Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My response after writing to the Mayor

Here is the response I got after writing to the Mayor about my concerns regarding historically significant buildings being placed on the City of Pittsburgh's demolition lists, without first marketing them to potential buyers. This response did not come from the Mayor himself:

"We appreciate your comments and concerns, but we have to prioritize public safety. The homes you mentioned were in horrible shape structurally. The city will take steps to acquire any properties for which we have serious inquiries as far as purchasing, but we cannot afford to buy and/or market every abandoned home. We work hand-in-hand with community groups throughout the city and we take their suggestions into consideration as much as possible."

Here are my thoughts. The public doesn't generally keep track of what properties are placed on the demolition lists. Most of the time, a building is demolished before someone even knows it is endangered. The city should at least do a better job of publicizing its demolition lists, so that people interested in acquiring a certain property will have time and notice to do so!

In a nutshell, though, this means that the city plans to keep acquiring abandoned buildings and demolishing them without consideration to the historic significance of the buildings, or how they fit into the urban fabric of their neighborhoods, or how neighborhoods are destroyed by demolitions.

In decades, I imagine our city will look like this: a few nice neighborhoods that are basically islands, surrounded by fields.

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