Current Preservation Initiatives
National Negro Opera Company House, Homewood
Built in 1894, the house on Apple Street was first purchased by Pittsburgh numbers king Woogie Harris, in 1930. Woogie Harris was the brother of famed photographer Teenie Harris. The house served as the home of the first African American opera company in the United States. The NNOC was started by Homestead native Mary Cardwell Dawson in 1941. The NNOC grew to include a number of chapters around the country. First Lady Elanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson were honorary board chairs. Among the people who came through the house include Ahmad Jamal and Lena Horne. The house also hosted a number of Steelers, including Roy Jefferson, John Nesby, and Marvin Woodson, as well as Roberto Clemente.
Allegheny Commons Pedestrian Bridge, North Side
In the early 1900’s, train tracks servicing Pittsburgh were sunk beneath the park landscape. The Allegheny Commons Pedestrian Bridge was built over the railine in 1906 to connect West Commons to Brighton Avenue. The neo-classical bridge consisted of two ornamental concrete abutments with stair case approaches, and a concrete arch superstructure. The City of Pittsburgh neglected to make needed routine repairs to the structure in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and by 1999, the pedestrian bridge was closed due to safety concerns. For over a decade, parkgoers were greeted with wire security fencing and a “Bridge Closed” sign.In the fall of 2013, due to new requirements of Norfolk Southern Rail, which owns the line cutting through the park, the City paid $199,000 for the demolition of the concrete arch and deck. Today, the abutments on either side remain, as well as the security fencing and “Bridge Closed” sign.
Albright United Methodist Church
Originally built as the Zion Church of Pittsburgh of the Evangelical Association in 1906, Albright United Methodist Church is one of the few unaltered structures remaining from this neighborhood’s early development. Formed in1843, the Albright congregation is a descendent of one of Pittsburgh’s oldest congregations. In spring and summer of 1905, architect Chancey W. Hodgdon prepared plans for a new stone church in Pittsburgh’s burgeoning East End. During construction, the cornerstone of the congregation’s previous church on High Street (the current site of BNY Mellon Tower) was relocated to the East End and installed in the church’s foundation. The cornerstone translates to “Zion Evangelical Church, Built 1851” and references the congregation’s history as a German Evangelical Church. The Albright United Methodist Church is an exceptional example of the Eclectic Period of architectural design in the United States and Pittsburgh. Specifically, it is representative of the late 19th and early 20th century popularity of the Richardson Romanesque style in Pittsburgh.