There are so many ways we all have recognized Carol Peterson's life, work, and contributions to Pittsburgh. Her friends (who were family) threw one of the most memorable services recently. Over a dozen private organizations bestowed prestigious awards for her advocacy and research over the years. And City Council will today issue a proclamation in her honor, the second such proclamation recognizing Carol's accomplishments and what they mean to so many Pittsburghers.
But there's one more way to celebrate Carol as she wanted; let's landmark her long-time Lawrenceville home (featured above).
There are several ways that something can be considered historic (the City identifies ten such criteria) and it was Carol's wish the argument be made that the house is representative of the people who lived and worked in Lawrenceville at the turn of the 20th century. It's an argument very much of the lens through which Carol viewed Pittsburgh.
But Carol and I didn't always agree (the Clash, Carol!) and I think the strongest argument for landmarking her house is one she would never have made herself; that it is a landmark because of:
Its identification with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the cultural, historic, architectural, archaeological, or related aspects of the development of the City of Pittsburgh
Simply put, Carol's house should be considered a landmark because of its association with her.
It was in that house that she wrote a majority of her nearly 2,000 celebrated house histories (recently donated to be accessible to other researchers), contributed to Lawrenceville's National Register District, and tirelessly advocated for Pittsburgh's built environment. It is there that she continually reminded us of the beauty that exists in the humble architecture of Pittsburgh's working-class past through her work.
Yesterday, I submitted the nomination for the house (which maybe viewed here) to the Historic Review Commission, on which Carol served, for consideration. While I submitted it independently, it's in good company with a petition of over one hundred names, letters from a number of neighborhood, historical, and preservation organizations, and the support of Councilwoman Gross.
If you too would like to lend your support, please email the City's historic preservation planner, Sarah Quinn at: email@example.com and let's enshrine Carol's memory and accomplishments in a place that was the focus of so much of her time, the City's Register of Historic Places.
Preserving a world made of steel, made of stone,
Matthew W.C. Falcone