September City Main Streets & More— Free Walking Tours
On September 7, a warm and sunny afternoon, 36 people came out to enjoy a tour of South Side, “from river to rail.” Walking along 18th street, Kyra Straussman, Director of Mainstreet Pittsburgh for the URA, Councilman Bruce Kraus, resident of South Side, Aaron Sukenik, Executive Director of Hilltop Alliance, and Brian Oswald, President of South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association, shared the story of how the South Side developed from an industrial center of glass and steel into the city neighborhood we enjoy today.
From the riverfront trail and newer residential developments at the end of 18th Street on the site of former factories to the city steps going up the slopes to Pius Street, participants learned about the riverfront trail; Pittsburgh’s first net-zero energy residence in the Riverside Mews; the Fox Way Commons designed with outdoor common area for the residents; and how essential the South Side steps continue to be. At the end of the tour a few participants took the short hike up the steps for the view of South Side from Pius Street.
Saturday, September 21 was a rainy day, but that did not dampen the spirits of the intrepid seven who toured Centre Avenue on the Hill from Freedom Corner to the new Thelma Lovette Family YMCA. Marimba Milliones, Executive Director and CEO of Hill Community Development Corporation, and Dr. Laurence Glasco, University of Pittsburgh Professor of History, led this tour providing a point-counterpoint narrative of the present and past. Beginning at Freedom Corner, Milliones and Glasco shared the significance of the rallying point and the symbolism in the monument artwork. Participants also saw the Crawford-Roberts residential development; heard a jazz band of young students rehearsing in the Irene Kaufmann Center; and saw the new Shop and Save grocery store under construction. Marimba described visions for the New Granada and everyone enjoyed touring the Thelma Lovette Family YMCA.