Student Design Concepts for Homestead Vacant Lot
Eighteen students from various high schools in Allegheny County presented their ideas for a lot at Amity Street and Seventh Avenue in Homestead to a jury of architects on December 14, 2011.
“Their ideas were creative, sustainable, and fundable,” said Patrick Shattuck, senior real estate development specialist for the Mon Valley Initiative. Urban designer David Lewis added: “The students showed great sensitivity to the scale of the lot. The clues to the new building lie in what’s already there. The roots of programming are in the historic community.”
Students designed a circular tower for upscale retail and apartments; a diner/library/café; skateboard park; café and observation tower; live music venue; neighborhood movie theater; electric-car-charging station with an observation deck; learning center; coffee shop and recording studio; fitness center; art gallery and trade school; café and community center; sports museum; day care; and art store and hobby shop, among other ideas.
During the three-month Architectural Apprenticeship offered by PHLF through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, the vacant lot actually became a surface parking lot––“hardly a prime use of the corner lot on a street connecting The Waterfront with Homestead’s historic East Eighth Avenue,” said course instructor Louise Sturgess. “The building proposals presented by the students would do much more to benefit local residents and to draw people from the Waterfront to Homestead’s historic main street.”