Mt Lebanon Magazine

710 Washington Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15228

Mt Lebanon Magazine

The official magazine of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania

On the Border

1st Communion at St. Winifred’s

I have been on the outskirts of Mt. Lebanon most of my life. When I was in second grade, my family moved to Old Farm Road, not the Mt. Lebanon part but the part in Baldwin Township. At the time, we weren’t all that familiar with the area, although we did look at a few houses in Sunset Hills. Even though I didn’t live in Mt. Lebanon, it often felt like I did.

Since our house was on the border, my best friend who lived just two houses away was in Mt. Lebanon. I played softball for Mt. Lebanon and went to St. Winifred’s Church. We walked to Koval’s (and later Paul’s) the “candy store” beside Howe School, to buy candy cigarettes, Bubs Daddies and Funyuns. We walked through Sunset Hills to McDonalds on Mt. Lebanon Boulevard. We climbed on the trolley bridge that crossed over Castle Shannon Boulevard and ate at Pub and Pizza. 

The Pub and Pizza on Castle Shannon Boulevard
The Pub and Pizza on Castle Shannon Boulevard

I went to see movies at the Denis, got my first pair of glasses at the eye doctor on Washington Road, bought a soccer ball at Ideal Sports, shopped for back-to-school clothes at Kaufmann’s (before it was The Galleria) and went to the World’s Greatest Garage Sale. Mt. Lebanon was my neighborhood. But I didn’t live there, exactly.

Denis Theatre, 1972

When I went to middle and high school, we took a bus to Baldwin-Whitehall, which seemed very far away. Things changed, as they always do when you get older, and all my friends and destinations became centered in a different area. But the neighborhood where I grew up was still there, waiting. 

Many years later I moved back to the region with my young family. We looked at houses in Mt. Lebanon but ended up buying in Dormont. Yet my location is, coincidentally, two blocks from Mt. Lebanon, right on the border again. When my kids were young, we walked to St. Bernard’s Church and to Mt. Lebanon Library for Story Time. Fast forward a few more years and my parents moved to Sunset Drive in Mt. Lebanon. My sister and her family bought a house on Jefferson Drive, also in Mt. Lebanon. Then, I find myself employed by Mt. Lebanon Municipality, first at the library and a few years later for the public information office. None of it was intentional; it’s just the way life fell into place. I couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out. The convenience can’t be matched. I can walk to Uptown in 12 minutes or head in the other direction for the West Liberty Avenue business corridor, the T stop and Potomac Avenue.  

I feel very fortunate to live in a place that is not so consumed with urban sprawl or the traffic that comes with further out suburbs. I love where I live and one of the reasons is the proximity to Mt. Lebanon. I wouldn’t want to live on the border of anywhere else.  

Looking toward Mt. Lebanon
View overlooking Mt. Lebanon

Comments

  1. Author’s gravatar

    Your memories took me back to my youth. My first home was in the Baldwin – Whitehall area. It was WW II. My father was away at war. My brothers and I played in woods that are now dense neighborhoods. In 1949 we moved to Jefferson Dr. in Mt. Lebanon. I entered 5’th grade at Washington School. I was taken with sidewalks, a concept previously unknown to me. “Up town” was right there, with all of its delights…Mandell’s Pharmacy, the Denis theatre, Islay’s etc.
    In 2017 I finally sold our home of 40 years on Vernon Dr. and relocated to a patio home in S. Fayette. We like it. It suits our needs….but I will ever remain a Mt. Lebonite

  2. Author’s gravatar

    That’s a great story thank you for sharing.

  3. Author’s gravatar

    My Mom always talked about relatives who “almost lived” places – Beechview was ALMoST Dormont – Banksville was almost Scott- seemed like a total ‘burgh thing- meanwhile we lived in old Bethel Park- moved I. When the street was mud- and I live in the historical district of Mt Lebanon- go figure!

  4. Author’s gravatar

    I too lived on Old Farm Road and remember building snow men tall enough to stare eye to eye with the bus drivers that plied our winter street. Played in the tree house in the woods behind Summit Drive. Had to walk to school because we were not far enough away to qualify for the bus.

  5. Author’s gravatar

    Great article- I grew up on edge ridge rd in Baldwin township about 500 yards away from Mt Lebanon until I graduated from Baldwin High in 1959 and my parents moved to 763 Country Cub Drive in Sunset Hills. Like other comments almost all my time and most friends were in Mt Lebanon. Walked to the Presbyterian church etc, both sets of grandparents lived in Dormont. Great memories

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