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NewBurgh

The Garden

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I recently heard about the possible (hopeful) closing of the Garden on the North Side. Just wondering if anybody knows what the plans are for the few blocks surrounding it. It could be such a beautiful part of the city with the stunning houses in the War Streets and the park and the proximity to downtown. I rode my bike through the war streets yesterday and was amazed by what an awesome neighborhood this is.I'm hoping this will lead to something nice. I am not as familiar with the NorthSide, but I've heard some good development is also happening in Manchester.

I moved to Pittsburgh in 2002 and have just fallen in love with the city. My wife and I are restoring an old house in Friendship on the East End.

I've been reading this forum for the past few months and appreciate the great discussions and insights.

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I lived just around the corner from the theater for years. there was much talk about restoring that entire block front and turning the Garden Theater into live performance theater for Jazz or what not. It was a great idea. There was a model of the entire project in the Mattress Factory Museum (they were involved). They probably know the current plans for the block.

They refused to develop the remaining buildings on North Avenue next to the Garden Theater until it was shut down and put under their guidance. Sure it was a sleazy lot floating around the theater but I don't believe it would have impeded prgressing with their original plans there. This wait has resulted in roof collapsing in the building on the corner and another forced to be torn down as a wall collapsed. This has been going on for 20 years and Federal Street has completely fell apart.

In my opinion, the Central Northside Community Council has squandered the moment and threw Federal Street into a worse condition than it was 20 years ago. Federal Street was lined with historic townhouses, as much of The War Streets are. Sure, not good condition, but, like the War Streets they just needed some money thrown at them. They insisted they needed to be torn down. This coming from a group in charge of the restoration of a historic district.

The exact same type of townhouses that make up Monterey and Buena Vista, the heart of the district, are what stood there before, along with some empty lots. Most still had occupants. I figured this mind set was because they were going to build larger apartment buildings along Federal to up the residential concentration and take advantage of the great views to be had from Federal Hill. Now they are building new townhouses, with much government money, where historic townhouses once stood.

I even tried to buy one of the houses on Jacksonia through the city. This townhouse has sat there empty for decades. The city put it up for auction. I bid on it one time and lost it to another bidder. Fine. After another 2 years passed, I had noticed nothing was done with the building. I contacted the city and they said the original deal fell through so the house sat derelict. I asked him if I could bid on it again. He said sure but it would first have to officially go back the block, but that no one has inquired about it. So it came time for the bidding and who shows up but the Central Northside Community Council and they out bid me. Afterwards I asked them why. They said they wanted it so they could tear it down and combine it with the new development they had hoped for along Federal Street. That was 6 years ago. It still sits there derelict, boarded up and in worse condition. Not even an attempt to fix the roof to keep it from worsening. It doesn't seem to be a part of the current development now going on along Federal.

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I'm sure I've said something to this effect before, but the inability of the north side to get on track blows my mind. I realize that things around the Garden have been tough, and huge mistakes were obviously made. But what about the rest of the area. You have huge strengths in the War Streets, CCAC, and AGH.

I just don't under stand how none of the areas between the strengths have continued to slide. The areas around that giant park are with out a doubt some of my favorites in the city. For that matter, they have to be unique to any city our size. It is reminiscent of the properties bordering central park (all be it obviously on a much smaller scale).

I honestly hope the redevelopment efforts can proceed now. Enough money has been lost in the area as it is.

p.s. welcome to the board NewBurgh

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