ABOUT LEECHBURG AREA
UNDERSTANDING THE AREA
Leechburg and its surrounding communities of Gilpin Township, West Leechburg Borough and Hyde Park Borough makeup, what we consider, the Leechburg Area.
It is 32 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, 41 minutes by car. These are independent communities which have been historically linked by the retail business district of Leechburg, the ATI steel processing facilities in Gilpin and West Leechburg, the Hyde Park Foundry, area churches, ethnic beneficial associations and the Leechburg School District. Two of these communities, Leechburg and Gilpin, are in Armstrong County and two, west Leechburg and Hyde Park, are in Westmoreland County.
THE LEECHBURG AREA
Leechburg Borough is less than one square mile in size and has closely spaced housing and business areas and has historically been the central business district for the area. It is located on the very southern edge of Armstrong County and is bordered on three sides by the Kiskiminetas River. River front development includes Gazebo Park and fireman’s boat ramp. The population has decreased from a high of 4,500 to 2,000 today. Most of the housing in the community was built prior to 1950 and sixty-five percent of the housing is owner occupied.
Gilpin is more rural and is approximately six square miles in size and has a population of 2,600. Gilpin has the Kiskiminetas along its southwestern border and the Allegheny River along its northwestern border. Gilpin is the location of the idled Bagdad works of ATI and a number of commercial farms. The community of Schenley is in Gilpin Township along the Allegheny and has an industrial park and marina on the grounds of the former Schenley Distillery.
West Leechburg Borough
West Leechburg Borough is approximately one square mile in size and has a population of just over 1200. The idled West Leechburg Plant of ATI is located here. The Kiskiminetas borders West Leechburg on its eastern side but the community has limited access to the river because of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad and the ATI industrial site. The borough has areas that are suburban subdivisions constructed more recently and older areas with more modest housing.
Hyde Park Borough
Hyde Park is less than a square mile in size and has just under 500 residents. The Hyde Park Foundry industrial site is located at the very tip of the peninsula that is Hyde Park. Along with the main bridge into Leechburg, Hyde Park and Leechburg are connected by a Roebling designed walking bridge that was used as a means for miners and mill workers to go back and forth to work when most people did not own cars. While less important as transportation, today this bridge is a symbol of the close connection between these two communities. Students from Hyde Park attend the Kiski Area School District. Hyde Park is surrounded on three sides by the Kiskiminetas and has taken advantage of the river with the development of a river side park and boat ramp.
Because of the changing economic environment, many small industrial towns in western Pennsylvania (and indeed the country) have suffered difficult times. The Leechburg area, while it has experienced some decline, has fared better than many others thanks to community-wide efforts of business organizations, as well as service and religious organizations.
Through fundraising and specific initiatives, the LACDC wants to take advantage of Leechburg area’s many assets to position it to thrive and grow.
A GREAT PLACE TO GROW
The Leechburg area offers many positive attributes. The Kiskiminetas River flows through all four communities and has become a spectacular recreational asset for the area. As a result, riverfront development is a major initiative of the LACDC.
The Leechburg area is a friendly and safe community. It offers the advantages of small-town living while being easily accessible to the cultural, social and work opportunities Pittsburgh offers. The proximity to Pittsburgh is a benefit that makes its economic transition easy to imagine.
Additionally, the Leechburg Area offers a broad range of affordable housing which includes rural housing with acreage, historic structures, in-town housing within walking distance to restaurants and shopping and modern suburban housing.
LEECHBURG AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
A major community asset is the Leechburg Area School District, a small, community-oriented school district providing students with motivated teachers and an attentive administration. It features Creation Nation, an innovative, STEM-heavy educational environment affording enrichment in all academic areas, including the arts.