New Kensington, Pennsylvania

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New Kensington, Pennsylvania
New Kensington, Pennsylvania (8482184857).jpg
Westmoreland County Pennsylvania Incorporated and Unincorporated areas New Kensington Highlighted.svg
Location of New Kensington in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
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New Kensington
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
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New Kensington
New Kensington (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°34′6″N79°45′30″W / 40.56833°N 79.75833°W / 40.56833; -79.75833 Coordinates: 40°34′6″N79°45′30″W / 40.56833°N 79.75833°W / 40.56833; -79.75833
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Westmoreland
Founded1891
Government
  MayorTom Guzzo (D)
Area
[1]
  Total4.21 sq mi (10.90 km2)
  Land3.95 sq mi (10.23 km2)
  Water0.26 sq mi (0.67 km2)
Elevation
1,110 ft (338.3 m)
Population
 (2010)
  Total13,116
  Estimate 
(2019) [2]
12,292
  Density3,112.69/sq mi (1,201.78/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
15068,15069
Area code(s) 724, 878
FIPS code 42-53736
Website http://newkensingtononline.com

New Kensington, known locally as New Ken, is a city in Westmoreland County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, situated along the Allegheny River 18 miles (29 km) northeast of Pittsburgh. The population was 13,116 at the 2010 Census.

Contents

History

Like much of Westmoreland County and surrounding areas, the region was a hunting ground for Native Americans of the Six Nations. European-American settlement began in the mid-1700s. Continental army troops built Fort Crawford, near the mouth of Pucketa Creek, in 1777. The fort was abandoned in 1793.

Originally part of Burrell (and later Lower Burrell) Township, the city of New Kensington was founded in 1891. In 1890, the Burrell Improvement Company considered the advantages of the level land south of its home in Lower Burrell, and deemed it a prime location for a city and named the area "Kensington"; this was later changed to "New Kensington" for postal reasons, to avoid confusion with the Philadelphia neighborhood of the same name. In an attempt to make New Kensington comparable to Pittsburgh, the streets were named with numbers. Avenues ran parallel to the river, while streets were perpendicular. The main commercial streets were 4th and 5th avenues.

Once the land was surveyed, a public sale was held on June 10, 1891. Thousands of people flooded the area and investors began bringing industry with them. The first large company was the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, which later became Alcoa. They acquired a 3.5-acre (14,000 m2) property that allowed the company to utilize the riverfront. The Alcoa facility remained operational until 1971.

New Kensington in 1896, seen in a lithograph by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler Thaddeus M. Fowler - New Kensington, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania 1896.jpg
New Kensington in 1896, seen in a lithograph by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler

Eventually, other companies such as Adams Drilling, Goldsmith and Lowerburg, New Kensington Milling, New Kensington Brewing, Logan Lumber, Keystone Dairy, and many more were built late in the 19th century and continuing into the early 20th century. Early achievements included a railroad station, the 9th Street bridge, a passenger boat that navigated the Allegheny River, a street car line that ran to Natrona via the West Penn Railways, the Kensington Dispatch newspaper, a fire department, hotel, opera house, and a local chapter of the YMCA. New Kensington annexed the independent borough of Parnassus in 1939.

Aluminum City Terrace, Building 22 BUILDING 22 -Aluminum City Terrace, 2-3 Bedroom Unit Type, East Hill Drive, New HAER PA,65-NEKEN,3A-6.jpg
Aluminum City Terrace, Building 22

In 1941, New Kensington became the site of a modern workers' housing project—named the Aluminum City Terrace—designed by Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius, which set new standards for federal housing design. Breuer and Gropius ascribed to the famous Bauhaus School of Design in Germany. Intended for Alcoa defense workers, it was subsequently used to rehouse displaced residents from other parts of the city. In 1948, tenants from the Terrace decided to purchase the housing project from the U.S. government to form a co-op, managed by a Board of Directors, elected by representatives from the 250 units. Relatively low-cost monthly fees continue to cover the costs of running the Terrace.

Today, New Kensington contains the neighborhoods of Parnassus, Mount Vernon, Valley Heights, Valley Camp, Pine Manor, and 40 Acres.

The New Kensington Downtown Historic District, New Kensington Production Works Historic District, and Mount St. Peter Roman Catholic Church are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [3]

Climate

New Kensington has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) climate, with cold, snowy winters, and warm to hot summers.

Climate data for New Kensington, Pennsylvania (Acmetonia Lock 3) 1991-2020 Normals (Temperature records 1978-Present, Precipitation 1905-Present)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)67
(19)
75
(24)
79
(26)
87
(31)
94
(34)
97
(36)
101
(38)
96
(36)
95
(35)
89
(32)
74
(23)
67
(19)
101
(38)
Average high °F (°C)35.8
(2.1)
39.6
(4.2)
48.6
(9.2)
61.8
(16.6)
71.8
(22.1)
79.2
(26.2)
83.2
(28.4)
81.9
(27.7)
75.5
(24.2)
63.5
(17.5)
51.4
(10.8)
41.6
(5.3)
61.2
(16.2)
Daily mean °F (°C)27.6
(−2.4)
30.3
(−0.9)
38.1
(3.4)
49.9
(9.9)
60.2
(15.7)
68.4
(20.2)
72.7
(22.6)
71.2
(21.8)
64.6
(18.1)
53.1
(11.7)
41.6
(5.3)
33.6
(0.9)
50.9
(10.5)
Average low °F (°C)19.4
(−7.0)
20.9
(−6.2)
27.5
(−2.5)
37.9
(3.3)
48.5
(9.2)
57.5
(14.2)
62.2
(16.8)
60.5
(15.8)
53.7
(12.1)
42.6
(5.9)
31.7
(−0.2)
25.5
(−3.6)
40.7
(4.8)
Record low °F (°C)−6
(−21)
−9
(−23)
0
(−18)
20
(−7)
29
(−2)
40
(4)
49
(9)
39
(4)
39
(4)
30
(−1)
11
(−12)
0
(−18)
−9
(−23)
Average precipitation inches (mm)3.38
(86)
2.87
(73)
3.68
(93)
3.70
(94)
3.91
(99)
4.45
(113)
4.54
(115)
3.56
(90)
4.18
(106)
3.32
(84)
3.26
(83)
3.66
(93)
44.51
(1,131)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)18141313131110910111215142
Source: NOAA [4]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1900 4,665
1910 7,70765.2%
1920 11,98755.5%
1930 16,76239.8%
1940 24,05543.5%
1950 25,1464.5%
1960 23,485−6.6%
1970 20,312−13.5%
1980 17,660−13.1%
1990 15,894−10.0%
2000 14,701−7.5%
2010 13,116−10.8%
2019 (est.)12,292 [2] −6.3%
Sources: [5] [6] [7] [8]

As of the census [7] of 2000, there were 14,701 people, 6,519 households, and 3,963 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,703.9 people per square mile (1,429.7/km2). There were 7,309 housing units at an average density of 1,841.5 per square mile (710.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.85% White, 9.84% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.72% of the population.

There were 6,519 households, out of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out, with 21.8% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 21.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,505, and the median income for a family was $37,952. Males had a median income of $32,692 versus $21,683 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,152. About 8.5% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 11.9% of those age 65 or over.

Infrastructure and organizations

Parnassus Presbyterian Church on an old postcard Parnassus PA Presby PHS445.jpg
Parnassus Presbyterian Church on an old postcard

New Kensington maintains its own public works, fire department, police force, emergency rescue team, and water authority. Recreational facilities operated by the city include Memorial and Masa Harbison parks. People's Library of New Kensington offers public library services. Public transportation is provided by the Port Authority of Allegheny County and Westmoreland County Transit Authority. The Westmoreland County Housing Authority administers the Kensington Manor, East Ken Manor, and Valley Manor public housing projects within the city limits.

There are over thirty churches representing several denominations throughout the city.

Two radio stations, WMNY and WBZZ, are both licensed to New Kensington, and serve the Pittsburgh radio media market.

Since the 1970s, the city's downtown has been plagued by high vacancy rates. Starting in 2008, the New Kensington Redevelopment Authority moved to condemn and demolish abandoned commercial and residential properties. The city has also instituted a Weed and Seed urban renewal program, and provided tax abatement to businesses located or opened in designated Keystone Opportunity Zones.

Education

The city is served by the New Kensington–Arnold School District, with facilities at Valley High School, Valley Middle School, H. D. Berkey Intermediate School; and Greenwald Memorial, Fort Crawford, and Martin elementary schools. Budget shortfalls forced the closure of Greenwald Memorial and Fort Crawford in 2015. Valley Middle School was renamed Roy A Hunt Elementary. Greenwald Memorial, sold by the school district to the Roman Catholic diocese of Greensburg, became the new location of St. Josephs School.

Parochial schools include Mary Queen of Apostles and Harvest Baptist Academy (K–12). Former Catholic parochial schools, now consolidated, include: Mount St. Peter, St. Mary, and St. Joseph.

A branch campus of Pennsylvania State University was established in New Kensington in 1958. Since 1966, it has been located in suburban Upper Burrell Township, but retains the name Penn State New Kensington. In 2008, a satellite campus of Westmoreland County Community College opened in downtown New Kensington.

New Kensington is featured in P.O.D.'s "Youth of the Nation" music video. The PA 56 Arnold directional sign is visible as the car in the video travels eastbound over the 9th Street Bridge (C.L. Schmitt Bridge).

The city was also one of the filming locations for the movie Dogma , starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. [9]

Notable people

See also

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References

  1. "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. 1 2 "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  4. "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved May 11, 2021.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  6. "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  7. 1 2 "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  8. "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  9. "Dogma (1999)" via www.imdb.com.