Public meeting on June 23 about PennDOT Bigelow Boulevard road project


On June 22, PENNDOT will begin a two-year infrastructure and maintenance work on Bigelow Boulevard and Baum Boulevard.

PENNDOT will be holding a public informationsal meeting on Tuesday, June 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott at 5308 Liberty Ave (at Aiken). This is a public meeting for residents to learn about the scope of the project including its tentative timeline, detour routes, and regular working schedule. It will also provide an opportunity for residents from affected communities to ask questions and raise concerns.

This will be a lengthy project and even neighborhoods not containing the construction itself will be affected by detoured routes and increased traffic as drivers will be looking for ways to avoid the construction delays.

Supervisors of the project will be providing regular updates to District 7 Council office as well as being open to questions/concerns from the community throughout the project. Residents will have an opportunity to meet the supervisors and others associated with the project at the June 23 meeting.

For an overview of the project, read the Post-Gazette article here.

(Photo of Bigelow Boulevard by Bruce S. Cridlebaugh, from PghBridges)


City of Pittsburgh Community Budget Forum in Polish Hill on June 3


At the West Penn Recreation Center on Wednesday June 3 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. there will be a community forum to gather input for the City’s 2016 Capital Budget.  This budget includes funds for things such as infrastructure projects, and the forum is a chance for residents to advocate for projects that affect our neighborhood.  The session is open to all Pittsburgh residents will include:

— A brief overview of the budgeting process
— Small-group discussion of budget priorities and residents’ needs
— An opportunity for residents to ask questions of an expert panel
— A survey, where residents can add their ideas and opinions to the budgeting process
— Refreshments

The forum will be held in the Senior Center on the lower level of West Penn.  Residents who plan to attend should pre-register.  Email or call 412.255.4773.  Walk-in registration will also be available the day of the forum.

If you can’t make it on June 3 but want to participate, the next forum will be on June 22 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Southside Market House, 1 Bedford Square.

Love Your Block: help fix up Maly Park on Saturday, May 16


The PHCA was awarded a City of Pittsburgh Love Your Block grant to revitalize Maly Park, at the corner of Herron Avenue and Dobson Street. One of the requirements of the grant is that we need to bring out at least 20 volunteers. Please come out and help! Even if you can only work for an hour or two, that would be a big help.  We’ll be at Maly Park at 10:00 a.m.

Since we hope to have a large group of volunteers this day, we’ll take the opportunity to also do some maintenance at the parklet at Melwood and Finland Street as well.

If there are thunderstorms or lots of rain on May 16, we’ll postpone this volunteer day to May 30.  For more info, email

And while we’re on the topic of maintaining green space, here’s a reminder:  The morning of Saturday May 16 is also the City of Pittsburgh’s spring yard waste pickup.  Leave your bagged or bundled yard waste at the curb before 6:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.  Here’s more information on what they will and won’t pick up.

Area Agency on Aging Offering Free Education Series for Family Caregivers

Allegheny dept of aging

The Allegheny County Department of Human Services’ Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is offering a free education series for caregivers of older adults. This series is for nonprofessional caregivers and is designed to help them gain an understanding of how to provide care for a loved one.

The series will run once a month in May, June, July and August, at the AAA offices, 2100 Wharton Street, Pittsburgh, second floor.  All sessions are from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants will receive information booklets on all topics covered. Registration is required and space is limited. Caregivers may sign up for one session or multiple sessions.

The following is a list of training dates and topics:

Friday, May 15
Topics: Home safety and general caregiving skills

Tuesday, June 9
Topics: Helping your loved one move and assisting with personal care

Thursday, July 16
Topics: Legal and financial issues and caring for the caregiver

Friday, August 14
Topics: Healthy eating and caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia

For more information, or to register, call 412-350-4996

Springtime brings green projects, volunteer opportunities


With springtime comes the season for green projects, and the need for volunteers to help clean up the neighborhood and maintain green spaces.

On Friday April 24, we’ll be helping Tree Pittsburgh plant 100 restoration trees at the reforestation site on Brereton Street just below 30th Street (this is where the goats were brought in to clear vines last year). A group of corporate volunteers will be coming to help, but it would be great to have some help from residents too. Meet at the site at 10:00 a.m.

And Saturday April 25 is the neighborhood clean up, part of the city-wide Redd Up / Earth Day event. Meet at the PHCA office at 10:00 a.m. We’re also looking for people to lead volunteer teams to clean up different sites in the neighborhood.

Further ahead, on May 16 there will be a workday at Maly Park, at the corner of Dobson Street and Herron Avenue.  The PHCA won a grant from the City’s Love Your Block program to help fix up the park.  And on May 23, we’ll need help planting flowers in the beds at West Penn Park.

Starting in May, there will be weekly gardening sessions at the Edible Garden at West Penn, which raises produce which is donated to the Jubilee Pantry on Brereton Street.  There will also be a monthly workday at the Knotweed project site on Melwood Avenue.  For more information on green projects volunteer events, email

(Above:  flower planting at West Penn park, May 2014.  Photo by Valerie Testa.)

Two events bring Polish cinema to Pittsburgh


Events at Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh Filmmakers will bring some great Polish films to town this month.

Through Saturday April 25, Pittsburgh Filmmakers is screening a series of films selected by Martin Scorsese.  After visiting the Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in 2011, Martin Scorsese was struck by the astonishing achievements of Poland’s national cinema, particularly from 1957 to 1987, a golden age of Polish auteurs. He then organized (with The Film Foundation and distributor Milestone Films) a restoration project and touring program of the films. The seven titles in this program represent some of Poland’s most accomplished directors. They are digitally remastered, with new subtitles.  The program is co-presented by the Polish Cultural Council.  Thursday screenings at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday screenings at 5:30 p.m.  All seats are $5.00.  Click here for the list of films and more information.

And at the  the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival, The Mighty Angel, a 2014 Polish film, directed by Wojciech Smarzowski, will be screened on April 10 at 7:15 p.m. in the McConomy Auditorium on CMU campus.  Following the film there will be an interactive Q&A session with a Polish language/culture scholar and a free reception with authentic Polish cuisine.  To purchase tickets or learn more about the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival, check out the CMU IFF website.

Above, a still from Man of Iron, which will be screened at the Harris Theater on April 23 and 25.


Now accepting vendor applications for the 2015 Polish Hill Arts Festival


The eighth Polish Hill Arts Festival will take place on Sunday, July 19, and the application period is now open for people who wish to participate.  The festival includes artists and craft vendors, live music, food, and art and craft activities.  This is quirky, less traditional sort of arts festival.  It’s also an inclusive, family and kid-friendly event.

For vending: fill out the application and either email or send to us. Be sure to read and save page 2, the information sheet.

Application for artists and craftspeople

Application for food vendors

If your band or performance group would like to be considered:
Email, and include links to your music (preferred), or mail a CD.

Artists or groups interested in presenting an activity or artwork should email or send us a description of what you would like to do.

To volunteer or get more information: Call us at 412.681.1950 or email.

(Photo from the 2014 Polish Hill Arts Festival, by Leslie Clague)


The traffic calming committee needs you!


Speeding and cut-through traffic affect all residents to some degree. Those of us who live on or near the busiest streets: Melwood and Herron avenues, Brereton or Paulowna street, are probably the most affected, with speeding cars and the sheer volume of rush hour traffic causing daily aggravation.

The PHCA traffic calming committee is looking for people who are interested in traffic, bike and pedestrian issues. Even if you don’t have time to attend every monthly meeting, the committee could use your help to find solutions to the most pressing traffic issues in our neighborhood. If you’d like to be involved, email to find out more.

The Polish Hill Pivotal Streets Façade Renovation Grant Program returns for the third year!


The application period is now open for homeowners to apply for a matching grant of up to $5,000 per property for residential façade (street-facing) renovations.  Improvements could include:

✒ Replacing gutters, siding, windows and doors
✒ Painting trim or porches
✒ Planting permanent landscaping
✒ Repairing or replacing sidewalks, steps or retaining walls

Applications are due by March 31, 2015.  An independent committee including contractors, architects and design professionals will review applications and award funds.  Grants are competitive and funds are limited.  Awards will be announced on April 17, 2015.  Homeowners must pay for all work up front.  The grant is paid out as a reimbursement check and is not paid until the work is completed.

The program application, guidelines, and design guide are available on our website or at the PHCA office.  For more information, call 412.681.1950 or email us.

Brereton Street, 1953

CharlesRicharcson_Brereton_IHM church_boys playing_1953

Here’s a wonderful photo of Brereton Street that was just added to the online Historic Pittsburgh Image Archive. The photo was taken in 1953 by Charles Richardson.

To the left of the church is 3060 Brereton, now the office of the Polish Hill Civic Association.  At the time, it was a shop that sold candy and cigars.

Check out the Historic Pittsburgh archive to see all sorts of fascinating material from Pittsburgh past, including maps, census data, and photos.  New material is added regularly and is searchable by neighborhood or streets.