Filed Under Housing

Addison Terrace

Affordable Housing and Community Amenities for the Hill

The Terrace Village public housing was one of the earliest public housing projects in the city, initiated under the "New Deal" to combat the Great Depression and provide affordable housing for working families.

On Oct. 9, 1940, President Roosevelt dedicated Terrace Village, described at the time as the nation’s second-largest public housing project. In front of a crowd of nearly 30,000.. The President praised “intelligent and sympathetic cooperation between the Federal Government and the local agencies …” He then handed a key to what was described as the nation’s 100,000th low-rent housing unit to Lester and Pearl Churchfield, the wife of a 26-year-old mill worker whose family of 5 had previously been crowded into a dilapidated single-room apartment.

Addison Terrace and its companion projects Terrace Village I & II and Alequippa Terrace, were designed as complete communities, featuring swimming pools, athletic grounds, and community centers. In later decades, Addison Terrace and other public housing developments struggled to maintain that vision, for a variety of complex reasons.


FDR dedicates Terrace Village project This excerpt shows Franklin Delano Roosevelt's campaign visit to Pittsburgh, and his dedication of the Terrace Village public housing project. Date: October 11, 1940


Housing Project Elmore Square looking south. Terrace Village construction began in October 1939 Source: Pittsburgh City Photographer Collection, 1901-2000 Date: August 8, 1940
Community activities at Addison Terrace Pittsburgh Courier article describes community holiday celebration at the Addison Terrace housing project. Creator: Pittsburgh Courier Date: December 21, 1946


194 Addison Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219


“Addison Terrace,” Hill District Digital History, accessed July 20, 2024,