Friday, February 8, 2008

Francophilia Sweeps Pittsburgh. Riots Expected.

A dispatch from the Post-Gazette's incomparable Mark Belko.

The Paris to Pittsburgh program is one of two initiatives being launched by the partnership this year in a bid to add vibrancy to the heart of the Golden Triangle.

It also is offering property owners loans to convert vacant or under-used upper floors into apartments in the hope of providing more affordable options for people who want to live Downtown.

One of the goals of the Paris to Pittsburgh program is to make store and restaurant fronts more transparent, with large window or garage door-like openings that will allow patrons to move freely between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

It goes on like this.

Under the program, matching grants can be used for a multitude of improvements, including awnings and umbrellas, flower boxes, outdoor tables and chairs, heating lanterns for dining in cooler weather, lighting, signs, landscaping, outdoor music and better access.

And on and on.

The partnership hopes to award matching grants for 68 projects Downtown. It hopes to do 32 to 35 this year alone. An advisory committee that will include urban design professionals will review applications from businesses.

Ah, if only we weren't all so Downtown-centric. Where is our Pittsburgh Hill District Partnership when we need it? What do we have against the two that we already have?

And do you really think a Pittsburgh Hill District Partnership would go in for this kind of nonsense?

Relevant analysis from Pierre 4 Pittsburgh dated 1/01/08.

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