806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Housing & Planning Committee 2020

Submitted by Robin Zoufalik

Hello Allegheny West Neighbors and Members of the AW Civic Council: Happy New Year 2020!

As Chair for the Housing & Planning Committee, here is a message for the coming year of meetings and activities anticipated. Past Chair, Ashley Webb, has briefed me on various items on the agenda for the committee that have been discussed over the last few months and are anticipated for the coming year. Having attended a couple of the meetings the most recent being on Dec 17th, I believe a message to the neighborhood and members of the AWCC is appropriate, at this time, prior to the 1st meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 21st (3rd Tuesday of the month) starting at 7:30 pm at GoRealty, 848 W North Avenue.

The AWCC Bylaws have the following mandate for the standing committee:

The Housing and Planning Committee shall be responsible for the physical planning and housing conditions in Allegheny West. It should be as representative as possible of residential, business, and institutional sectors of the neighborhood.

Additionally, the committee members are to be chosen as follows:

Standing committee chairmen shall select from between two and ten members for their committees.

Please let me know if you are interest in being a member of the H&P Committee. Everyone is welcome to attend any of the H & P meetings and participate in discussions and votes, whether or not a member of the committee.

Prior to the 1st meeting, I would request all of you to provide input as to any items you would like the committee to address in the coming months that may not be on the current list relayed to me as follows:

  • Western Ave Neighborhood Improvement District (WANID)
  • Northside Leadership Conference (NSLC) Bridge Committee & Opposition to double-stacked trains
  • Code Enforcement Concerns
  • Historic District Expansion
  • Galveston Ave. Traffic Calming
  • Stables Development
  • Value Added Properties
  • Scrap Yard
  • CCAC Workforce Development Center
  • Allegheny Commons Master Plan and Noise along Brighton Road
  • Light of Life Ridge Ave Facility
  • HIP at the Flashlight Factory

The meetings will be conducted in an orderly manner to have productive discussions and allow  everyone to actively participate. However, personal attacks by attendees will not be acceptable and non-factual statements will be questioned. We are all neighbors and should have equal opportunities to speak and listen in a respectful manner.

All comments, feedback and suggestions are always welcome!

Either email me at or call (412) 216-0207.

Neighborhood Tree Project

Submitted by Mary Callison

In 2016, a study was done by Pashek Associates, funded by the Buhl Foundation, to address four issues in our neighborhood: 1) sidewalks, 2) trees, 3) traffic and 4) street lighting. The report was 60 pages in length.

I have been asked by Diane Caruso, chairwoman of the Friends of Allegheny West, to work on neighborhood trees. The goal is to have a plan completed to submit to Pennsylvania Conservancy by March 13th for the fall 2020 planting.

If you are interested in working with me on this project, please call me at (412) 321-5951 or email I would love to have at least one person from each street in the neighborhood. Thank you!


Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

The 2019 Tour is quickly approaching! The tour dates are Friday December 13th and Saturday December 14th. The tour committee is thrilled to share that we currently have ALL houses for the tour! Thank you to all of the homeowners. The tour committee will be reaching out to you concerning expectations, as well as to answer questions. We are  available for anything you need, even a hand for decorating.

Beech Avenue will be closed to traffic during the tour. Parking will be open to Allegheny West residents in the lower Babb parking lot starting on Friday the 13th at 4:00 pm and continuing through the tour on Saturday. Please keep our tour guests safe and utilize this lot. For residents who park on N Lincoln, please consider parking in the Babb lot as well to clear the street during the tour.

New This Year: Carriage Rides

This year we will be offering horse-drawn carriage rides for an additional fee during the Saturday afternoon tours (weather permitting).

Volunteers Needed

Saturday, December 7th (Cathy and Gene’s Garage) starting at 9: 00 am, coffee and donuts provided. We need a few (actually several) good men to help hang – please consider lending your time and ladders.

We will need volunteers for the train tours. A link will be sent in upcoming email blasts or if you are interested, please contact Cecile Canales at

Tour guide* sign up shifts now available. Doug Sprague leading the effort again this year. A link will be sent in upcoming email blasts. If you’re interested, you can contact contact Doug directly at

* Please note, tour guides are required to do a tour route walkthrough. Check future email blasts for walkthrough schedule.

We will need tour announcers and guest greeters at Calvary during tour times. Brandon Williams will be leading the volunteer sign-up for this. Please check future email blasts for schedule opportunities or contact Brandon at

Thank you all for your participation and we’re looking forward to another successful tour!

A Special Thanks

Submitted by Trish Burton

Thanks are in order . . . 

. . .  to the loyal group of volunteers who last week helped to put 7,435 labels on the lovely Christmas Tour mailers. A special thanks to Amelia Beer, who helped with set up and clean up, in addition to labeling about 3,000 mailers herself! 

. . .  to another small group who helped to do the fall clean-up for the Parklet. Tony and Diane Caruso, Sally Graubarth, Carol Schramke and Emilio Diendomi pulled out the annuals, transplanted perennials and moved bricks.

. . . and Cindy and Rich Fraer from Washington County loaded up the 15 bags of yard debris to dispose of them!

Thanks to all! Your time and energy are much appreciated!

Christmas Tour 2019

Remember the dates are set for this year’s Christmas Tour: Friday, December 13th and Saturday, December 14th.

The planning process has begun. Much of the tour will remain as in past years, with Calvary UMC as the starting point (with an antique and vendor show!) and concluding at Holmes Hall with the Train Tour available to guests. The tour committee is actively seeking houses to be on tour. If you would like to offer your home, or to get more information about what is involved in being on tour, please contact Carol Gomrick or Annette Trunzo.

Please continue to check the weekly eNewsletters and the monthly Gazette for updates, committee meetings and volunteer opportunities.

Carol Gomrick: | Annette Trunzo:

Christmas Tour 2019

“The sun is shining, the grass is green” … and you’re now humming “White Christmas,” right?! It’s the perfect time to begin planning to welcome revelers to our neighborhood to kick off the holiday season!

The dates are set: Friday, December 13th and Saturday, December 14th. The planning process has begun. Much of the tour will remain as is past years, with Calvary UMC as the starting point (with an antique and vendor show!) and concluding at Holmes Hall with the Train Tour available to guests.

The tour committee is actively seeking houses to be on tour. If you would like to offer your home, or to get more information about what is involved in being on tour, please contact Carol Gomrick or Annette Trunzo.

Please continue to check the weekly eNewsletters and the monthly Gazette for updates, committee meetings and volunteer opportunities.

Carol Gomrick:
Annette Trunzo:

Annual Labor Day Block Party

Join us for the Annual Labor Day Block Party on the 900 block of Beech Avenue. The AWCC will provide burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob. Bring your own chair and a side dish to share.

Monday, September, 2nd
4:00-8:00 pm
900 Block of Beech Avenue

Our good neighbors at Calvary United Methodist Church will also be in attendance. The church will be open, and Doug Lucas will give a presentation on the history of the church at 5:30 pm.

The 900 block of Beech Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic for the party, so please move your vehicle off of the street.

If you are able to volunteer to help with the block party, please contact Greg Coll at

Letter from the President – July 2019

“All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs.
To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.” ― August Wilson

Allegheny West Civic Council business typically slows down dramatically during July and August, with the Council often not holding General Membership meetings during these high summer months. Because we do have to vote on the budget, we will hold the July meeting as scheduled on Tuesday, July 9th. However, our regular meeting space at Calvary Methodist is not available so we will relocate the meeting for July. The alternate location is not yet confirmed, information will be provided via email blast so please be on the lookout for that update. The July meeting will also be somewhat abbreviated as we’ll have time constraints – the Treasurer’s report and budget will have top billing, followed by Ways and Means and Housing and Planning updates.

We head into the slower summer months on the heels of a very busy spring. There are some people who deserve a special mention for their efforts on recent neighborhood events:

Carol Gomrick – Chair of the Tour and Tasting event which was a big success in large part due to Carol’s hard work. So many people volunteered their gardens, time, talents, etc. and Carol coordinated all that work! It was an impressive team effort and we’re lucky to have Carol leading the way!

Greg Coll – and his team pulled off a lovely Memorial Day picnic even going so far as to arranging perfect weather.

Diane Caruso and Trish Burton – are responsible for the new brick pathway and beautiful look of the parklet at Western Avenue and Brighton Road. They corralled resources to finish this garden upgrade before the tour and it looks great.

Of course there are many others volunteering their time towards Allegheny West projects and events, we are very lucky to have many neighbors who give their time so generously.

And speaking of August Wilson, the cast and crew of the movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be around the neighborhood, particularly on the 800 block of W North Avenue filming in the next couple of weeks. Look for flyers with details on road closings and contact info to be distributed to affected homes.

The July 4th neighborhood picnic will highlight love, laughter and a rib cook off. Hope to see you there!

Ann Gilligan
President, AWCC

Seeking Members for the Ways and Means Committee!

Attention Neighbors: We need people who are interested in fundraising activities to join the Ways and Means Committee. We put together the various tours, raffles and special events for the neighborhood. Please consider becoming involved in the planning of upcoming events.  Committee meetings are on the second Monday of each month at the AWCC office (806 Western Avenue) at 7:30 pm. For the July 10th meeting, there will be  a debrief from the Wine Tasting Tour and discussion of preliminary plans for the Victorian House Tour. Hope to see you there! Any questions, please contact Annette at

Allegheny West 2019 Neighbor of the Year

Holly Pultz, Allegheny West’s Neighbor of the Year 2019, moved from the country to Beech Avenue thirty-two years ago with Dan, her husband, and their daughters, and that’s when the neighborhood beautification project began. At that time, Irish, a lady of the streets, yelled at Holly for weeding and cleaning up the streets, but that didn’t stop her. She loved the diversity of the neighborhood. An award-winning artist, Holly quickly put her creativity to good use in Allegheny West, designing and painting the facades used for the AW miniatures, sold at early Christmas house tours. She also has led art classes & programs for children and several Paint Monkey-type events to raise money for a neighborhood church choir to sing at Carnegie Hall.

If you’re driving past the Triangle garden at North & Brighton at 7L00 am, you might catch a glimpse of Holly pulling weeds and tidying the garden. It is just one of the many quiet acts of service that Holly provides and that has led to Holly’s nomination as Allegheny West Neighbor of the Year. Holly’s fierce determination has meant that beautification projects aren’t just discussed, but are realized, thanks to Holly’s researching and then cajoling local suppliers, leading fundraising efforts and, finally, literally getting her hands dirty as tree wells and empty lots are weeded, planted, mulched and maintained.

There are many other activities that Holly has cheerfully helped with over the past thirty years, such as block parties, pancake suppers, monthly clean-ups and flower baskets. She always appears with a smile on her face and a great attitude. No one can resist her laugh. But perhaps most impressive is that Holly shares her many gifts and talents, her time and energy, with graceful, elegant humility.

Holly will be honored at the Northside Leadership Conference dinner on Thursday, June 13th, at the Priory Grand Hall.
Congratulations, Holly!!