With its traditional Main Street, walkable from one end to the other and surrounded by a half dozen residential neighborhoods, Carnegie retains the charm and strength that has kept it thriving for over 100 years.
Carnegie is located just six miles from downtown Pittsburgh at the intersection of Interstates 279 and 79 and is the link with communities to the south by Route 50 and to the east and west by Noblestown Road so, truly, all roads do lead to Carnegie! It's a reminder that the town of Carnegie was the hub for many small rural communities whose residents came here for worship, health care, shopping and even selling as some farmers trucked produce to town on weekends to sell to shops, restaurants and individuals.
Incorporated on March 1, 1894, Carnegie was formed when two smaller boroughs, Mansfield and Chartiers facing each other across Chartiers Creek and joined by family, geography, industry and religions, merged. The new borough was named after Andrew Carnegie himself in return for his gift of both Carnegie High School which he had built, and the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall which he had built and endowed, and which still keeps watch over the community from its perch atop Library Hill today.
Because Chartiers Creek was a navigable waterway for many millennia, native Americans were known to camp here in the summers, hunting on the lush hillsides, then canoeing the "Catfish Path" to the Ohio River to their winter camping grounds in Ohio. As soon as European settlers made it to the point of the three rivers in Pittsburgh, they began exploring down Chartiers Creek, building settlements and trading posts, one of which was on the flood plain at the oxbow of the creek that later became Carnegie.
The early history of Carnegie Borough echoes in the street names: Mansfield, Chartiers, Cubbage, Bell, Sarah, and Doolittle. The neighborhoods organized so long ago still criss-cross the hills and surround the town center on Main Street: Cubbage Hill, Rosslyn Heights, Library Hill, Irishtown.
The earliest industry, along with farming, was the production of whiskey since the extensive farms provided the grains that were distilled into the beverages; markers of the Whiskey Rebellion are all around. As the population grew, the chief industry became coal mining and with the railroads it literally helped fuel the industrial expansion of Pittsburgh and the United States.
Carnegie got his millions when he sold Carnegie Steel, which became Superior Steel Company, the largest industrial employer in Carnegie. Superior was joined by, at one time, five other steel plants that produced every variety of basic and specialty steel products used in manufacturing plants all over the United States. Every new nationality to land and settle in Carnegie filled the mills as their families filled Carnegie's neighborhoods.
The borough covers 1.3 square miles, and in the 2000 census reported a population of 8,396.
Over 400 businesses have a home address in Carnegie, from sole proprietors to corporate headquarters, and Carnegie can accommodate any office or retail need from home-based to multi-story office building.
The downtown area on and about Main Street hosts shops and small offices in the small-town style of storefronts along the street with living space or businesses on the second or third floors. Many of the large stately houses along Washington Avenue have been gentrified into offices, but maintain the look and feel of the family homes they once were. To complement the small to medium businesses, Carnegie Office Park is right at the Rosslyn Farms exit of the Parkway with six multi-story buildings and an extended stay hotel for business travelers.