A man heads home from the dollar store, just off the main street, with his purchases.
Photos by John Rennison, The Hamilton Spectator
Braddock, a borough of Pittsburgh, is home to Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill. Steel was once king here. Now, the Mon Valley Works is still operational, but it employs less than 1, 000 people.
Population in the city used to sit around 20, 000. Now it hovers around 2, 000. The main street is all but vacant, but the borough is slowly gaining a reputation among artists and entrepreneurs.
A chained up store front
The entrance to the town from the west.
Main street buildings
The town’s mayor had converted this former car dealership. He and his family lives on the second floor. A friend is opening a restaurant on the ground floor
The parking lot was built in 1958 and was trumpeted as a sign of community growth.
Abandoned buildings along the main street.
A sign in the town’s core advertises the Rotary Club
The Mon Valley Works of U.S. Steel.
A man talks on his cellphone in the space along the main street where a store once stood
Home living in the steel mill’s shadow
A cellphone store is one of the few store fronts operating
Raemon Prunty, left, and Nathaniel Smith are volunteers with the free store. It offers free clothing to anyone who needs it. Roughly 1, 600 people visit monthly, coming from Braddock and surrounding boroughs.
The Free Store
Raemon Prunty is only 14 but helps runs the Free Store
The clothes come from various sources including movies being shot in the area
Nathaniel Smith helps a customer search the racks.
The dead payphone downtown
Students Shannon Rodgers and Rachael Russell have been documenting graffiti in town for their post secondary courses.
Nelwyn Corley used to work at the hospital in Braddock until it closed from under-use
The closed night club sign still advertises $2 Tuesdays.
The closed-up town barber shop
New energy efficient homes with solar panels have sprung up near some of the older homes in the town.
Asa Foster samples the goods at his brewhouse, The Brew Gentleman Beer Company. Foster and his business partner Matt Katase established the business after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University.
A man works on his car across the way from the former steel mill
A community garden has sprung up near the steel mill.
Sharon Newsom heads to the dog park with her dog Tippie
Sharon Newsom and Nelwyn Carley watch their dogs play in the dog park
Another abandoned bank
An abandoned bank.
Shawntay Thompson pushes her daughter, Dayla, in a swing at a Braddock park.
The Home Depot charity developed the playground for the the town’s children.
A stairway leads to homes in a neighborhood on a hill.
Steel baron Andrew Carnegie founded the town’s library.
The tile entrance to a former storefront on the main street.
Earl Matthews, left, and James Rose stand outside the Unity Baptist Church following Sunday services. Rose worked in the steel mills for 32 years.