That’s My Neighborhood!

Today, on All Things Considered, NPR aired a story about a Primary debate-watching party going on in my neighborhood of Lawrenceville.

Lawrenceville was described as:

A neighborhood on the edge of downtown, where generations of steelworkers raise their families.  Some of their children still live here, along with newcomers who like the low rent and the short commute.

That sounds pretty accurate to me.  Mark me down as a newcomer who likes the affordable housing and the central location, but I also live in Lawrenceville because of the budding arts community, the thriving business districts, the waterfront trails, and the unique neighborhood flavor.

Hatfield Street, which previously was home to heavy industry, now hosts four galleries:  DNA Blue Collar, Society for Cultural Exchange, Trinity Gallery, and Zombo Gallery.  Throughout the rest of the neighborhood, we have more than a couple dozen of others.  Every year, the neighborhood puts together Art All Night–a grassroots art event put together by an all-volunteer crew.  (This year’s event is taking place April 26-27 at #2 57th Street).

 The business district that runs along Butler Steet features restaurants & bars and all kinds of retail.  Equita, located in the Ice House Building on 43rd just North of Butler, features fairly-traded organic and green products from around the world.  The newly opened Fresh Heirlooms on the 5200 block of Butler transforms reclaimed materials into unique home furnishings.  I even had them make a CD shelf out of old wooden spools.  Lawrenceville also is home to much of the City’s new robotics industry.  Not only does Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center sit on 43rd Street, but the neighborhood is also home to established and start-up companies as well.

The story of Lawrenceville is the story of the City of Pittsburgh itself:  a former industrial area that has seen growth through the diversification of its economy; a beautiful neighborhood with green space, waterfront trails and access; an area poised to grow though the active participation of the neighbors and organic, but focused, economic development.

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