Pittsburgh Fineview Neighborhood Featured Image

#26 Fineview

Pittsburgh’s Best Neighborhoods

Pittsburgh Fineview Neighborhood Map
Fineview overlooks downtown from the north side.

Fineview Neighborhood Description

Everybody has a nice view in Fineview. Located on the hill overlooking Deutschtown and downtown, Fineview has excellent access to urban amenities. Fineview’s primary land uses are single family homes, so walkability comes down to a home’s proximity to one of the numerous public staircases down into Deutschtown. Trouble is you have to walk back up.

Fineview’s identity as a neighborhood is fairly shallow – everybody has a nice view. As far as shallow identities go, that’s a pretty good one and might get you in the door, but once your peers figure out that you don’t know how to dance everyone in the room with talent won’t give you the time of day. Furthermore, Fineview isn’t sure if it’s a part of Perry South, although it likely identifies most with Perry South; and it’s nothing like urban Deutschtown, although it’s only a couple of public stairways above the neighborhood. All and all, Fineview seems somewhat underbuilt – from sidewalks and landscaping to overall structural density. The neighborhood feels unorganized. There’s lots of potential, however, given the sweeping views and its central location within the metro. Additionally, it will likely remain one of the quieter neighborhoods in the city due to the surrounding geography that detaches the neighborhood from everything else but Perry South. Fineview presents lots of interesting opportunities for improvement both on a per property level and the neighborhood as a whole. Fineview has the potential to carve out a unique identity within the metro but residents and leaders need to make a choice as to what, exactly, that identity is and run with it.

Neighborhood Ranking Criteria

A Front Door

Pittsburgh Fineview Fitness Trail
The Fineview Fitness Trail will mess you up, man.

From a Fineview placemaking perspective, the Fineview Fitness Trail sure helps. It’s also the only front door into the neighborhood.

An Identifiable Center

I'd join a softball league to play at this park.
I’d join a softball league to play at this park.

Fineview’s identifiable center is this ballfield (“Fineview Fields”), which also has a little public square above it that provides for great viewing of downtown Pittsburgh and down the Ohio River.

Boundaries

Pittsburgh Fineview Neighborhood Homes for Sale
The boundary between Fineview and Perry South may appear blurry at street level but it’s quite clear that you’re still in Fineview if your house has a view, such as these large homes with the cool elevated sidewalk in front of them.

Hillsides on three out of four sides help create well-defined neighborhood boundaries. Perry South is to the north and that boundary is far more fluid.

Density

Pittsburgh Fineview Neighborhood Narrow Streets
This is about as dense as it gets in Fineview. Also, check out that sweet deck on the upper left. That’s how you do it.

Fineview is not a very dense neighborhood with mostly detached single family homes that define it.

Detached Sidewalks and Street Trees

Pittsburgh Fineview Neighborhood Everybody has a View in Fineview
Everybody has a view in Fineview, but the neighborhood isn’t much for sidewalks.

For what sidewalks the neighborhood has, they’re generally in poor shape with no street trees, and numerous streets don’t have any sidewalks.

Diverse Architecture and Buildings That Address the Street

Pittsburgh Fineview Neighborhood Architecture
This image summarizes Fineview’s architecture well — scattershot, jumbled, and without a coherent theme.

The neighborhood architecture is definitely unique and diverse. The architectural theme of Fineview is no theme at all.

Mixed Land Uses

Fineview is a single use, residential neighborhood.

Street Energy

Aside from the Fineview Fitness Trail, there is no street energy in the neighborhood but the locals.

Streets That Generally Connect

Pittsburgh Fineview Neighborhood Stairs
There are several public stairways that lead up to Fineview.

Streets within the neighborhood generally connect despite the sloped hillside most homes are built upon.

Transit Access

Regular old buses serve Fineview.

Walkability

Fineview is walkable to the extent you have easy access to a staircase into Deutschtown.

Opportunities for Improvement

Everybody has a view in Fineview.
Everybody has a view in Fineview.

Fineview does an excellent job at squandering neighborhood potential. It feels unorganized. Being built upon a steep hill will do that to a neighborhood but there are plenty of hillside Pittsburgh neighborhoods far more organized than Fineview. For a mature neighborhood located a stone’s throw from downtown, it feels surprisingly underbuilt and even somewhat left behind. Being an obscure, forgotten Pittsburgh neighborhood can transition, however, into being the exclusive, desirable neighborhood that only a few lucky households get to live in. To move from obscurity to exclusivity requires stimulating home repairs and investing in basic neighborhood infrastructure – sidewalks and public landscaping, for starters. A subtle PR campaign letting the cool kids know that Fineview is a thing certainly wouldn’t hurt, either. Fineview has potential but it needs a plan that includes measurable outcomes to fulfill it.