the history and the arts – are overshadowed by the challenges of its diversity. Increasing crime, lack of adequate parking, the high percentage of rental versus owner-occupied housing, lack of programming and disengaged residents risk the vitality of the neighborhood. The South Side Community Council is committed to strengthening the neighborhood through this community-based strategic planning initiative. In order to strengthen and preserve the foundation of the South Side, our priorities are to tackle many of the challenges that plague our residents while reestablishing a sense of community pride and connectedness among all demographics. The South Side is at a pivotal point. If we fail to counter the problems that are occurring, we could become a neighborhood in decline. The SSCC is taking a proactive role in addressing these issues and engaging the community to ensure the stability of the neighborhood.
Founded in 1939, the South Side Community Council gives a voice to the residents of the South Side Flats neighborhood and strengthens the community by celebrating and embracing its history and its arts and cultures. Through collaboration and community partnerships, it will address the challenges facing the South Side while improving the quality of life and economic vitality of the neighborhood.
By 2020, the South Side will be a healthy and vibrant community where families and individuals choose to live, work and play. We will accomplish this vision by:
- Recognizing the neighborhood’s commitment to the arts, with the South Side’s rich history taking center stage through venues and events.
- Providing urban parks filled with activities and events that regularly bring residents together and celebrate the community’s diverse demographic groups.
- Making East Carson Street a featured destination for the entire region where a public spaces initiative will transform it into an attractive and walk-able avenue with unique retail shops and restaurants.
- Creating an environment where residents and businesses are mutually-supportive and share a sense of community pride.
Board of Directors
First Vice President
Second Vice President
Chairperson, Green N'at
Chairperson, Green N'at; IT Services
Chairperson, Graffiti Watch; South Side Murals
Our Action Groups and Committees
Dedicated volunteers prevent and remove graffiti from the South Side. Keeping our community free of graffiti requires a sustained effort. Graffiti is a public safety issue that contributes to blight, increased criminal activity, reduced property values, and added expenses. Graffiti Watch works in partnership with residents, businesses, property owners, and the City of Pittsburgh.
Volunteers are dedicated to creating and stewarding public parks, gardens and green spaces, including efforts to revitalize existing outdoor spaces. Outreach efforts also include community clean-up days, litter management, and providing education to the community.
South Side Garden Tour
This self-guided, rain or shine tour features unique and beautiful gardens throughout the South Side neighborhood. The gardens include courtyards, large lot gardens, rooftop gardens, and more! Join us on this annual tour to see traditional, modern, and “green” gardens and support public green spaces in the South Side.
South Side Home Tour
For more than 20 years, dozens of the South Side’s most unique residences and buildings have opened their doors for this annual self-guided walking tour. From distinctly re-purposed lofts and brand new condominiums to beautifully restored homes, each is a reflection of the owner’s own style and tastes. These homes tell a story not just through their unique architectural features but also the personal collections of art, family heirlooms, memorabilia, and travel treasures housed within.