The Crawford Mansion’s Finale

After posting the picture of Duquesne’s Crawford Mansion, there seemed to be a flurry of interest in the history of the structure. I really found all of the information and links to articles and sites fantastic and super interesting. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

I researched The Duquesne Times archives and found the following piece about the mansion and the plans to demolish it. As Lou Andriko posted in his comment, the structure met its demise in August of 1943. The article below was in the July 30, 1943 edition of Times and I fully expected to find additional articles that provided additional details along with photographs. Unfortunately, the only other information that appeared in The Times was a small piece about the contractor that would be doing the razing. That article was published the following week on August 6, 1943. No additional information appeared after that issue.



estateestate2AUGUST 6, 1943

Large 2

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25 Responses to The Crawford Mansion’s Finale

  1. Cheryl Johnson Oxford says:

    My name is Cheryl Johnson Oxford. I lived in the third house on the left Our house was built right where the mansion stood. Eileen Tokar lived next door to us in the second house on the left. I can remember sitting on those walls that outlined the steps leading to the mansion and Jack Roades’ house. We gathered there and talked and talked. Beautiful simple lives.. Cheryl

  2. Tim cuz says:

    I would like to know where the crawford mansion w
    As located

    • Lou Andriko says:

      Enter ” Hickory Alley, Duquesne, PA ” into Google Maps.
      The property was bounded by a brick retaining wall along Duquesne Blvd (now totally overgrown) and up Center St (still visible as far as Oak Alley.) There is a massive brick stairway up to the mansion near the end of the bridge which is still there as well, totally overgrown. Until the 60s, the Blvd was a two lane brick road right along retaining wall, the city (state?) kept the brush trimmed above it. Before the ramps were put in in the late 60s there was a business right there at the end of the Bridge. Anyone remember what it was?
      From the photo, I believe the mansion was just off Center Street and Orchard Ct. It may have been at Center and Oak St, but the Google Map image of the retaining wall doesn’t fit
      with photo of the gated steps; the topography doesn’t fit either.
      There is an abandoned house between 931 and 941 Orchard Ct; there is now an empty lot next to it. This one of the two caretakers’ homes mentioned in the article. When I was a child, both houses were still there, next to one another. The club house, gardens and pond were gone by then,

      • Sam Gizzi says:

        If I remember it correctly, the business at the end of the bridge was Leonatti’s. I’m not sure what type of business it was.

      • Lou A says:

        Yes, that’s the name; didn’t they sell motorcycles?

      • Sally Luna says:

        Leonetti (sp?) Brothers sold boats. I believe they moved to McKeesport when Rt 837 was improved as a four lane highway.

  3. John (Jack) Berta says:

    In all my 18 years living at the top of Center Street I never saw a tractor trailer traverse it. Just recently my brother Tom related to me seeing two tractor trailers, one going up and one going down Center Street. We concluded they were following GPS directions.

  4. Kate says:

    If you can give me anymore details and facts about the people who lived in the home can you please reply I’m doing a project and need to know some facts .

  5. Dave Armstrong says:

    you can still see some of the original wall of the Crawford mansion along Duquesne Boulevard. I grew up in Burn heights when it wasn’t too bad of a place to live. Graduated in 63, moved out in 68

  6. Christine Robbins says:

    My grandmother had the kitchen table of the Crawford mansion in her home at 908 Oak Street. My mom said that they would watch the cars pull up to the driveway from the porch. Check out the Crawford mausoleum–it was beautiful before they encased it in stone.

  7. Marsha Ohrman Buehner says:

    My father, who was born in 1912, always talked about being one of the boys who helped at the mansion — did yardwork, did errands, all types of things. I wish I had paid more attention when he told those stories as he has passed away and, with it, this beautiful mansion! My father was raised in the second home on the left once you reached the top of Center Street and rode toward West Mifflin. – Marsha Ohrman Buehner

  8. Ken Shaw says:

    You all may have enjoyed riding down Center Street but I did not enjoy climbing it twice a day to go to school. Those steps beside the front gate is where we would gather for our daily treks to school. Does anyone remember Walnut street? That was the name on the flight of stairs from Duquesne Ave. up to he fish pond.

    • Fran Pellegrino 76 years old says:

      Yes Walnut was right across from the Mobil gas station that Mr Bell operated. That’s where I brought penny candy and baseball packs back in the 40s.

  9. Eileen Tokar Lilley says:

    Jim, thank you again for all your research, pictures, comments and this blog for the activity thatt followed my question about the Crawford Estate. You’ve cleared up a lot of questions I had as a child that I never thought would be answered. The picture and the article detailing the interior of the mansion and grounds was astounding and the subsequent article about the razing was so sad. There was part of a crumbling wall about 3 foot high in our backyard and I always wondered what it was part of, now I know. As I was swinging on that gate to the left of the street entrance, I wondered who had passed through it, now I know. To know that that mansion stood on the map of Duquesne from 1797 was amazing. I’ve just about read every link that everyone has posted. I’ve never been much of a history buff (history kept we off the honor roll several times) but you’ve helped open up a whole new world for me. I plan on purchasing some of the books mentioned in some of the links. Keep up the good work and don’t even think about stopping the blog.

  10. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    Jim, Look what you have done — bringing back all of those memories — a few months ago, you were going to call it “quits” — don’t you dare — we love your blog and the memories of Duquesne — all that I remember about that area is Center Street — we called it the “Wee Hill” — because my dad would drive over those bumps and we all said “WEE” — such simple times — I wish kids today would get a thrill out of such a silly, simple INEXPENSIVE ride down Center Street! — Jim, keep them coming

  11. Vince Gricus says:

    Thank you for the wonderful interesting article.

  12. John aka Jack Berta DHS '62 says:

    I remember there was a Crawford Building at Mckeesport Hospital. Inside on the wall there was a portrait of a Crawford. I believe his donation made the building possible.

  13. Drew Cheke says:

    Jim , WOW ! What an excellent read . . . I thoroughly enjoyed the article. Thanks Again !

  14. Jeri Lemak says:

    When I was young I lived on the bottom of Craword St. and we would go over there and see the
    fish pond, which was still there and taken care of by one of the servents that still lived there.
    They had already taken down the house. The big gates were still up and the big wall that was aroundthe property that was located on center street.. We were not allowed on the property but we were nosey kids. This artical really brought back memories
    Thank You for the information
    Jeri McLaughlin Lemak

  15. Laura Kinch Connelly says:

    Awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Drew Cheke says:

    Excellent Job , Jim , Great information on the mansion . . . It was fun “digging” into the past !

  17. Sam Gizzi says:

    Thank you for this.

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