Saint Peter, North Side

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North Side

Parish History

St. Peter was founded in 1850.  The parish was the result of the growth of Irish population on the North Side, which was then the City of Allegheny.  At first, the people attended St. Paul Cathedral across the river.  As the population grew, support for a separate church also grew.  On September 17, 1848, a meeting was held to plan the new parish.  Property was purchased for a church and construction began in 1849.  The church was completed and dedicated on April 21, 1850.

Rapid growth of the congregation led to the need for a new, larger church.  The cornerstone for the new church was laid on April 16, 1871.  Construction of the church was slow and by the end of 1872, only the basement was completed.  However, since the old church had been sold and the congregation had to vacate the building, the basement was blessed on December 1, 1872 and was used for services until the church was completed.  That occurred in 1874 and the new church was dedicated on July 5, 1874.

In 1876, the church began its short period as a pro-Cathedral.  At Pittsburgh Bishop Michael Domenec's request, the Diocese of Allegheny was split from Pittsburgh and Bishop Domenec was appointed Bishop of Allegheny.  By the end of 1877, the Diocese of Allegheny was suppressed and reunited with Pittsburgh.

On November 19, 1886, the church was gutted by a fire, which only left the walls standing.  The church was rebuilt, using the original plans, and was rededicated on April 28, 1888.

Beginning in the 1950's, the North Side suffered a large loss of population.  Part of the cause was the move of people from the city to the suburbs.  Part of the cause was large urban renewal projects such as Allegheny Center Mall and the stadium, which led to the tearing down of a number of homes.  In 1993, St. Peter was merged with Our Lady Queen of Peace.  The new parish retained the name St. Peter.  St. Peter church remains open as a worship site for the new parish.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

St. Peter before the fire, undated
St. Peter after the fire, 1886
St. Peter after the fire, 1886
St. Peter, 1958

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