Hill District

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Robert Bowden grew up in the Hill District, watching his mother struggle to move her family from a housing project into a nicer neighborhood.

 

Later on, as a young man, Bowden said he was “just a typical guy on a corner.” He had never considered college, and held a job as the janitor at a jewelry store. Bowden said his attitude changed after an incident during one of his breaks on the job.

 

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

On a Friday afternoon in April, David Lyttle pieced together his drum kit on a patch of grass in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

New research from the Rand Corporation shows that who you are – including your race, education and income – is a big predictor of how healthy you eat. But where you live matters, too.

Since 2011, Rand has compared the health of residents in Homewood, a food desert, with the Hill District, which went 30 years without a grocery store before finally getting one in 2013.

David Bachman Photography

When Sean Gibson was first approached by a musician wanting to write an opera about his great-grandfather, he was a little skeptical.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Hundreds gathered in the Hill District Friday afternoon and pledged to uphold civil rights in Pittsburgh at the People’s Inauguration.

Representatives from social justice groups, including Fight for Fifteen, Planned Parenthood and the Black Lives Matters movement addressed the crowd about the importance of inclusiveness going into the administration of President Donald Trump.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

This is the second in a three-part web series looking ahead to 2017 with members of Pittsburgh City Council. Find part one here.

Council members Deb Gross, Corey O’Connor and Daniel Lavelle represent three very different districts, but the issue of equitable development looms large for each of them. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

A few decades ago, Terri Baltimore tagged along with a group of architecture students and their professor while they were visiting the Hill District.

“And what they said about this neighborhood broke my heart,” she said. “That it was dirty.

Niven Sabherwal / 90.5 WESA

Nearly one-quarter of Pittsburghers live without internet access in their home. Without the web, many families are cut off from job opportunities or educational advancement. 

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

A team of graphic designers and marketing consultants are working their way through five neighborhoods to help local entrepreneurs.

The group Up To Know Good is spending its third year setting up pop-up storefronts in less-affluent neighborhoods. This week Up To, as its known for short, will pop up in the North Side and the Hill District the following week. 

United Way

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania is partnering with a dozen local organizations to focus on the academic and social needs of kids.

Since the five-year United for Children plan was announced in December, the organization has chosen local agencies to receive funding, volunteers and business support to help an estimated 300,000 children.

Scott Roller / Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

August Wilson Park opens in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood Saturday after years of planning and construction. 

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Residents of the Hill District would have a much easier time walking or biking to downtown Pittsburgh after the construction of a proposed three-acre park with pathways on a platform raised overtop of I-579 in the Lower Hill.

The project, which has already undergone a year-long planning and design process, will be ready for construction after the federal government releases $19 million in grant funding for the effort this October, officials announced Tuesday.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Film crews are turning back the clock to reflect the Steel City of 1957.

The old cars and vintage clothing come courtesy of the film adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning "Fences," starring the play's Broadway duo, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.

Though based on events that occurred in the Hill District, the Paramount film has been on location in neighborhoods across the city, including Pittsburgh's West End early Friday.

Prevention Point Pittsburgh Celebrates 20 Years

Apr 15, 2016
Todd Huffman / flickr

Since they began in the Hill District in 1995, Prevention Point Pittsburgh has been providing needle exchange services to help stop the spread of injection-related diseases. Twenty years later, the organization has spread to three counties and has served more than 5,000 injection drug users. We’ll ask Overdose Prevention Project Coordinator Alice Bell how PPP has evolved over the years and how they measure success. We’ll also hear about the many services they provide to users. 

Nelson Harrison / Pittsburgh Jazz Network

Nelson Harrison isn't shy about his passion for Pittsburgh's prominence in the history of jazz music.

“Pittsburgh is the jazz capital of the world," Harrison said. "A lot of people don’t know that. The last hundred years of jazz wouldn’t have happened at all if it hadn’t been for Pittsburghers who innovated almost every major movement in Pittsburgh.”

daveynin / flickr

Nearly six years after CONSOL Energy Center's completion, officials say it still doesn't have the public art that was promised along with the building. 

Chancelor Humphrey

The rapper Mars Jackson grew up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. He’s been performing for about six years and said he wants people to know about the dynamic artists who make up Pittsburgh’s rap and hip hop scene.

Jackson says many wrongly believe that Pittsburgh’s pool of talent begins and ends with superstars Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller. Jackson stopped by the station to talk to Larkin Page-Jacobs about the music he creates to address real life issues.

 

The Changing Face Of Pittsburgh

Jan 5, 2016
Flickr

As the city continues to earn accolades as an example of urban reinvention, how will the changing face of its neighborhoods impact the city and will everyone benefit? We’ll pose those questions to Diana Nelson Jones who writes the Walkabout column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and John Conti, freelance architectural columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Mr.T77 / Flickr

U.S. Steel has decided against building a new headquarters on the site of the former Civic Arena.

“This decision has been shared with employees by President and CEO Mario Longhi. U.S. Steel will remain in the U.S. Steel Tower through the term of its lease,” spokeswoman Sarah Cassalla said in a statement. The lease expires in 2017.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

It’s been nearly two years since a Shop ‘n Save grocery store opened on Centre Avenue in the Hill District. For decades, the neighborhood was considered a food desert, which the federal government defines as an area where residents lack access to healthy, nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

Perry Quan / Flickr

  Developers of the former Civic Arena site in the Hill District are looking for feedback from the community.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

City and county officials, the Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis based-developer McCormack Baron Salazar announced Thursday the Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group will design the residential portion of the lower Hill development at the old Civic Arena site.

“Part of what we’re doing is going to be a mixed-income community, and there will be opportunities for lower-income individuals and families to live in the community, just like we did in Crawford Square,” said Richard Baron, chairman and CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar. “So the idea here is to be an inclusive development.”

Representatives from a variety of advocacy organizations celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act with a news conference Thursday on Freedom Corner in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.

While they celebrated, they spoke of efforts in recent years to rescind voters' rights, such as the defeated voter ID law and changes they want to see that would allow Pennsylvanians more voting flexibility.

The Hill Community Development Corporation is holding a State of The Hill District event on Saturday.

Marimba Milliones, president of the CDC, said this event will be an opportunity for members of the community to learn about recent developments in the Hill District.

Milliones will discuss the Centre Avenue Redevelopment Plan at the event. She says it’s a plan that “honors the cultural legacy of the Hill District but contextualizes it in the future and the market that we can expect today.”

On Tuesday, the city of Pittsburgh and the Port Authority of Allegheny County held the first of two public meetings to gather input on the proposed Forbes-Fifth Corridor.

About a hundred people attended the meeting to listen and share thoughts on the potential transportation infrastructure in the 5th/Forbes Corridor which links Downtown to Oakland, running through Uptown and part of the Hill District.

Flickr user Joseph A

“A child's zip code should never determine her destiny; but today, the community she grows up in impacts her odds of graduating high school, her health outcomes, and her lifetime economic opportunities.”

So reads the U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development’s web page on its Promise Zone program, which aims to counteract the effects of poverty.

Flickr user Peter Radunzel

The Pittsburgh Penguins and development firm Clayco are just six months away from the proposed groundbreaking for a 28 acre mixed use development in the Lower Hill. City Council on Tuesday approved a unique approach to tax abatement, which has been vital to getting the Hill community on board with the plan.

It’s been more than half a century since eight thousand Pittsburgh residents were displaced from their homes in the lower hill district, when 95 acres of a thriving, mostly African American community were razed to make way for the Civic Arena.

Pittsburgh City Council is planning a public hearing before they give the final stamp of approval to proposed tax abatements and exemptions for developers of the former Civic Arena site in the lower Hill District.

Councilman Daniel Lavelle, who has been instrumental in developing a plan for revitalization of the area, said developers will still be paying property taxes on the value of the land and related improvements.

Flickr user Joseph Novak

Redevelopment of Pittsburgh’s lower Hill District is one step closer to becoming a reality, with City Council on Wednesday giving preliminary approval to a bill designating the area as a Specially Planned District or SPD.

“It took a while to get here … and now we’ve got to actually begin building,” said Councilman Daniel Lavelle, who represents the Hill District.

Plans for the Civic Arena Site Taking Shape

Jan 22, 2015
Mr.T77 / Flickr

Negotiations between the city, the Penguins and the Hill District Community Development Corporation have resulted in plans to move forward with the development of the former Civic Arena Site. We’ll discover what could be next for the site with Hill District CDC President and CEO Marimba Milliones.

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