This place where I live - Webster, Pa., - survived pretty much just like the photo, above, into the 1960s. Nearly everything in this photo since has been demolished.
Yes, pollution from that U.S. Steel zinc mill barely visible across the Monongahela River in Donora did a lot to destroy these cool old buildings. Had they survived, this part of town could easily have doubled as a set for a movie about the Wild West.
Judging by the photo, the village looked much more interesting then than is does today. A new brick machine shop has sprung up and the neighboring houses have all been covered in boring vinyl siding.