This page will have personal memories of Squirrel Hill.
Feel free to send us your thoughts
December 13, 2009
I lived in Squirrel Hill for 3 months. It was the summer of 1977 and my mother was in graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. We lived in Atlanta, and my Mom actually left us with my Dad ( to whom she was still married ) to pursue her Doctorate in Social Work.
She had a small apartment on Dalzell Place. The efficiency across the hall was available and my Mom rented it for us for the summer. The landlord was kind enough to knock out a closet wall out so that her apartment would connect to ours.
Her advisor was Martha Baum who was a resident of Pittsburgh/Squirrel Hill and she totally hooked my Mom up with resources within the community so we could have a good summer there. My oldest sister was a counselor at the local JCC. My younger sister and I went to a Jewish camp somewhere out in the suburbs. The name of my group was Camp Tel Aviv I believe. I still remember the names of some of my camp mates and my counselors, Mike, Lenny and a woman whose name I can’t remember. My counselors were so great. Mike was my favorite, he always called me a Donna Summer in the making. Mostly because I don’t think he knew any other attractive brown women with a ton of hair which is something Donna Summer and I had in common. Anyway, we had a great mutual affection for each other and he made my camping experience a good one. I would love to find Mike one day and thank him.
My fondest memories of Squirrel Hill was to walk up to Forbes and the other cross street to the commercial district and go to “ Papa Joes”?? for a great burger. And one of my counselors was Lenny Silberberg and his Dad owned a bakery that we visited on a field trip during camp and I subsequently visited on my own.
Coming from suburban Atlanta—Squirrel Hill was unlike any community I had ever known. The pedestrian culture, the public transportation gave me such a sense of freedom. It was such a different experience for me. The beautiful architecture was foreign to me, the whole sports culture, event the topography was new.
But the coolest part looking back was how the academic/Jewish community embraced my mother to support her through getting her PhD. It was a difficult time for all of us in our family. However, it was completely worth it. My mom, nor my sisters and I would not be the same people without have spent time there.
Thanks Squirrel Hill---
-- Enyce Thompson
January 25, 2008
Hi -- I now live in Cleveland, Ohio but was born in Pittsburgh and moved to Monitor Street at 1 year old after my birth in the same house on Ward Street in Oakland, near Isaly's. I attended John Minadeo Elementary School and loved to go to Frick Park and play there. A visit to Kennywood or White Swan Park was always an excitement. I still have a large family who live in Pittsburgh, so I get to pass my home and the neighborhood where I grew up.
My father's best friend was Herb Silverberg who owned Silverberg's bakery so a Sunday trip there was always topped off with some icing squirted in my mouth or cookies. My mother worked at Herman's bakery during her high school years before she graduated from University of Pittsburgh and worked as a microbiologist at Children's Hospital. My mouth still waters for Mineo's pizza on Murray Avenue.
Seeing a movie at Manor's theatre on a Saturday was always a treat.
Many good memories of Squirrel Hill -- memories that are always to keep!
--Betty Ruth Shear
September 28, 2006
Thanks to Joe Saber who sent us the following personal recollections:
I came to Pgh. when I was 9 yrs. old. My uncle adopted me and my sister after my mother died from child birth of my sister. My home was on Morrowfield Ave. I delivered newspapers on adjacent streets. Went to school at Philomenas Catholic school. Graduated from Taylor-Allderdice High School in 1949. Enlisted in the Air Force and spent 4yrs.1 mo. 5days -- 3 yrs. in Germany. Became an aircraft mechanic and worked for United Airlines in Midway Airport Chicago. To make a long story I will return back to my home one day before I die. Please send me the film and I will send money to whomever (refers to Vintage Film of Murray Ave being shown thru Pgh. Filmmakers).
Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery today a GIFT so enjoy and never forget.
April 4, 2005
Thanks to Mike Cook, who sent us the following personal recollections:
My parents and sister still live in Squirrel Hill, and it's always nice to see the old neighborhood when I go to Pittsburgh to visit them.
I have a few more memories of UpStreet that I would like to share. I remember the Isaly's store on Forbes where they had the best chipped ham, potato salad, baked beans, pickles, and ham barbeque! The skyscraper ice cream cones were huge! I like to weigh myself on the old-fashioned scale that they had by the door, next to two big floor fans that tried to cool the un-air-conditioned store in the summer time.
Next door was the News Stand where we bought Allderdice notebooks and gym bags. Freedmans Men's Wear shop on Murray Avenue provided many Bar Mitzvah gifts, and back to school clothes. We bought produce at Kubitz and Goss on Murray Avenue, and Kablin's Market delivered groceries right to my grandmother's door after she phoned in her order every week.
Rattner's hardware store had everything under the sun, and they always knew exactly where everything was! Mineo's pizza shop originally was located at Phillips and Murray in Herman's Bakery building after Herman's closed.
The big name beauty shops were Dottie's on Murray near Beacon, and Jason's on Forbes near Shady. I remember when the Forum Theater opened on the old Kamin Chevrolet site at Forbes and Shady, and they had a knight in shining armor riding up and down Forbes Street on a poor horse (who was terrified of the streetcars) to promote their big opening. I think their first movie was The Mouse That Roared.
And, I will never forget the Saturday that Footer's Cleaners on Forbes Street caught on fire and was completely destroyed. We lived near Forbes and Dallas, and I was on a streetcar, on my way home from the library in Oakland. The police had Forbes Street blocked off at Murray Avenue, and my friend and I had to get off and walk the rest of the way home. Naturally, we stood across the street from Footer's and watched the action. Many of my family members and neighbors lost clothing in that fire, and it was the talk of the community for weeks to come.
I hope that some of my fond memories will bring back good feelings and memories for others. I look forward to hearing other peoples recollections, and I am anxiously awaiting your history book.
March 31, 2005
I currently live in Philadelphia, which I love. However, I grew up in Squirrel Hill in the 1950s and '60s, and I have great memories which I would love share, especially of "Up-Street," if anyone is interested...
I remember Tabor's Barber Shop and Dora's Market on Shady Avenue, Rosen's and The Sun Drug Store along with The Manor Pharmacy and Beacon Pharmacy. We ate at Cappie's, Bubble's and Sherman's, and Weinstein's restaurant with all of the great celebrity pictures in the window. I bought goldfish and turtles at Autenreith's 5&10 cent store. Ortoleva's shoe repair shop was next door, and The National Record Mart was also there, with its listening booth, where my friends and I spent hours listening to records.
The cookies, cakes and pies, breads, and candy were fantastic at the Waldorf Bakery. Rosenbloom's, Silberberg's and Herman's were also great bakeries. We bought candy at Loft's candy shop, and shopped at the old Giant Eagle which was where the Eat 'N Park is now. Deli items were purchased at Adler's, The Hebrew National or Polonsky's. I bought anniversary presents for my parents at The Hostess House and Berman's Gift Shop. My mother shopped at The Tweed Shop, Adelle's, and Block's. Florsheim shoes were also very popular. I went bowling at the Murray-Beacon lanes and enjoyed movies at The Guild and The Forum.
We rode the 64, 67, 68, or 69 streetcars to Oakland, and took the 60 streetcar to East Liberty. When we went to Kennywood Park for school picnics, we took the 68 streetcar.
The Hot Puppie Shop on Forward near Murray had great hot dogs, and the Morrowfield Apartments had a huge orange neon sign on top of it that could be seen for miles.
Before the JCC, we went to "The IK's" at Forbes and Murray, next door to the Gulf Station, where my dad had hs car washed every Saturday.
I have many more fond memories that I would love to share!