Hays (Pittsburgh)

Hays is a neighborhood in the 31st Ward of the east side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is represented on the Pittsburgh City Council by the representative of District 5 (Corey O'Connor). It occupies ZIP codes 15227, 15207, and 15236. It is named after James H. Hays, who opened a coal-mining operation called Hays and Haberman Mines in 1828.

CountryUnited States
CountyAllegheny County
  Total1.75 sq mi (4.5 km2)
  Density210/sq mi (80/km2)

Hays was first settled in 1789 when still part of Baldwin Township by John Smalls, who named the area Six Mile Ferry Village. The H.B. Hays and Brothers Coal Railroad was a narrow gauge railroad that ran from the coal mine along Streets Run to the coal tipple at Six Mile Ferry.[2]

The neighborhood was formerly the site of the Hays Army Ammunition Plant, built by the U.S. Navy in 1942. The plant was transferred to the Army in 1966, and during its heyday between World War II and the Vietnam War employed more than a thousand people. In 1970 the plant was put on standby status until disposition in 1988. In 1993 the site was donated to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.[3] The closing of the plant has led to an enormous loss of population: in 1940 the population was 2,238, while in 2010 the population was only 362.


In 1901, the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hays was formed from the northern 201 acres (0.81 km2) of Baldwin Township. Annexation to Pittsburgh was completed on Jan. 7, 1929.

Streets Run

The Streets Run watershed is a beautiful yet flood-prone area of the city. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection first investigated the erosion occurring in Streets Run in 1956. There has been major flooding there in 1968 and 1980, and more recently in 1994, 1995, 1999 and 2000. Currently, there is a flood protection project in the works to remedy this situation which includes a concrete rectangular channel, wider banks, stormwater retention dams, and enforcement of existing regulations, such as those concerning the eroding CSX railroad line.

Hays Woods

Hays encompasses the area known as Hays Woods, a 635-acre (257 ha)+ woodland, the largest undeveloped tract of land in the city of Pittsburgh (even larger than Frick Park).[4] Hays Woods is the best example of the city's natural environment and has six streams, including a waterfall. The area is home to nesting bald eagles.[5] The 613-acre (2.48 km2) parcel of land including Hays Woods was identified as a possible site for a thoroughbred racetrack and housing development after developer Charles Betters' application to strip mine the area was declined. In 2016, the parcel was signed over to the city of Pittsburgh and is slated to become the largest park in Pittsburgh.[6]

Bald eagle nesting

After an absence of about two centuries, bald eagles were spotted in the Hays Neighborhood in January 2013 and were reported to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The eagle pair produced a single fledgling in 2013, and three fledglings in 2014. The eagle presence produced a large amount of fanfare on the Great Allegheny Passage which provided people with a place to view the eagles.[7]

Surrounding communities

Hays is bordered by the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Arlington to the north, St. Clair to the northwest, New Homestead to the east and Lincoln Place to the southeast. Three boroughs also border Hays: Baldwin to the southwest, north and southeast, West Homestead to the east and West Mifflin to the south. As a result of the portion of Baldwin Borough from Becks Run Road to the end of East Carson Street and the western end of West Homestead, there is no direct border of Hays to the Monongahela River.

See also


  1. "PGHSNAP 2010 Raw Census Data by Neighborhood". Pittsburgh Department of City Planning PGHSNAP Utility. 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2013. External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. "Six Mile Ferry Tipple". Retrieved 2009-01-02.
  3. "The Brownfields Center: Hays Case Study". Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2006-12-28.
  4. "Hays Woods". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2006-12-28.
  5. Roddy, Dennis (2006-12-22). "Racetrack hopefuls weighing options after state denies strip-mining permit". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2006-12-28.
  6. "Hundreds of acres in Pittsburgh's Hays section to be used as city park". PIttsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  7. http://www.wildearth.tv/cam/pittsburgh-bald-eagles

Further reading

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