Hill District

Health
9:19 am
Thu December 18, 2014

How the Hill District's Freedom House EMTs Helped Shape Modern Ambulance Care

Freedom House and Presbyterian Hospital staff pose for a photograph. The Freedom House Enterprise Ambulance Service served as the model for emergency ambulance medicine.
Credit Ben Spiegel courtesy of the University of Pittburgh

George McCrary knows the Hill District well. As he drives the windy streets, he points out the places he remembers from his days working as one of the nation's first emergency medical technicians in the late '60s and early '70s.

It was on these streets where a young McCrary was a member of the Freedom House Enterprise Ambulance Service, which served as the model for emergency ambulance medicine.  

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City Government
3:30 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Affordable Housing Measure Approved by Planning Commission

Pittsburgh City Councilman Daniel Lavelle is one step closer to delivering on a promise to constituents that affordable housing would be a key part of the revitalization of the Hill District.

The Planning Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of a proposed change to city code governing specially planned districts, or SP districts.

“Specially Planned Districts are those districts like Southside Works, Station Square … the Pittsburgh Technology Center, and Washington’s Landing,” said zoning administrator Corey Layman.

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City Government
3:30 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Councilman Wants Arena Site Development to Include Affordable Housing

Construction of the old Civic Arena in the Lower Hill District displaced 8,000 residents.
Credit Flickr user Joseph Novak

City Councilman Daniel Lavelle, who represents much of the Hill District, wants to make that the history of the area does not repeat itself.

In the mid-1950s, redevelopment of the Hill District and construction of the Civic Arena displaced 8,000 residents, most of whom were black and more than a third of whom ended up in public housing.

Now, that same area is slated for redevelopment by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Plans include housing, mixed-use retail, a hotel and an outdoor plaza.

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Hill Cap
1:59 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Grant For Park Over 579 Smaller Than Expected

In 1961 the Hill District was cut off from downtown with the building of the Civic Area, and with the demolition of the arena developers have been drawing up plans to hopefully reconnect the two.

The city has been granted $1.5 million to hire engineers to start drawing up plans to being bidding for the construction of a cap that will be installed over 579 between downtown and the old Civic Area.

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Economy & Business
3:50 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Pens Reach Deal to Develop Arena Site

The Pittsburgh Penguins say they should be able to begin developing the 28 acres that once held the Civic Arena in the next six to nine months thanks to a deal that city leaders believe will positively impact the entire Hill District and Uptown.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:00 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

As Deadline Looms, an Update on Civic Arena Site Development

The Penguins have until Oct. 31 to hand down the first parcel in regards to what is to be done with the Civic Arena development site.
Credit AxsDeny / Flickr

The Pittsburgh Penguins won the rights to develop the 28-acre site of the now demolished Civic Arena in the 2007 deal to build the CONSOL Energy Center.

Under that agreement, the team was to draw down the first parcel by Oct. 31 or possibly lose the development rights. The Penguins are asking the city and county to push that deadline back a year.

Opposing this request is Pittsburgh City Councilman Daniel Lavelle, who represents the Hill District. Lavelle said the Penguins and Hill District leaders are still at odds over minority participation in the project. Another point of contention is the amount of affordable housing to be built on the site. Lavelle, however, does not believe delaying the deadline shows promise for both organizations.

“Unfortunately, this site sits in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in this entire country," he said. "This should be an opportunity to sort of rectify that and lift these individuals out of poverty, with the contracting and business opportunities that will exist on that site.”

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Community
2:19 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Years in the Planning – Hill District Grocery Store Opens for Business

Shoppers peruse the prepared foods section in the Hill District's new full-service grocery store.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

A large crowd gathered outside of the Shop n’ Save in the Hill District on ribbon cutting day Thursday; many of the people have waited a long time for a full-service grocery store in the neighborhood and now they have one.

“This is not something that’s been a day or a week in waiting, or even a month or a year, this is something that’s been decades in the making and it’s finally come to fruition,” said Michael Jasper, chairman of the Hill House Association Board.

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Business
3:30 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Penguins Ready to Submit Arena Development Plan

Three years after the final event at the Civic Arena — a James Taylor/Carole King reunion concert — and 15 months after the demolition of the arena was completed, the Pittsburgh Penguins are nearly ready to submit their plan for reuse of that site.

The deal that kept the Penguins from leaving town included the building of a new facility, the Consol Energy Center, and the development rights for the 28 acres on which the old arena and parking lots sat.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:08 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Restore or Demolish? What To Do About Pittsburgh's Vacant Properties?

Should vacant buildings in Homewood be renovated or demolished? How about other Pittsburgh neighborhoods with blight? Tim Stevens, CEO and chairman of the Black Political Empowerment Project, has called for many of the buildings to be refurbished by workers enrolled in training programs rather than continuing with demolition.  They're now gathering community input on what to do with vacant buildings. C. Matthew Hawkins, adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, recently wrote about the idea of a moratorium in Homewood and the Hill District.

What do you think of the potential moratorium on demolition in poor communities requested of Pittsburgh city council?

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:23 am
Mon May 20, 2013

City Council News With Noah

WESA reporter covers Pittsburgh City Council and County Council
Credit 90.5 WESA / 90.5 WESA

Legislation to change the powers of the Citizen Police Review Board is up for a final vote on Thursday.  Currently, the CPRB reviews new police policies after they are implemented, but the new legislation would alter this system resulting in the board reviewing  policies before they take effect. Sponsoring Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess, who originally wanted to publish an abridged version of the police rule book until it was found to be against state law, says he's hoping to use the CPRB as the "eyes and ears" of the public regarding police policies.

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