The Moon Historic Architectural Review Board and a Robert Morris University professor hope to collect photos and oral histories, documenting Moon Township and its Mooncrest neighborhood.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Jenna Staul
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
John McCarthy, a history professor at Robert Morris University, called it a remnant of World War II's American home front. Township officials are taking steps to preserve the Mooncrest neighborhood, a 400-home cluster of adjoined brick houses off Old Thorn Run Road, and its industrial-era past. "(Mooncrest) shows how major of a national effort World War II was," said McCarthy, who specializes in the study of urban history. "You literally had hundreds of thousands of people working in the war industry to create weapons, and places like Mooncrest are where they lived," he said. The 42-acre neighborhood, constructed in 1943 by the U.S. Department of Defense, was home to Neville Island shipyard workers and their families before its housing…
The historic Moon Township district, which has fallen into disrepair in recent decades, could be honored for its World War II heritage.
It served as Moon Township's first planned neighborhood development—a cluster of adjoined redbrick houses situated on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River. Recent years have seen the Mooncrest neighborhood on decline—many of its historic homes, built for Defense Department workers after the onset of World War II, have fallen into disrepair. Now, Moon Township officials are hoping to have Mooncrest added to the National Register of Historic Places, a title that could aid restoration efforts in the neighborhood. The neighborhood was named a historic district in 2004 by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. "There are perks to it," said Moon code officer Lora Dombrowski, discussing the neighborhood being added to the National …