The Pittsburgh New Church School was founded in 1885 by the Pittsburgh New Church congregation then located on Wallingford Street, in Shadyside. The school was provided as a service for the families in the neighborhood, as well as families in the local congregation. In 1930, the school moved to its new campus in the heart of Point Breeze.
The New Church itself predates the school. Its roots in Pittsburgh date to the early 1800's. Emanuel Swedenborg wrote his theological works from 1750 and 1770, publishing them in London and Amsterdam. Those new ideas hopped the pond fairly quickly, and had a strong influence on the new American republic. John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) was one frontiersman who brought Swedenborgian ideas to this part of the country. Not too much later, Scots immigrants brought them along, too. The list of families with New Church roots is quite amazing, for Pittsburgh -- Phipps, Carnegie, Pitcairn, McCandless, Childs, Schoenberger, Lindsay and others.
In an interesting historical return to Pittsburgh roots, John Pitcairn's son Raymond built the famous Bryn Athyn Cathedral, near Philadelphia. Today, in Renaissance Pittsburgh, the breathtaking Pittsburgh Plate Glass tower echoes that graceful New Church structure.