Filed Under Institutional

Hill House Association

"The Heart of the Hill"

The Hill House Association served as a community development organization and played a vital role in the Hill for more than 50 years.  Hill House formed in 1964 from the merger of three pre-existing organizations: the Soho Community Center, the Anna B. Heldman Center, and the Hill City Youth Municipality.

In 1972, the Hill House’s new headquarters was completed on Centre Avenue. In addition to health and human service agencies, the association offered personal development classes on site.

The organization was closely intertwined with the Hill District's Black community; the building itself was designed by Black architect Walter Lenox Roberts Jr., and many of the association's managers and tenants were Black leaders.

The bureaucratic aspects of Hill House are briefly mentioned in an exchange in August Wilson's Radio Golf.

"They tell you, 'Sit over there and wait.' 'Fill out this  paper.' 'Turn over.' 'Jump up and down.' I tried to tell them I wasn't no dog but they wasn't listening." -Old Joe, Radio Golf

In 2019, mounting debt and electrical damage to the building led to the dissolution of the Hill House Association. Medical offices continue to operate out of the building.


Origins of Hill House Community newsletter article describes meetings to merge social service organizations, an effort that led to the founding of Hill House Association the following year. Source: Carnegie Library Hill District Branch Archive Date: 1963


1835 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219


“Hill House Association,” Hill District Digital History, accessed July 20, 2024,