Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Previously, on URA ...

May 21, 2000: Dan Fitzpatrick, P-G

Four decades after promising to give East Liberty "one of the finest residential and shopping complexes in the United States," Bob Pease is back in the neighborhood he tried to save from ruin, talking about how some of his plans went awry.


After the URA demolished 1,200 homes, reduced the size of the shopping district by 1 million square feet and closed the middle of East Liberty to automobiles, the neighborhood lost hundreds of small businesses, according to one report. In the four decades that followed, it lost more than 4,500 people.


May 23, 2000 Dan Fitzpatrick, P-G

May 24, 2000 Teresa F. Lindeman, P-G

May 25, 2000 Mike Rosenwald, P-G

May 26, 2000 Dan Fitzpatrick, P-G

Editorial Comment: Where has the MSN been on the URA these past seven years?


  1. It's probably a very close contest, but my own estimate is that no neighborhood, anywhere in the Eastern United States, was ever as so totally screwed by "ubran redevelopment" as East Liberty. By all historical accounts, it used to be huge; it had the third-largest concentration of retail in the entire state, after downtown Philly and dahntahn Pittsburgh. Lots of changes in the past few years of course, but it will always have a hard time overcoming that 4-lane concrete moat, devoted solely to automobile traffic, that surrounds it.

  2. Admiral-

    Well, East Liberty might actually be running neck-and-neck with the Hill District.

    Poletown in Detroit might be in the top 5 as well.

    I think we need to turn the discussion to matters that the late Jane Jacobs brought up in her missive, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities", when she blasted the mid-century transformation of the Golden Triangle AND the Lower Hill District.

    We need to take the brainpower on this site and train it to produce a meaningful set of policy aims and then, find a way to push them.

    I do believe that our blogging serves a valuable, if misunderstood purpose in local affairs.

    Bram touched off a necessary subject when he opined on this and we need to make the time we spend opining on these issues matter to more than just us and the City leaders who read this everyday.

  3. All of you have to be realistic; the over all game plan of the City through the URA is to create an economic boundary in the East End that isolates the low income neighborhoods, i.e. Larimer, Lincoln Lemington, and Homewood.

    This plan has the full financial support of the City of Pittsburgh through the URA, Sen. Jim Ferlo, State Rep Joe Preston and city council representative for both district 7&9 as well as all local political leaders, i.e. ward chairs and committee people who with the assistance of the community development organizations, i.e. East Liberty Development, Inc (Maelene Meyers and Ernie Hogan) taking the lead is convincing the poor black neighborhoods that this is the way development has to occur.

    Why are they doing this; very simple, they get funded by the URA and other partners to keep their jobs and their organization open while they influence the general public to agree to their master plan.

    Look at where the development initiatives are; take a map and outline the new development projects over past few years and then put in the new projects coming. Then stare at that map. The story unfolds its self very easily.

    Once the plan is complete the pockets of poverty will continue to exist camouflaged by the new border development projects. The poor black neighborhoods will be condensed behind the new economic border and life goes on.

    Your local political leaders are selling out the poor black community right in front of you and the community is letting them. Where the new housing and business developments, any idea are when new jobs are coming, why is the educational right –sizing plan disadvantaging black schools; where is public safety?

    The plan is to create pandemonium in the community surrounding what they consider superficial issues to distract what is really going on. Poor people can’t afford to move out of Pittsburgh although this might be the way to defuse their plan…..just leave.