Saturday, November 10, 2012

ENDANGERED: 1214 Voskamp Street (Spring Garden)

1214 Voskamp Street is an ornate Victorian in Pittsburgh's Spring Garden neighborhood.  Like many of the beautiful old homes in the neighborhood, it is vacant, and the owner refuses to make repairs or sell the building.  I talked to the neighbor who has been in contact with the owner.  According to the neighbor, the owner has received multiple offers for the building, but refuses to sell.  The owner apparently also refuses to maintain the building -- it is in desperate need of a new roof.  This building is not an exception.  There are many homes like this throughout the city of Pittsburgh, and especially in Spring Garden. They will be torn down in a matter of time, due to negligent owners and no plan of action from the city.  Property negligence and demolitions are gutting our historic neighborhoods. If you own a vacant property and refuse or cannot afford to maintain it, then it is your obligation to sell it to someone who will.

1214 Voskamp Street, Pittsburgh.  Negligent property owner refuses to maintain or sell to someone who will, according to neighbor. This is a problem throughout the city, and especially Spring Garden.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Former Woelfel & Linke Tannery, Spring Garden Avenue

The former Woelfel & Linke Tannery, located on Spring Garden Avenue in the city of Pittsburgh, was built circa 1880 and is part of the neighborhood's unique working class history.

Former Woelfel  & Linke Tannery, circa 1880, in the Spring Garden neighborhood

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

841 Suismon Update

841 Suismon St.
It saddens me to report that someone has busted the windows out of one of my favorite historic homes in Pittsburgh, located at 841 Suismon Street in Pittsburgh's North Side. Vandalism of properties is not only illegal, but is a great indignity for this beautiful building that has stood proudly since Abraham Lincoln was president.  Please show respect to our historic buildings and encourage others to do so.  Think of the lives that have come and gone while this building has stood, and the witness to history that it has been.

Can somebody please save this house?

UPDATE:  841 Suismon has been demolished, as of June 23, 2013.

R.I.P. City of Pittsburgh Demolition List

This very old house, located on High Street in the Spring Garden neighborhood, probably won't be around much longer. It has been on the city of Pittsburgh's demolition list for some time. I'm glad I was able to photograph it before it disappeared. Demolitions have rapidly eroded the historic fabric of Spring Garden in recent years.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Altoona, PA

Altoona is a city of about 46,000 people, making it the tenth largest city in Pennsylvania.  It is located in the central part of the state, in a mostly rural and mountainous area.  It is the largest city for many miles in any direction.  Altoona was built up with the railroad industry in the mid-19th century. By 1880, Altoona had a population of almost 20,000 people. The population of the city peaked in 1930 at around 82,000.  Altoona has a lovely collection of Victorian homes and residential districts. However, the downtown is probably the most underwhelming of Pennsylvania's larger cities. Many of the historic buildings in the downtown area seem to have been demolished over the years, perhaps during an urban renewal period of the city's history.  Still, there are many gems left, and the city itself is full of character. Although not as well-preserved as some other Pennsylvania cities, it still has plenty of beautiful old buildings, and it seems like a pleasant, safe place.