11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Fifth & Forbes Historic Retail Area

Year Listed: 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Threat: Development, Poor Public Policy

Significance

Fifth
Streetcorner, Fifth & Forbes Historic Retail Area, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the year 2000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed Fifth & Forbes Historic Retail area as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Credit: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

For many local residents, the historic structures along Pittsburgh's Fifth and Forbes avenues evoke strong memories of crowded streetcars on cobblestone streets, bustling sidewalks, throngs of shoppers, and a thriving commercial district with unique specialty shops and well-appointed department stores. While many other cities are preserving and transforming their old and historic downtown shopping areas, Pittsburgh is preparing to do just the opposite. Under a plan proposed by the mayor that recalls the worst excesses of the urban renewal era of the 1960s, approximately 62 architecturally and historically significant buildings would be demolished and 125 locally owned businesses displaced for a suburban-style retail and entertainment complex.