A historic moment for Highland Park
Highland Park, the East End neighborhood known for its stained glass and woodwork crafted by immigrant artisans, has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“It’s a way to market the neighborhood, to attract people interested in historic buildings and to encourage people to maintain those buildings,” said Mike Eversmeyer, a Highland Park resident and architect.
Eversmeyer on Tuesday confirmed the neighborhood’s listing as the Highland Park Residential Historic District. The Highland Park Community Development Corp. hired him to submit the nomination to the State Historic Preservation Board and the National Register of Historic Places.
The neighborhood joins 18 other districts in the city and sites in Aspinwall, Harrison, Homestead, Munhall, Plum, Ross, Thornburg and West Mifflin on the National Register.
“The neighborhood has long been respected by Pittsburgh residents and has a feeling as a special place when you walk those streets lined with houses of turn-of-the-century style,” said Arthur Ziegler, president of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.
He said residents of Highland Park are not the only ones who should applaud its status.
The designation helps businesses obtain federal money and prevents federal money from being used to tear down buildings without an extensive review.
Eversmeyer said the listing should spur investment, especially in the Bryant Street commercial district and in its southwest corner, an area plagued by apartment buildings owned by absentee landlords.
He said homeowners could benefit, too, if the state Legislature provides tax incentives for people in residential historic districts.
“If you’re trying to sell investors on coming into a neighborhood, then having a tax credit as a carrot makes a lot of sense,” he said.
The neighborhood is a blend of Victorian, Tudor and Arts and Crafts homes with some modern-style houses. It is home to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, one of the city’s larger parks and two reservoirs.
Kelly Meade, a Highland Park resident for 30 years, has worked as a real estate agent for Howard Hanna, specializing in that neighborhood for 25 years. She said the historic designation should give the neighborhood’s housing market a boost.
“For those who have a special interest in a historic home, it certainly will give more credence to the neighborhood,” she said.
Bill Zlatos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7828.