The much covered meeting of Mayor Peduto and Councilwoman Harris at the recent "Sandwich Summit" on the North Side had perhaps one of the best preservation outcomes we can think of - an historic building headed for a date with the wrecking ball is on its way to being saved.
Earlier this year the featured three-story brick Victorian in Spring Garden on Voskamp Street was condemned by the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections. Condemnation doesn't necessarily mean the building will be demolished, but rather it identifies what work must be completed by the owner in order to bring it up to code. However, this rare gem in Spring Garden though, was placed on the city's demolition list.
Fortunately a concerned neighbor noticed and contacted Councilwoman Harris and as Diana Nelson-Jones mentions, quickly became a topic of conversation between the Mayor and the Councilwoman. After the Sandwich Summit, it was reported that the Mayor and Councilwoman did visit the house and discussed how to ensure that it has another chance. We're informed that this endangered house on Voskamp now has an interested buyer and - perhaps - another chance to be part of Pittsburgh's urban fabric for another century.
So what's to make of all of this? It seems that this unlikely preservation story would not have been possibly just a few short years ago. That two pillars of Pittsburgh politics, who don't always see eye-to-eye, can come together and collaboratively take action to try to save an endangered part of Pittsburgh is wonderful news and, we're hoping, part of a new dawn for preservation in Pittsburgh.
Time will tell but in the meantime, thank you to Mayor Peduto, Councilwoman Harris, and the concerned neighbor that raised the issue, Pittsburgh's history Spring Garden's uniqueness is better off today than yesterday because of you.