Named for the hazelnut trees that once grew on the banks of the Monongahela River, Hazelwood possessed a natural beauty that George Washington noted in his early journals. Originally Native American territory, Hazelwood was purchased through the 1758 Stanwix Treaty.
The treaty made way for Scottish Immigrants, who settled in the area of Hazelwood that became known as Scotch Bottom. The first settlers paved a dirt path into Pittsburgh's downtown. Travel on this important throughway, later called Second Avenue, flourished during the mid-1800s. Meanwhile, the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad was built along the Monongahela and the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation (J&L) opened the Eliza Plant between Bates Street and Greenfield Avenue. Both entities brought industry and prosperity to Scotch Bottom.
In 1871, the B&O purchased the Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad, allowing access from Hazelwood to Pittsburgh's now booming downtown. During the 1880s, a roundhouse for repairing locomotives was built while J&L added 54 beehive ovens near Longworth Street. Hazelwood's industrial growth called for even more workers, many of whom hailed from Central Europe.
By the 1950s, Hazelwood was home to over 200 businesses and a diverse demographic. But as the steel industry declined in the 1980s, so did the community. As businesses closed, people moved away, and Pittsburgh's last steel mill, Hazelwood Coke Works, closed in 1998.
Today, the Coke Works site is owned by Almono LP, a partnership of four Pittsburgh foundations and RIDC. a vision plan for the 178-acre site was developed with the input of stakeholders and the community. With a shared vision for the future, the site is poised to re-enter the market, connect with regional economic hubs, share the mile-and-a-half of riverfront with the community, and become an instigator of growth, renewal, and progress in Pittsburgh.