Thursday, December 3, 2009

Olde Allegheny Gardens

Urban gardens are certainly gaining popularity these days. What better way to turn lemons into lemonade than by transforming the unsightly neighborhood vacant lot into a fresh, green garden?

“Olde Allegheny Gardens” on Pittburgh’s North Side is an impressive example of not only reinventing the space in a productive way …. The transformation included careful attention to colorful details which added enormous visual interest to the fabric of the neighborhood.

The Gardens were started in the early 80’s and currently have 40 or so 10’ x 20’ plots which are individually maintained at a cost of $30/year per plot. The same people can keep the same plot from year to year so long as they continue to maintain it and some folks have had their plots for over 10 years. Benches are provided so as to encourage the general public to walk through and enjoy the green space. Located at 1311 Arch St, the Gardens received the Community Greening Award in 2008 from Pennsylvania’s Horticultural Society.

Next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and see what a huge impact a little community spirit can make!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

New Roxian Theater Revitalizes The Rocks!

Left vacant for years, McKees Rock’s “Roxian Theater” on Chartiers Ave is now scheduled for a total restoration which will bring the venue back to its Art Deco roots. Built in 1928, it served as a movie theater until the late 1970s. Old film reels and movie projectors, circa 1931, are still sitting in the projector room and its original stage …. believed to be used for vaudeville acts ….. is still intact.

After its closing in the 70s, it re-opened as “The Emerald Room”, a 1500-seat concert and banquet hall facility, but was subsequently shut down again about four years ago. The McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation was eager to take this project on as it felt the Roxian was a central piece to the successful revitalization of the lower Chartiers Ave business district.

When the new-and-improved Roxian does open in the spring of 2010, it will fill a much-needed concert venue hole in the Pittsburgh area …… That of the “smaller” concert house. Our entertainment options will be greatly expanded as we now have a place for acts and artists which have not yet achieved mega-star status. This is great news for McKees Rocks and very exciting news for Pittsburgh as a whole

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Fresh Start

Habitat for Humanity just turned over the latest-built Chessland St property to its new owner. One of six neat-and-tidy brick and siding houses built in the Westwood section of Pittsburgh, it sparkles with the promise of a brand new start in life.

Money to build this home was raised in Florida in honor of the 2009 Super Bowl held there. The home went to a resident in the city of the winning team and several Steelers were on hand in Westwood  to kick off the start of construction this past June.

Friday, November 13, 2009

From Pittsburgh To Erie By Bike!

We don't have a proper "Beltway".  Nor does our "Parkway" actually pass for a proper interstate.  But we do have a series of biking/hiking trails that connect us to Washington, DC ...... And now we have our sites set on Erie!

A consortium of 12 rail-trail groups will meet at the Freeport Fire Hall on Monday to strategize on completing the southern end of the Erie-Pittsburgh Trail.  Getting the trail routed out of the city will be tricky and there are still a number of trail segments that are missing.  But the 16 miles between Schenley and East Brady have been completed and the 21-mile stretch to Butler might be ready by this spring.

Well, the trail might be ready by this spring ... But will I?

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Homebuyer Tax Credit Details

Good news for everyone ....... Not just people buying their first home. The government's "First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit" has been expanded so that current homeowners are eligible too! If you currently own a home that has been your principal residence for five of the last eight years, you can qualify for the tax credit. First time buyer or not, you just need to have a sales contract signed by April 30, 2010 in order to qualify.
Check Out The Details Here