806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Deadline: June 3rd

Submit your request for $1,000 to support a community-led project in your neighborhood!

How would you use $1,000 to make an impact in your community? Neighbor-to-Neighbor Grants from The Sprout Fund provide $1,000 to support small-scale projects led by Northside residents.

Submit your application by Friday, June 3rd to be considered in the next funding round!

Submit your Application NOW

June Info Sessions

Attend any one of these upcoming neighborhood info sessions to learn about One Northside funding opportunities from The Sprout Fund:

Monday, June 6 | 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Allegheny
1230 Federal Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Register to attend

Monday, June 13 | 5:30 pm to 8:0 0pm
Max’s Allegheny Tavern
537 Suismon Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Register to attend

Monday, June 27 | 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Allegheny City Brewing
507 Foreland Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Register to attend

Learn More About Sprout’s Support for One Northside

May 26, 2016

One Northside Annual Celebration

Annual Celebration

Join your friends and neighbors at Heinz Field on June 1st

Since 2014, thousands of Northsiders have participated in a community-driven initiative to improve the quality of life in all 18 neighborhoods of the Northside.

Come on out and celebrate everyone’s contributions to the One Northside initiative and look ahead to more opportunities on Wednesday, June 1st at Heinz Field.

When: Wednesday, June 1 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Heinz Field, East Club, 100 Art Rooney Ave

RSVP to Attend

May 26, 2016

Wine Tour: Planning Meeting on May 18th at 7:00 pm

We are holding a planning meeting on Wednesday, May 18th at 7:00 pm at Carrie
Doyle’s (950 Beech Avenue) and kindly request that you make every effort to
attend. If you are a homeowner, volunteers, cook or want-to-be participant in any way, please attend the meeting.

Thank you to the following homeowners whose homes and gardens are scheduled
to be on tour:

John DeSantis – Brighton Road
Bob and Carole Malakoff – Brighton Road
Mitchell Schwartz and Elaine Stone – 800 block W North Avenue
Trish and John Burton – 900 block Beech Avenue
Ross Catalano – 800 block Western Avenue
Carol Gomrick and Brett Kempf – 900 block W North Avenue
Eric Van Buren and Drew Gorenz – 800 block Beech Avenue

Thanks again for your generosity! See you on May 18th, 7:00 pm at 950 Beech Avenue.

Contact Carrie Doyle: (412) 337-6020 or

May 16, 2016

Letter from the President – May 2016

Welcome to the insert of the Allegheny West Gazette, home of the content for people who can’t meet perfectly reasonable Newsletter
deadlines. Just a few quick updates since even with the insert, we have so much going on it won’t fit in a regular size newsletter.

  • Thanks to everyone who participated in the session with Jim Pashek at last month’s membership meeting. He shared some great plans around the priorities that folks have put forward which include several strategies for addressing our aging tree population, unsafe sidewalks and dangerous pedestrian crossings at place like Beech Avenue & Brighton Road, North Avenue and near the T-station. We also have a complete inventory of all the trees & tree-wells in the entire neighborhood, as well as a proposal for the Mary Cassatt garden. Jim continues to meet with the City and we’ll have a final proposal to vote on at either the June or July meeting.
  • Yay! The summer picnics are starting! The first one is Memorial Day on Monday, May 30. Please come by and help set up at 3:00 pm. This month we’ll be in the 800 block of Beech. Bocce should be starting up soon on Wednesday evenings! Look for the announcements.
  • Thanks to Tim for hosting an awesome Marathon party (Maybe we should lobby to be at the end next year? Man, 6:00 am is early even with all the awesome food everyone brought!) and for all the folks who turned out to clean up the neighborhood and the parklet the Saturday before. Dr. Dan (who deserves special thanks for his tireless litter removal offorts) says that the City street sweepers have told him, that we’re the cleanest neighborhood in the City. Keep up the good work everyone!

Catherine Serventi
President, AWCC

May 9, 2016

AWCC Membership Meeting Agenda – May 10, 2016

971 Beech Avenue
Tuesday, May 10th at 7:30

  • Allegheny West Historic Preservation Awards
  • Announcements
  • New neighbors
  • Minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Draft Budget – 2016-2017 Fiscal Year
  • House Tour Update
  • Housing and Planning Updates
  • AWDC Updates
  • House History Update
  • Property: 806 Western Repairs/Upgrades
  • Friends: Cleanup & Parklet
  • Membership Events
  • NSLC Updates
  • Allegheny Commons
  • Committee Q&A

Send a note to if you have additional agenda items to add.

May 9, 2016

Western Avenue Update

Submitted by Gloria Rayman

It seems like it’s been years since we finished the actual construction of the sidewalks and replaced the trees and most of the lights on Western Avenue…and it has been! However the last pieces of the Western Renewed! puzzle seem to finally be coming together. All it took was a face to face meeting with State Senator Fontana (remember that Duquesne Light is regulated by the state…buy me a drink at the Memorial Day picnic and I’ll tell you about the meeting!). A great big thank you to Senator Fontana for meeting with us and to the North Side Leadership Conference for herding the participants to make the meeting happen.

So, after 10 years of pushing Duquesne Light to do their part of the project, we’re coming close to finishing it up! What’s left to do?

If you remember, the original plan was not only to make our sidewalks safe (no more skate board ramps created by tree roots) and to plant trees appropriate for a city sidewalk; the plan also included removing all of the overhead wires from Western Avenue. We’ve accomplished that in the 900 block of Western because all of the buildings on the north curb of the street already had their electric service entering from the Dounton Way; the few buildings on the south curb of the 900 block that had electric service coming from the front were relatively easy to move to Maolis Way. Wires gone!! All of the street lights were installed in the 900 block of Western. However the 800 block of Western is another story completely. From my point of view, a horror story! 😉

Approximately 12 properties on the north curb of the 800 block of Western Avenue receive power from the front. Not a big deal until you realize that most of these properties are land locked! The 800 block of Dounton Way has houses fronting Dounton creating a land locked courtyard area in between the “front” and “back” houses. And McIntosh Row (806-818 Western Avenue) is landlocked by the properties fronting Brighton Road. No big deal, just run some new wires in the back, right? Um, no.

Thank heavens the city electric code is completely different now than it was when most of these houses were built. No more running wires just a few feet over a roof or stringing it between buildings where there is most likely a window (even if a human couldn’t hang out of it to grab onto the high voltage wire). Safety first! Did I mention that the city electric code has been updated almost every year for the past 10 years and this year it seems likes it’s a major upgrade…

The south curb of the 800 block of Western has been completed. It’s just these last few properties on the north curb that need to have their electric service relocated to the rear of the property in order to nally take down all of the wires and install approximately 8 new light posts (did you ever notice that both blocks of the south curb and the north curb of the 900 block have taller pendant street lights in addition to the regular street lights?) We can’t install these last few pendant lights on the north curb of the 800 block until the wires come down; the tops of these lights would be in the high voltage wires – that’s a problem.

So you’re going to see some movement over these next few weeks. Some of it will make absolutely no sense to you (it’s hard for me to grasp at times) but the electric grid in the city is very complex and in my humble opinion, just crazy. We’re going to tackle a few issues at the same time so that some temporary equipment can be installed, new poles can be installed and new wires run – quickly and efficiently. There will be at least one temporary pole installed and removed.

    1. Duquesne Light will install a temporary pole in the sidewalk on the property line in front of 942 & 944 W North Avenue. It will be a 60’ pole, roughly as tall as the neighboring existing poles. It will host temporary equipment and will be removed and the sidewalk returned to its current condition once the work is done to get power down Brighton Rd. to Western Ave. No trees will have to be removed; the only tree affected is the one on the property line of 942 & 944 W North Avenue. One branch that is currently in the electric wires will have to be trimmed while the rest of the limbs will be temporarily bungeed while the pole is being installed so as to not break any additional branches. Duquesne Light will bungee it again for a short time when the pole is being removed. There will be traffic restrictions on W North Avenue the day the pole is installed and removed. It shouldn’t take them very long to do this.
    2. At the southwest corner of Brighton Road and W North Avenue, a new pole will replace the existing rusty steel pole at that same corner with a new guide wire that will clear the sidewalk and be anchored in at the property-side of the sidewalk. This decreases the impact that pole will have on any future development at that property.
    3. Three new poles will be installed on the east curb of Brighton Road between W North and Western Avenues. The poles that are being replaced have white X’s on them right now. City Forester Lisa Ceoffe is coordinating with Duquesne Light and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to make sure that the trees along Brighton Road in Allegheny Commons are trimmed sensitively and aesthetically to allow the work to happen. Some of us expect to see Erin Tobin from the Parks Conservancy right alongside the folks trimming these trees to make sure they are trimmed carefully, not the usual gut job. Erin rocks!
    4. We will install a pole in the garden at the corner of Western Avenue and Brighton Road and remove the one shrub that is marked with white spray paint. It’s in the back corner of the garden and will not cause us to have to remove any of the beautiful plantings. We also have one other pole to install off of Dounton Way but nothing needs to be removed to install this pole.
    5. Duquesne Light’s work will start in the next week or two, with new poles going in along Brighton Road, but nothing can be energized until the drawings are revised and approved; the temporary pole and equipment is installed; and the trees in Allegheny Commons are trimmed. We have an architect and electrician already working on the drawings.
    6. Duquesne Light and the North Side Leadership Conference (our project manager) will make sure to coordinate with the owners of 907 and 913 Brighton Road whenever their power has to be switched over. We didn’t have any issues switching over any of the other 15+ properties; we don’t expect any with these either – these actually should be easier. The temporary pole on W North Avenue will come down and we will then move on to actually powering up McIntosh Row and the final few gridlocked properties.

As we get closer to removing the wires and poles from Western Avenue, I’ll be sending out another email. Thank you to everyone for their patience and cooperation as this long-planned project draws to a close.

Gloria Rayman
WANID Chair (and obvious glutton for punishment)

Above & Beyond

This month we have a special Above & Beyond dedicated to Trish Doyle Burton who was voted the “Neighbor of the Year” at the April Membership meeting.

Since 1992, Trish and her husband John and their children, have been part of the neighborhood, with both their home and business located in Allegheny West. Trish is one of those people whose years of quiet service are the backbone of our welcoming and beautiful community. She started out by cleaning up the leaves in front of the houses on her block, and then graduated to the monthly neighborhood-wide cleanup, and is still one of the most reliable people year after year. When we needed someone to deliver the monthly Gazette to all the houses on Beech Avenue, she volunteered and continues to do so years later. Dozens of tables, cases and cases of wine & beer and hundreds of paper plates and napkins have found their way to years of neighborhood summer picnics thanks to her offorts; not to mention all the potluck dishes she’s contributed to those picnics and volunteer recognition parties. She was one of the leaders of the offort that organized sponsorships for the gorgeous flower baskets that appeared on Western Avenue last year, and managed to wrangle even more support this year.

This past year though, Trish has also taken on a leadership role. After volunteering her home and garden multiple times over the years for tours (ask her about the time the tour goers scraped all the brand new paint off her steps!), this past year Trish served as the Ways and Means chair for the Allegheny West Civic Council, which means she managed both the summer Wine Tour and the winter Christmas tour. Aside from the fact that the tours raised lots of funds to support the Civic Council’s expenses through the year, Trish was incredibly successful at getting new folks involved. We weren’t exactly turning volunteers away (because we would never do that!), but we did have more help on jobs that are often dicult to nd help for, which made for a very smooth running tour. We can’t thank her enough for all her efforts.

Trish will be honored at the Northside Leadership Conference dinner on Thursday June 16 at The Priory. There’s usually at least one or two tables of Allegheny West folks and we’d encourage any folks who are interested in attending to join us. Tickets are $30. You can contact the NSLC directly via Kelly MacKay, NSLC Dinner Coordinator: (412) 231-4714 x201 or

If you’d like to recognize a neighbor who went above-and-beyond for you or the neighborhood this month please send a note to or give Cathy at call at (412) 418-2027 and, space allowing, we’ll recognize them in the Gazette.

May 9, 2016

Local Business Spotlight: City Books

Submitted by Karen Beer

In March, Allegheny West residents and bibliophiles from around the city welcomed the reopening of City Books at 908 Galveston Avenue. Owner Arlan Hess, a former literature and creative writing professor at Washington & Jefferson College, had visited City Books’ Southside location many times over the years. By late 2012, Arlan felt restless teaching, and started looking for other options. She’d heard that then-owner Ed Gelblum was planning to retire, and in the winter of 2014–2015, Arlan spent time in the store learning the business. The sale of the inventory was finalized in April 2015, and Arlan set out to find the perfect spot for the store. She landed right here in Allegheny West. “This area of the Northside has a very different feel because it combines residential and commercial in such close proximity that it feels more like Brooklyn than Pittsburgh,” says Arlan. “Like many city neighborhoods lately, it’s being rediscovered – and discovery is an important characteristic of used bookstores. Allegheny West is both a destination location and a walkable neighborhood.”

Arlan Hess

City Books owner, Arlan Hess (City Paper)

So far, she’s thrilled with the location. “My experience in Allegheny West has been better than I ever could have hoped for,” Arlan affirms. “The neighborhood has welcomed us with open arms and I will be forever grateful for that.” Coming from an academic background, Arlan had reservations about the business aspect, but she is glad that she hasn’t had to struggle to make herself known. “Being welcome in the community has gone a long way in assuaging my fears about making such a drastic career change.”

City Books shoppers can expect a mix of old-world charm and modern customer service. “I wanted to keep as much of the soul of the original store as possible, while making it more responsive in terms of customer service, special orders, and new & independent titles,” Arlan says. Curation of the inventory is important in such a small space. Arlan tries to keep as many of her favorite authors as possible, though through frequent recommendations, it can be hard to keep works from Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, William Trevor, Colm Tobin and John Irving on the shelves. With a graduate degree in poetry, Arlan gravitates towards poets, including Billy Collins, Frank O’Hara, Elizabeth Bishop and Marie Howe. She realizes that her tastes aren’t necessarily what everyone wants to read, though, so she aims for a good mix of English language writers, some literature in translation, some foreign language titles, and an extensive selection of nonfiction. “I’d like to think that readers will be surprised at how many really good books we have on the shelves for being as small as we are.”

Look for upcoming events in the store, such as book signings, poetry readings, lectures and staged readings of plays. Arlan also hopes to welcome book clubs into the space. She sells some gift items now, and intends to expand her collection of locally made gifts. She is always looking for books, and will offer store credit for trade-ins, based on the age, condition and resale value of the title. Keep an eye out for event updates on the AWCC e-Newsletter, and in the meantime, head over to City Books to get a head start on your summer reading.

City Books: 908 Galveston Avenue
(412) 321-READ (7323)

May 9, 2016

2016 Allegheny West Preservation Awards

Submitted by Carole Malakoff

The Allegheny West Civic Council, along with The Allegheny West Local Review Committee, announces the 8th Annual Allegheny West Preservation Awards. These awards are presented to property owners in Allegheny West who have completed projects over the past year, retaining or restoring appropriate elements of historic character and adhering to the neighborhood guidelines.The success of these projects was attained by doing research, creating well thought-out plans, following neighborhood historic guidelines, and working with the neighborhood LRC and the city HRC to seek advice on the application process and guidelines.

The 2016 Awards Recipients

705 Brighton Road, The Willock House
Owner: Q Development

This is an extensive restoration of both the interior and exterior, as well as the hardscape and landscaping around the building. The exterior work included masonry cleaning and repair to the foundation, the front steps, porch, and chimneys; reconstruction of the copper gutters and cornices; installation of new double-hung wood windows; refinishing of the exterior wood trim; installation of a new front door; and replacing sections of the roof. All of this work was planned to meet The Allegheny West Historic Guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. This project is an example of the highest quality of historic restoration. We are very pleased and proud to have it in our neighborhood.

827 N Lincoln Avenue
Owner: Ivor Hill

This developer worked with the LRC and the HRC over a period of a year to achieve a new porch design that reflects the historic character of this 19th century house. The final design is a porch that spans the entire front elevation of the house, with architectural elements that reflect the original: wood balustrades and railing, massive columns with decorative trim, and front stairs with an iron railing. This renovation greatly enhances the streetface of the 800 block of North Lincoln Avenue.

West Hall
Owner: Community College of Allegheny County

Work is being completed on West Hall, on the 800 block of Ridge Avenue. Representatives of CCAC met with both the LRC and AWCC several times over the last two years, initially discussing the historic appropriateness of the project and then keeping us updated on its progress. This project included brick and stone cleaning, installation of new windows, elimination of several window louvers and moving others to make them less obvious; pouring a new aggregate sidewalk; installing new front doors while retaining the original entrance design, and screening the loading dock in the rear. This well-planned project is an example of the neighborhood and the college working together for a common cause: the preservation of our historic structures.

These three projects greatly add to the historic ambience of the neighborhood streets, contribute to the economic development of our neighborhood, and enhance the quality of life in Allegheny West. To celebrate Preservation Month, the awards will be presented at the Membership Meeting of the Allegheny West Civic Council on Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 pm at Calvary United Methodist Church, on the corner of Beech and Allegheny Avenues.