Mount Lebanon is what old Pa Pitt calls an urban suburb. It is outside the limits of the city of Pittsburgh, but otherwise the core of it is a city neighborhood, with an urban business district. (An urban business district, in Father Pitt’s definition, is one in which the businesses line up abutting the sidewalk, with no parking lots in front of them.) “Uptown” Mount Lebanon is a pleasant place for a stroll, with many restaurants and specialty shops to lure you off the sidewalk. And as we can see in this picture, it is actually one of the broadest urban business districts in the entire metropolitan area. In Washington, D.C., this would be merely average, but Pittsburgh has very few spaces that can accommodate a commercial street this wide.
Uptown Mount Lebanon has one of the best collections of Art Deco architecture in the area. These two buildings sit side by side on Washington Road at the corner of Alfred Street. With some confidence, old Pa Pitt identifies the Gothic fantasy on the right as an old movie theater, although he would be happy to be corrected.
Clearview Common is a little parklet at the corner of Washington Road and Alfred Street in the middle of the Uptown Mount Lebanon business district. It makes an urban oasis out of a vacant lot, and this fountain is one of its distinctive features.
Pittsburgh natives are probably not aware that, to outsiders, one of the most surprising things about the city and its inner suburbs is the ubiquity of shoe-repair shops.
A southbound Red Line car leaves the Mount Lebanon subway station, as seen from the Alfred Street crossing.