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New Kensington City

New Kensington City Hall is located at 301 11th Street, New Kensington, PA 15068; phone: 724-337-4523.

Beginnings [1]

The City of New Kensington was incorporated November 26,1892. By 1893, the Cold Rolled Steel Company, the Excelsior Flint Glass Works, the Kensington Stove Works, the Kensington Enameling Works, and the Sterling White Lead Company had all located to New Kensington. Three new banks were also located in the new community including the First National Bank of New Kensington, the Pittsburgh National Bank, and Jacobs Banking Company. New Kensington took on the appearance of a thriving and diverse industrial community.

The development of New Kensington began in 1890 when the Burrell Improvement Company, a group of Pittsburgh businessmen, purchased level land on the east side of the Allegheny River as prime location for a city. They had the land surveyed and laid out the town of "Kensington" with a rectilinear grid pattern. The avenues paralleled the railroad and the river and ran from Second to Sixth, and the streets were numbered from Second (in Parnassus) to Nineteenth (in Arnold). The land between Second Avenue and the river was to be maintained in larger pieces for sale to industrial users.

The first public sale of lots took place on June 10, 1891. Purchasers were given a free train ride from Pittsburgh and refreshments if they came to view the site of the proposed new town. The price range of the first several hundred lots ranged from $30.00 to $300.00. By the end of 1891, New Kensington was home to 12 companies, providing jobs to 4,000 individuals. In addition to the Pittsburgh Reduction Company (PRC), the companies were the Bradley Stove Works, the Brownsville Plate Glass Company, Kensington Chilled Steel Company, Kensington Roller Process Flour Company, Kensington Tube Works, Logan and Sons Planning Mills, New York Piano and Organ Factory, Pennsylvania Tin Plate Company, the Rolled Wheel Steel Company, the R. F. Rynd Planning Mills, and the Chambers Glass Company (in what was to become Arnold).

  1. Wilkinson, Bonnie J., New Kensington Downtown Historic District, nomination document, 1998, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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