Pittsburgh Plans


After living in Pittsburgh for five years, I’ve become adept at translating – if not actually using – sentences such as “If yinz jagoffs git dahnahahs, I’m inna basement doin’ the warsh.”

But far more jarring to my eastern PA sensibilities is the local habit of calling a residential housing development a “plan,” as in “She bought a house in that new plan in Moon Township,” or “Mike’s brother’s dog got loose in the plan.” Plans are made, plans are lost, but are plans where you live? I immediately picture a very large blueprint with someone sitting on a couch in the section marked “Living Room/Great Room.”

Growing up in rural Lehigh County, we’d call our 1970s outpost of split-level houses a “development.” Where do you live? Heidelberg Heights, you know, that development off of 309. Later, in my years as a real estate development attorney, we’d call them “subdivisions,” referring to the land development process for turning one lot into many.

So what’s common in other regions? Who else lives on a blueprint?

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