Knoxville is an urban neighborhood in South Pittsburgh. About 4,000 people live in Knoxville. Their homes are small to four-bedroom houses, and small apartment buildings. Housing is inexpensive. Real estate in the community has an above-average vacancy rate.

People who live in Knoxville have low incomes. About one out of four children live below the federal poverty line. The Hilltop Alliance is a community organization that works to improve the quality of life for people who live in Knoxville, ten other South Pittsburgh neighborhoods & Mt Oliver Borough.

Code compliance projects happen in Knoxville and other hilltop neighborhoods as part of the Hilltop Alliance’s Property Stabilization Program. Keeping houses in compliance with city housing codes helps to stabilize communities with abandoned properties and foreclosures.

The Hilltop Alliance helped create a greenway from the former Knoxville Incline in the mid 2010s. Trails & steps on the greenway, which is actually in the Arlington neighborhood, connect the Knoxville Incline Greenway to the South Side.

The Hilltop Urban Farm is a Hilltop Alliance project that helps people improve their food security by renting small plots of land to grow their own vegetables & fruits.

The Carnegie Library – Knoxville serves the Hilltop community that includes Knoxville. Books can be checked out, and there’s an after-hours book return. Public computers & free WiFi are available. Meeting rooms can be reserved. A photocopier & wireless printer are available for a small fee.

Bus routes provide public transit for Knoxville.

Paramedic services are provided out of Medic 2 on Bausman Street at Matthews Avenue.

Knoxville is represented on Pittsburgh City Council by District 3 (Central South Neighborhoods). County Council representation is through District 12. Voters in Knoxville elect the State Representative to District 19, & the PA Senator to Senate District 42. U.S. Congressional district 18 includes Knoxville.

Knoxville is a diverse neighborhood of African-Americans, people of European origin & Asian-Americans. It is situated north of Carrick. Its zip code is 15210.

History

Two hundred years ago, Knoxville was a fruit farm owned by Jeremiah Knox. It was considered a great location to build homes because smoke from South Side factories didn’t reach it. The farm was subdivided for housing after the Mount Oliver Incline opened. People traveled the incline from Knoxville to the South Side and back until it closed in the early 1950s.

The Knoxville Incline also provided mass transit to the South Side. When it opened in the 1890s, it cost a penny to ride. It operated until 1960, when Pittsburgh Railways closed it.

Inclines use cables & pulleys to pull rail cars up steep hillsides. Pittsburgh hills had a lot of inclines during the first half of the 20th century. They were a popular way to travel through the city until cars & improving road systems displaced them. The Brookline Connection has photos of inclines.

The Pittsburgh, Knoxville & St. Clair Electric Railroad, one of the earliest electric street railways, opened to make travel even easier, but it went broke after a few years.

By the late 1800s, the Knoxville area was an independent borough where many middle managers lived, raising families safe from smoke from the factories that they helped to manage.

Knoxville became a Pittsburgh neighborhood – no longer a separate borough – in the late 1920s.