806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Sadie Hoagland THIS SATURDAY at 7:00 pm

Sadie HoaglandPlease join us on Saturday, February 8th at 7:00 pm when we welcome Sadie Hoagland to City Books. Refreshments will be served. Hoagland’s new collection of short stories, American Grief in Four Stages explores the possibility of elegy and the inability of our culture to communicate grief or sympathy outside of cliche. Hoagland is based in Louisiana. She has a PhD in fiction from the University of Utah and an MA in Creative Writing/Fiction from UC Davis. She is a former editor of Quarterly West, and currently teaches fiction at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. For a more complete bio, click here.

Letter from the President – February 2020

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

If you talk to someone who lived in Allegheny West forty years ago, you’re likely to hear that the neighborhood we have today is much like what was hoped for in 1980. A few years earlier Allegheny West Civic Council established a committee, Friends of Allegheny West, for the stated purpose of “developing and furthering human services and physical resources of the community with the goal of combatting community deterioration and revitalizing the area”.

What signs did the neighborhood see at the time that gave such hope? And what signs can we point to today to give us confidence that we’re being the best possible stewards of our neighborhood?

I’d like to offer three signs for your consideration.

First is the Allegheny City Stables Lofts project at 836 W North Avenue. AWCC worked for years to preserve and then to influence the development of the former municipal building. In the next few months we’ll have upwards of 50 new neighbors living in a building that was designed with input from Allegheny West Civic Council as well as the Local Historic Review Committee.

Second, as I’ve mentioned in this column before, the number of neighbors attending General Membership meetings (2nd Tuesday of each month, 7:30 pm, Emmanuel Episcopal Church) is awesome. Allegheny West Civic Council decides when and how to take a stand on an issue, when to spend money, who will be the officers and how the council operates only through voting at General Membership meetings. The way to have a voice is to be a member, attend meetings and vote.

Third, on a cold and rainy January evening a couple weeks ago, over 40 neighbors put on their coats, grabbed a beverage and attended an AWCC Mixer at Giorgio’s Pizza. The food was great, the beverages were shared and the noise level was quite high. It was a wonderful gathering of neighbors, a warm and happy winter evening in Allegheny West. (Thanks to Tim Zinn, Membership Committee Chair for planning this Mixer and those to come!)

In 1980, John Canning, then Chairman of the Friends of Allegheny West Committee, wrote, “I am convinced that the three greatest assets of Allegheny West are: the sense of community of the residents, the integrity of the AWCC and the historical significance of our neighborhood.”

Forty years later John’s assessment still rings true. We might not always share the same vision for the future of Allegheny West, but by participating and working with our neighbors we can continue to read the signs and move in the right direction.

Ann Gilligan
President, AWCC

AWCC Membership Meeting – February 11, 2020

Calvary United Methodist Church, 971 Beech Avenue
Tuesday, February 11th at 7:30 pm

  • 7:30 – Guests
    • Officer Burford, Pittsburgh Police
    • Molly Onufer, Mayor’s Office
    • Councilman Wilson’s Office
    • Senator Wheatley’s Office
    • Erin Tobin, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
  • 7:50 – January Membership Meeting Minutes
  • 8:00 – Committee Reports
    • Ways & Means
    • Housing & Planning
    • Friends of Allegheny West
    • Membership
    • Property
    • By-Laws
  • 8:40 – Treasurer’s Report
  • 8:45 – Old Business
    • Treetenders
  • 8:50 – New Business
  • 9:00 – Meeting Conclusion

Allegheny West Summer Fundraising Tours 2020

Submitted by Carol Gomrick

Happy New Year Allegheny West! I hope you all enjoyed a blessed holiday season. I’m back from an amazing trip in Africa. Safari in Tanzania and wine tasting in the Stellenbosch region, Capetown South Africa. Speaking of wine …
We have the dates for two wine events this year. I’m very excited about how these events are coming together. Tickets already available for sale on AWCC website for both events!

Tour & Tasting in Old Allegheny: Friday June 19th and Saturday June 20th

  • (We’ve already sold 4 tickets!)
  • The tour will seek food and wine sponsorship from various eateries
  • If you are interested in having your home on tour, please confirm with me
  • Future communications will go out about various volunteer opportunities to help pull this together

Pour & Plates – A Wine Showcase Event: Saturday September 12th
Deb Mortillaro of Dreadnought Wines will host an intimate evening in the beautiful gardens of Holmes Hall discussing personally selected wines she’s paring for each of the five courses. All in Good Taste Productions, the premier caterer in Pittsburgh, is currently working on a menu to bring guests classic dishes from the great wine regions of the world. No doubt this will be a spectacular culinary and wine experience.

  • This event sold out in 2018 and I’m thrilled to offer this unique experience again.

Your feedback is needed! Tuesday, February 18th 7:00 pm | AWCC Office – Western Avenue
Please come to this meeting to discuss the tours of 2019 (Wine and Christmas). I’m seeking your feedback on what went well, what needs to improve and creative ideas to enhance the upcoming 2020 tours. If you are new to the neighborhood, please come and learn about the tours and meet your new neighbors. All are welcome.

These tours are only successful because so many contribute. Thank you for your help in 2019 and I’m looking forward to a successful 2020. CHEERS!

Friends of Allegheny West Committee

Submitted by Diane Caruso

Our neighborhood parklet continues to grow and improve with the help of a few neighbors and Babb Insurance company’s annual volunteer day. We will soon begin our monthly clean-ups along Western Avenue, as well as weeding and working in the parklet this spring. Please watch for notices in our e-newsletter for our first clean-up. Clean-ups always take place on Saturday mornings at 9:00 am, and fresh donuts are supplied!

Last year we added a brick walkway to the parklet with donated bricks from neighbors. This year, we plan on placing a beautiful metal sign in the garden, with another sign being placed at the corner of Allegheny and Western Avenues. We have a sign committee that has been working on the design of these signs. The signs will read “Allegheny West National Historic District.” We love our neighborhood and we need and appreciate your help in continuing to beautify our exceptional and unique community.

Neighborhood Tree Project

Submitted by Mary Callison

Plans are underway for planting trees in our neighborhood this Fall.  We will be working with Tree Vitalize and the City Forester Lisa Ceoffe on this project. In 2016, a Neighborhood Rejuvenation Plan was developed by Pashek Associates in response to issues voiced by the neighborhood. One concern voiced was the condition of our trees. I am using the section on trees in this report as a guide for this project.   

Neighbors have volunteered to help contact property owners to explain the plan and ask them to fill out the application for a tree in front of their property. If you would like to help with this part of the project or later in the Fall with the planting, contact me at (412) 323-5951 or email The deadline for submitting a request for the 2020 Fall Planting is March 13th at 4:00 pm.

It’s not too late to sign up for the Tree Tender Training on February 22nd, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact or call (412) 781-8733 x 204. You need to pre-register for the class. Call me if you have difficulty registering.

From the Membership Committee

Bowling has begun. 🎳 It takes place at the Elks Lodge on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. It’s a bargain at $2.50/game, and that includes bowling ball and shoes. Food and beverages are of course available, also at prices not seen at many establishments! Hope to see you this winter on Wednesdays at the Elks Lodge, 400 Cedar Avenue.

Also, we had our first Allegheny West Mixer of 2020 on January 24th, and it was a success. Keep an eye out for news about upcoming mixers on the Allegheny West Facebook page!

The First Pittsburgh Symphony @ Alphabet City Concert in 2020!

City of Asylum Banner (2019)

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Presents


with Ray Chen

Thursday, February 13th
7:00 pm

Ray Chen is a violinist who redefines what it is to be a classical musician in the 21st Century. He has millions of on-line followers through his social media initiatives “In the Mind of Ray” and “Play with Ray”. His appearances and interactions with music and musicians are disseminated to a new public in contemporary and relatable ways. Hear how Ray Chen inspires and connects individuals through music, technology, and humor.

Pittsburgh Symphony + City of Asylum

PSO Conductor Earl Lee joins Ray in an evening exploring real and virtual “connections.”

Poets Melissa Dias-Mandoly and Keith S. Wilson will also read their work.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Applications are Now Open for the Spring 2020 Civic Leadership Academy!

CLA encourages more informed, effective and inspired community and civic leadership by giving adult City residents an opportunity to learn about their local government.

CLA is a free, 11-week course on Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:30 pm, running March 25, 2020 – June 10, 2020 (no class on April 8th in observance of Passover). Applications are due Sunday, March 1st at midnight.

Learn more:

Questions? Contact Leah at or call the Office of Community Affairs at (412) 255-4773.