Originally designed by Benjamin Latrobe, the Allegheny Arsenal
was a fixture in the economic and social life of nineteenth
century Pittsburgh. Located in Lawrenceville, the arsenal
spanned over thirty-eight hilly acres. Built in 1814, the arsenal
supplied and communicated with the west from a key location.
The Allegheny Arsenal also developed an important relationship to the Lawrenceville community. During the Civil War, boys and girls little older than 10 worked there filling cartridges, making harnesses, and handling live gunpowder. Inadequate or unenforced safety standards meant that workers and supervisors carelessly handled live gunpowder, and often spilt or swept gunpowder onto the ground and into the roads extending outward from the Arsenal.