In the late 1800s, George McMurtry, president of the Apollo Iron & Steel Company needed to expand his galvanized steel operations. Beset with labor problems and unable to acquire additional land, he selected a 650-acre farm site a few miles downstream on the Kiskiminetas River. He then approached the designer of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and New York’s City’s Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted, to design a town that would be “something better than the best.” The result was Vandergrift, a town with gently curving streets that follow the natural slope of the hills. In 1895, community planners implemented a unique idea in America–a company built a town entirely in advance and then turned opportunity for development over to workers.

The town is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visitor Information

Vandergrift Improvement Program

Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau