Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rest in Peace: The Demolition List

Keeping up with the City of Pittsburgh's demolition postings, and documenting the historically significant buildings with photographs, is important because it brings awareness to a problem our city is facing: "demolition by neglect."

When buildings become abandoned or vacated, and unpaid taxes build up, many properties become deteriorated and are eventually torn down by the city. Some of these buildings are historically significant, and in neighborhoods such as Spring Garden or Esplen, which do not get a lot of attention by preservationists in spite of their historic building stock.

Nothing is being done to market these properties to potential new owners who could fix them up. Also, there is very little understanding about what can be done to acquire abandoned buildings from negligent or deceased owners. It is my intention to take photographs of the historically significant vacant buildings, in hope of calling attention to this problem, and helping buildings find new owners, before our city becomes a large urban prairie.

On this page will be my effort to document, through my photography, historic buildings in the region that are on demolition lists or that are threatened with demolition. I will also keep readers updated on the demolition status of buildings, and document those that have been torn down.

R.I.P. 1870s Homes in the West End

R.I.P. Voskamp Street Historic Homes

R.I.P. Lost Historic Home in Hays

R.I.P. Centre Avenue Houses (North Oakland) - August, 2015

R.I.P. Phineas Street (North Side) - February, 2015

R.I.P 2000 block of Forbes (Uptown) - August, 2013

R.I.P. City Demolition List - August, 2013

R.I.P. City Demolition List (and pictures) - June, 2013

R.I.P. 841 Suismon Street (June 23, 2013)

City of Pittsburgh Demolition Postings - May, 2013

R.I.P. Chateau Street (April 7, 2013)

R.I.P. House in Spring Garden on City of Pittsburgh Demolition List (October, 2012)

Demolitions in Woods Run (September, 2012)

R.I.P. Circa 1850s row-houses in Lawrenceville on Demolition List (May, 2012)

City of Pittsburgh Demolition Postings (as of May, 2012)

Wheeling Demolition Updates (Nov. 21, 2011)

Demolished: 121 University Place, Oakland (October, 2011)

R.I.P. Manchester Demolition List (August, 2011)

Lawrenceville "Log House" Demolished (August 9, 2011)

Update: Bittersweet Victory for Boyle Street (Aug. 7, 2011)

Farewell to the Old Stone Church (July 30, 2011)

Boyle Street (Central North Side) Demolition Update (July 28, 2011)

City of Wheeling: Section of East Wheeling Historic District Soon to be Demolished (July 19, 2011)

City of Pittsburgh: June, 2011 Demolition List

Demolition in the Bluff neighborhood (June 16, 2011)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rest in Peace: City of Pittsburgh Demolition List (June, 2011)

Historic Building Demolition List, PittsburghDemolition postings (dated June 2nd) are available on the City of Pittsburgh website, and the writer of this blog has deemed at least nine of the homes cited for demolition to be historically significant (a few of them are beyond repair). These homes are located in Pittsburgh's North Side, in the Spring Garden and Central North Side neighborhoods. The homes on Boyle Street are particularly distressing, as this is a happening, gentrifying neighborhood, where homes just across the street are being restored.

Boyle Street Demolition Update (July 28, 2011)

The June, 2011 City of Pittsburgh demolition list includes the following properties (Rest in Peace):

1425 Spring Garden Ave. (Spring Garden neighborhood)

1114 Voskamp (Spring Garden neighborhood)

1140 Voskamp (Spring Garden neighborhood)

1144 Voskamp (Spring Garden neighborhood)

1148 Voskamp (Spring Garden neighborhood)

1215 Voskamp (Spring Garden neighborhood)

1413 Boyle (Central North Side)

1417 Boyle (Central North Side)

1423 Boyle (Central North Side)

View of unbroken row of houses on Boyle, soon to be filled with gaps:

As always, it is a shame to see the urban fabric and density of our city, as well as its history, compromised by demolitions. I thought that the continued revitalization of the Central North Side would spell the end of historic demolitions in the neighborhood. I'm sorry to be wrong.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

West End Park

West End Park, Pittsburgh (Photo Tour)

Demolition in Uptown/ Bluff area.

A Victorian era (1860s-1880s) row-house was demolished in the Bluff neighborhood by Mercy Hospital. It was near the intersection of Forbes and Pride St. As of today, the house is about half-demolished. It is sad to see the continued erosion of the historic character of our city. Houses like this one are, to me, the finest examples of Pittsburgh "vernacular," and yet they are disappearing rapidly.

It's amazing that houses like these would sell for $300,000 restored in the South Side Flats or Central North Side, but in the Bluff they are knocked down.