806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Spring is Renovation Time – Your LRC is Here to Help

Submitted by Carole Malakoff

Allegheny West homeowners and businesspeople: Are you contemplating exterior renovations to your property this Spring? If so, you may want to contact your Local Historic Review Committee. We are a group of residents and property owners convened by the City Historic Review Commission to review exterior renovation projects, to help property owners manage the building permit process, and to provide our recommendations to you, as the property owner, and the City Historic Review Commission.

Because Allegheny West is a City Historic District, all exterior work that is visible from a right-of-way, a street or alley, needs a Certificate of Appropriateness, and, depending on the type of project, possibly a building permit. Once you have a concept, idea, or plan, check the Allegheny West Historic Guidelines. These guidelines are posted on-line on the City HRC site. If your project fits the guidelines or is fairly simple and straightforward, such as painting, you may be able to get approval for a Certificate of Appropriateness “over the counter” at 200 Ross Street, Downtown. The person you will need to contact for this is Sarah Quinn, the City Historic Preservation Planner, (412) 255-2243 or

However, if you are planning a more significant project, such as replacement of windows or doors, installation of a fence, porch, or addition, you will need to have a hearing before the Historic Review Commission. In the second instance, please contact us, your local committee. We will review your plans, make recommendations, and help you get through the process. To be put on the LRC’s agenda, contact Carole Malakoff,

Warning – Do not proceed with work without a building permit or a CofA! Property owners who have done so in the past have been cited by Building Inspection. Time and money had to be expended to resolve the situations, and projects were delayed.

If you have specific questions, be sure to attend February’s AWCC meeting. Sarah Quinn, the City Historic Planner will be there to talk about the process, guidelines, and answer your specific questions.

Letter from the President – February 2015

So I have this idea….actually I have a lot of them, all of which came from talking to other folks about ideas they are excited about for the neighborhood. Thanks to everyone who responded to my last President’s message as well (although now I’m slightly intimidated that people are actually reading these.)

Here’s a few things folks were interested in:

  1. Parking (but I think I’m going to have to start with something easier, like world peace, but I promise we’ll get back to that.)
  2. Helping new folks feel welcome, and making it easy for them to get involved with the neighborhood.
  3. Projects to make the neighborhood even more gorgeous, like spiffing up the alleys and helping everyone maintaining their tree wells.

As you can tell from the breadth of our membership meeting agendas, folks have already hard at work on some of these projects. Just one example, some of our neighbors on Tuesday will be presenting a proposal for hanging flower baskets on Western that they’re hoping for neighborhood support for, so please come and express your opinion (in a friendly, good humored way, of course.)

Another idea we will be discussing, is an application for some funding to purchase mulch and potentially even flowers and fencing and having an “Allegheny West Tree Well Day” as one of monthly clean up events sponsored by the Friends of Allegheny. From my perspective there’s an incredible wealth of gardening knowledge in our neighborhood that I’d like to take advantage of. I’d be more than happy to wheel a barrow full of mulch up the street for a neighbor, especially one who is new in town and hasn’t had a chance to figure out where to even get mulch. And, of course, there will be a potluck. As a bonus, I swear I will stop showing up to social events with paperwork for people to fill out after I file for the grant.

Some of those same gardeners have suggested that the April clean up would be the ideal month, and we’ll hear about the results of the grant application in late February so we’ll have lots of time to plan a blow out of a clean up.  By the way, these Buhl Fundation funds are open to anyone on the Northside, so if you have another idea you think could benefit from $1000 I’m happy to help you out with the application (but you have to take the petitions to the mixer.)

Hope to see everyone at the Membership meeting next Tuesday, with more ideas they’d like help making happen.

Catherine Serventi
President, AWCC

P.S. Carol R., I have ordered the tiara, you have to come to the meeting now.

AWCC Membership Meeting Agenda – February 4, 2015

7:30 – Guest Speakers

  • Sarah Quinn:  City Historic Review Board
  • Erin Tobin:  Allegheny Commons Initiative

8:00 – Minutes: Review of Motions from last meeting

8:05 – Treasurer’s Report

  • Funding request for a 2 year financial review

8:10 – Housing & Planning

    • February H & P meeting canceled
    • Agent for 928-930 Western
    • Sale of vacant lot on Western
      • Retaining Real Estate Counsel for Vacant Lots & 928-930 Western
      • Adjustment of terms of sales agreement from the last meeting

8:30 – Friends: Grant for Tree Well

8:35 – Green Space: Funding request for Hanging Baskets for Western

8:40 – Bylaws: Timeline

8:45 – Ways & Means: Wine Tour

  • Dates: June 5 & 6
  • Planning meeting:  Feb. 19,  Location: TBA

8:50 – Property

    • Contract for Snow removal
    • Funds for meeting insurance requirements on 928/930 Western

8:55 – NSLC

    • Ohio Street Bridge Update
    • AGH Sign Update
    • Symphony in the West Commons

9:00 – Pancake Supper / Shrove: Tuesday, 2/17

9:05 – New Business

9:05 – Q&A w/ Committee Chairs

Special Guests for February Membership Meeting

One of the ideas that folks for making the AWCC Membership meeting more interesting is to have more outside speakers. Since your wish is my command (except for Parking, because I’m not actually a magic genie), we have two special guests on Tuesday.

Sarah Quinn, from the City of Pittsburgh’s, Office of Historic Preservation will be visiting to answer all your questions about the Historic Review process. With the spring construction season fast approaching, here’s your chance to get the inside scoop on everything

Erin Tobin from the Allegheny Commons Initiative will also be visiting.  Great timing for us, so we can follow up on the discussion we started at the last meeting about the fate of the West Ohio Street Bridge.

If you have ideas for future speakers, please send them my way, at or (412) 418-2027.


Above & Beyond

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.

Trish and Carol S. were spotted shoveling a neighbors sidewalk.

Michael must have done something really excellent in a former life, or last month, since his karma quotient was exceptional this month: he’d like to thank Eleanor for the gorgeous curtains and her sister Marcella for the help hanging them; he also appreciated the trip to Brenkle’s she and Deb organized to fill the donated concrete planters. Finally, as an awesome preview of the AW Tree Well Day, he was extremely touched by all the neighborly assistance for his spontaneous mum planting project.

Finally Carol R and John very much appreciated the kindness of the ladies from Motive, the new salon on Galveston.

Free Tickets for Northsiders: WaywardLand



Part of the CSA Performance Series
February 12 | 8PM

Northsiders, you are invited to WaywardLand at the New Hazlett Theater. Thanks to the generous support of the Buhl Foundation, Northside residents get in free.

A Different Kind of Circus Performance

When contemporary circus meets dance, anything is possible. Dropped into a sweeping landscape performers ignite the world around them. In this new collaboration between Jil Stifel and Ben Sota, moments of quirkiness melt into shifting perceptions and reveal hidden beauty.

Get Your Tickets

 February 12

Workshop: Painting Your Old House

Saturday, January 24, 2015
10:00 am ‑ 11:30 am

Skilled restoration painting for your old house is all about the details. The texture and finish of the job is dependent on varying and important factors like appropriate color selection and fine painting craftsmanship.

About the presenter: Lucas Markantone of Lucas Markantone Painting is the second-generation proprietor of a family-owned business with more than 55 years of experience in painting houses and commercial properties.

This workshop is free to PHLF Members. Click here for more information about PHLF membership and please join! Non-members: $5

RSVPs are appreciated. Contact:

Mary Lu Denny – (412) 471-5808 x 527 

New Northside Grant Opportunities

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Grants

How would you use $1,000 to benefit your Northside neighborhood?

One Northside LogoThe Sprout Fund is offering Neighbor-to-Neighbor Grants to support new projects, events, and activities that engage Northside residents in the civic life of their community.

Grants of up to $1,000 are available to provide immediate support.

Applications will be accepted on the first Friday of each month beginning Friday, February 6th!

Questions? Call Sprout at 412-863-2907!

Learn more and apply at

Attend an Upcoming Info Session

Friday, January 16
9:00am – 10:00am

Studio Capezzuti
1509 Termon Ave (Brighton Heights)

Tuesday, January 20
11:00am – 1:00pm 

Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild
1815 Metropolitan St (Chateau)

Thursday, January 22
6:00pm – 8:00pm

Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse
1055 Spring Garden Ave (Spring Garden)

RSVP by sending your name and neighborhood to

Additional Info Sessions will be added. Check for updates!

Workshop: Maintenance is Preservation

Saturday, January 17, 2015
10:00 am – 11:30 am

Landmarks Preservation Resource Center
744 Rebecca Avenue, Wilkinsburg, PA 15221

Maintaining an old or historic house can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if it has been put off for a while. Come learn how to determine urgent needs and what can wait, when to hire a contractor, and when to Do-it-Yourself.  Learn how to create a maintenance schedule to keep your property on track and reduce maintenance costs.

About the presenter: Regis Will is a woodworker, craftsman, and owner of Vesta Home Services, a consulting firm on house restoration and Do-it-Yourself projects. He blogs about his work at The New Yinzer Workshop.

This workshop is free to PHLF Members. Click here for more information about PHLF membership and please join!  Non-members: $5

RSVPs are appreciated. Contact:

Mary Lu Denny – (412) 471-5808 x 527 

Pothole Blitz Scheduled for Friday & Saturday: Contact 311

Residents are encouraged to submit pothole repair requests to the City of Pittsburgh’s 311 Response Center. The two-day Pothole Blitz (on Friday, January 16th and Saturday, January 17th) efforts will be based on 311 submissions.

There are four ways to submit requests to 311:

  • Call between 7:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. In the City of Pittsburgh, dial 3-1-1. Outside of Pittsburgh, call (412) 255-2621. Your request will be taken by a live operator.
  • Submit a voice or text message by dialing or texting (412) 573-9736.
  • Twitter: send a tweet to @Pgh311.
  • Use the online form on the city website:

Daylight crews from the Department of Public Works will work to fill and patch roads damaged by winter weather. In the instance of inclement weather, work schedules may fluctuate.