McCandless, Pennsylvania

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Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Home Rule Municipality
Typical suburban street
Typical suburban street
Location in Allegheny County and state of Pennsylvania
Location in Allegheny County and state of Pennsylvania
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Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
Settled 1796
Incorporated 1851
 • Type Town Council
 • Town Manager Tobias M. Cordek
 • Total 16.6 sq mi (43.1 km2)
 • Land 16.5 sq mi (42.8 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 1,024 ft (312 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 28,457
 • Density 1,754.4/sq mi (677.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 15237, 15090
Area code(s) 412, 724
Website McCandless official website

McCandless is a Home Rule Municipality in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 28,457 at the 2010 census.[1] It obtained a home rule charter on January 1, 1975, changing its name from "McCandless Township" to "Town of McCandless".[2] Though McCandless no longer operates under the First Class Township Code, it is classified as a first-class township for certain purposes.[3][4][5]

The inclusion of the word "Town" in its name sometimes causes confusion, since with one exception, the "town" is not a municipal unit in Pennsylvania. Bloomsburg, in Columbia County, was incorporated as a town in 1870, and is legally recognized as "the only incorporated town" in Pennsylvania.

McCandless is part of the North Allegheny School District and participates in the multi-municipality Northland Public Library.

It has been ranked highly among Money Magazine's "Best Places to Live."[6][7]


Native American artifacts, primarily Iroquois Nation, have been found in areas of the township. Early written history includes a visit by George Washington in 1753.

The first settler in McCandless Township was James Duff, who had purchased 400 acres (1.6 km2) in 1796. Farming increased in the area, and in 1849, meetings were held, presided over by Daniel Vogel, for the purpose of forming a local government. The township was originally founded in 1851 and called "Taylor Township". The area was incorporated in 1857 as a second class township and renamed "McCandless Township" in honor of District Judge Wilson McCandless. The published population was 1,482 persons.

During the 1800s McCandless Township was primarily a farming community. During the War of 1812, an important supply route for the transportation of war materials from Pittsburgh to Commodore Perry's forces on Lake Erie passed through the area.

In 1908 an interurban commuter railroad, the Harmony Line, allowed area residents to easily commute to Pittsburgh. A concurrent oil boom resulted in rapid early development, centered around the rail stations in the Highland and Ingomar areas.

By 1931, the Harmony Line had been replaced by the popularity of the automobile.

Allegheny County Commissioner E. V. Babcock initiated the establishment of Allegheny County's North Park. He purchased the land and later sold it to the county at cost. North Park was founded in 1927 by Allegheny County. Approximately 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of the park, 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), are located in McCandless. This area represents approximately 15.2% of the town.

Between 1930-1950, the town more than doubled its population (from 2,653 to 6,488). By 1960, the population had redoubled (14,582) and has since doubled again. At the 2000 census, the number of households in the town was 11,159.

Expanding population and traffic brought more diversified development into the area. McKnight Road was built in the mid 1950s and became the primary access into the north suburban areas. Retail and office uses occupy some of the McCandless segment of the McKnight corridor. The Community College of Allegheny County opened a campus in the area in 1972. A new mixed-use development acting as a town center, McCandless Crossing, is currently under development and is slated for completion sometime in 2016.[8]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43 km2), of which 16.5 square miles (43 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 0.66%, is water.

The municipality lies on the Allegheny Plateau and is characterized by generally hilly terrain. A floodplain lies in the area of Pine Creek, which cuts a deep valley through the central portion of the township.

McCandless is bordered by Pine Township to the north and Hampton Township to the east. The southern border is Ross Township and the western border is the borough of Franklin Park.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,482
1870 957 −35.4%
1880 1,010 5.5%
1890 985 −2.5%
1900 1,034 5.0%
1910 987 −4.5%
1920 1,465 48.4%
1930 2,053 40.1%
1940 3,494 70.2%
1950 6,488 85.7%
1960 14,582 124.8%
1970 22,404 53.6%
1980 26,191 16.9%
1990 28,781 9.9%
2000 29,022 0.8%
2010 28,457 −1.9%
Est. 2012 28,733 1.0%

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 29,022 people, 11,159 households, and 7,922 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,754.4 people per square mile (677.5/km²). There were 11,697 housing units at an average density of 707.1 per square mile (273.0/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 94.58% White, 1.29% African American, 0.05% Native American, 3.19% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.70% of the population.

There were 11,159 households, out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the township the population was spread out, with 23.6% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $62,159, and the median income for a family was $73,482. Males had a median income of $57,415 versus $33,319 for females. The per capita income for the township was $31,792. About 2.2% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people


  1. "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), McCandless township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved September 29, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. McCandless
  3. The Pennsylvania Manual 117
  4. "Local Government Entities in Pennsylvania" and "Municipal Statistics" in Legislator’s Municipal Deskbook for Pennsylvania
  5. PENNDOT Type 10 highway map of Allegheny County
  8. Parrish, Tory (2 February 2014). "McCandless Crossing work to extend to 2016". North Journal by Trib Total Media. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  15. 15.0 15.1 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 25 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links