Submitted by Fran Barbush

When Tom and I moved to Allegheny West in 1976 we were unfamiliar with the community that existed beyond our doorsteps. Manchester and the Mexican War streets were getting the historic attention in Pittsburgh. We felt we were lucky to find this little known gem of a neighborhood which needed some TLC. Our interest began by meeting Gary Otto who was already here working on his home.

But, we were still surprised to learn of the active community when Larry Ehrlich knocked on our door looking for volunteers for the neighborhood Springfest. At the time the most urgent challenge was to keep the community standing since so many entities felt that their important “cause” justified demolition of buildings. This ultimately led to our successful city, state, and national historic district designation. The prevailing sentiment being that without the buildings there would be no neighborhood.

There have been many challenges, and varied strong opinions which were not always unanimous, but through years of voluntary efforts the neighborhood has grown stronger. Thank you to all the helpers who work to make Allegheny West a wonderful place to call home. Tom and I still think it is the best place to spend Christmas. A line from a song I learned in college is something I reflect on when times are troubled – “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Wishing you all peace now and in the new year.