Introducing: the Parks Initiative

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Dear Neighbors,

Each summer we at Preservation Pittsburgh like to call attention to the historic resources within our parks by adding significant landmarks to the City's Register of Historic Places.  The Tufa Bridges, Catahecassa Spring, and so many other gems have fascinating stories to tell though each is a small chapter in the history of the parks.  And like these landmarks, the parks themselves deserve recognition for their unique stories and how they contribute to the history of Pittsburgh. 

Currently only one of Pittsburgh's regional parks, Schenley, holds the honor of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but we're working to change that.

In partnership with the City of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and neighbors across the city, we're proud to lead the effort to list Frick, Highland, and Riverview Parks on the National Register of Historic Places by 2020.

We're starting this multi-year effort by first pursuing a listing for Frick Park this fall.  We invite you to learn more about it, and the larger Parks Initiative, through our website and at a community meeting hosted in the Frick Environmental Center (RSVP here)

Preserving a world made of steel made of stone, 

Matthew W.C. Falcone, President

Statement on the Former Holy Family Church Nomination

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The past few weeks have been difficult for former churches in Pittsburgh and the rapidly evolving situation surrounding the former Holy Family Church has been particularly concerning.  A demolition permit filed without consultation with the neighbors raised concern from the community, preservation organizations, and the administration alike.

Fortunately, the developer recently withdrew the demolition application for the former sanctuary.  Before that occurred, however, a City of Pittsburgh Historic Nomination Form was submitted by representatives from several Lawrenceville community groups.  For years, the groups have attempted to guide sensible development that integrates the former church into new residential development.

We agree with this approach, which is why we assisted by writing the nomination for the building.

It's clear there is future redevelopment in store for this Lawrenceville block and an historic designation for the sanctuary will help ensure it weathers the transition well and remains an integral part of the fabric of the neighborhood.  With the availability of historic tax credits made possible by the impending National Historic District, it's not only possible, it's the soundest way forward.

The former church is significant for several reasons.  Its execution in Ecclecticism is particularly unique as it blends elements of Romanesque Revival, traditional Polish architectural design elements, and modernism.  The church, the largest in Lawrenceville, is an established feature of the neighborhood that defines the street on which it sits as well as the entire neighborhood.  And the church's association with Anthony (Antoni) Prydrowski, architect, engineer, and builder, is of particular interest because of his accomplishments in the face of the tremendous amount of adversity he faced in his career.  You can read more about the building and its history here.

You can support the nomination by emailing your Councilperson (below) & the City's Historic Preservation Planner, Sarah Quinn: sarah.quinn@pittsburghpa.gov.

  • District 1: Darlene Harris: darlene.harris@pittsburghpa.gov
  • District 2: Theresa Kail-Smith: theresa.kail-smith@pittsburghpa.gov
  • District 3: Bruce Kraus: bruce.kraus@pittsburghpa.gov
  • District 4: Anthony Coghill: anthony.coghill@pittsburghpa.gov
  • District 5: Corey O'Connor: corey.oconnor@pittsburghpa.gov
  • District 6: R. Daniel Lavelle: r.daniel.lavelle@pittsburghpa.gov
  • District 7: Deborah Gross: deborah.gross@pittsburghpa.gov
  • District 8: Erika Strassburger: erika.strassburger@pittsburghpa.gov
  • District 9: Rev. Ricky Burgess: reverend.burgess@pittsburghpa.gov