Just seconds after exiting I-279 South and getting onto the head of Banksville Road, make the very first possible right hand turn. Drive straight along a little service road parallel to the highway.
Pass the barbecue restaurant. Pass "Two Guys Auto Garage". Bear right once more behind the Days Inn and you'll see it.
But you won't believe it.
There you will see a trailer park, but not one like you've seen or imagined. Flowers and immaculately manicured shrubbery tastefully dot the landscape. A road with two rows of trailers goes up a hill, into the trees, then zigzags twice through the woods even further up the hill. On the upper, terraced portion, the privacy and even dignity afforded its residents rivals most of what you'll find anywhere in urban living.
Some words that come to mind are "Ewok Village".
Alpark Terrace has been described by a frequent Comet commenter as a "paradise for the poor", and it's easy to see why. It is also by far the oldest, though perhaps only, trailer park in the City of Pittsburgh -- having been continuously owned by the same family since the 1940's.
This year, that family finally sold the property -- to Boilermakers Local 154, across the street. The new owners evidently have new plans for the land.
Alpark Terrace residents in March received notices that they must vacate the premises by September. Some residents are organizing to see if anything can be done to help them stay in their homes.
The residents' reaction to the news has not been monolithic. Some are getting litigious. Some residing on the lower portion blame "those folks from up the hill" (it's just like any other neighborhood) for inviting the irritation of the previous owners by haggling over utility bills. Many are saddened, but resigned to vacating as only the fair thing to do.
They just don't know where they'll find an option a tenth as nice -- let alone within the City of Pittsburgh, or even vaguely nearby.
I think one thing we're talking about here is "affordable housing", and more of it disappearing. We're also talking about a man made site that is very old, very unique and extremely well-maintained. It would be an excellent candidate for Historic Review, were it nominated. Property owners never appreciate third-party nominations, but the fact is that no one really knows what they have until it is about to be lost. That's why our rules are as they are, and that's how Pittsburgh came to be such an architectural and civil treasure.
Go check it out. Tell me what you think of it. I'll return to the subject from time to time, though infrequently.