Monday, May 18, 2009


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.


  1. I think that Matt H is the reason that this trailer park was sold. He has not been a friend of the residents of the park as the Mayor has been dead set against helping the residents out and he acts as his pawn.

    If Coghill is elected I am sure they will try their best to have the residents thrown out in the street on their backsides with the help of Theresa Smith who can't even tell you where this place is located.

  2. Yes, don't vote Coghill. He's in with Luke and you know what that means - big dollars, pay to play and the residents get the shaft.

  3. I think people are mocking us, gang!

  4. Anthony Coghill hates the trailer park beacuse he can't sell any roof jobs there. It's always the dollar he is after. He's not a good choice for council.

  5. From my snarky side this morning...

    Not only do Unions cost people jobs, they now cost people their homes.

    From the realist side...

    New owner? They can do whatever they want, so to speak. It's their land now.

  6. It's too bad Theresa Smith did not this to her list of accomplishments.

  7. Let's see...SCABS = Boilermakers

    If a company used union labor and was sold to company that did not, replacement workers would be called SCABS.

    Using same logic, isn't Local 154 guilty of being SCABS. Replacing current residents with parking spots...

    Just more Union hypocrisy...they're just looking out for the little guy, right!!


  8. So Coghill is a union buster? Are his employees in a union. His anti-worker mentality is no good for the district.

  9. If Alpark Terrace were a black community, imagine the outrage.(tongue in cheek)

    I don't care if Dowd were Mayor, Georgia was D2 Rep. and Rudiak was D4 Rep.....the fact is, if politicos aren't already in bed with Unions they will be shortly, should they win their races.

    Bram showed some real guts posting this on Comet...

    Maybe Rep.Deasy will help residents...probably not.

    How about Sen. Fontana...opps, that's right Wayne's brother Joe is considered 'Mayor of Alpark Terrace' and was very helpful in brokering deal with Local 154...Don't you wonder what Joe recieved in way of compensation for all his hard work?

    Maybe, Rep Chelsa will come in with guns blazing, again probably much Union Money at stake when Uncle Jack runs for Gov. Take on one Union and all other Unions will march lockstep behind Local 154.

    Maybe the President via US Rep. Mike Doyle will apply Obama Stimulus Dollars to help ofset or loses...Oh, silly me, trailer trash dose not qualify because homes are not worth $500.000. Nor are residents Bankers, Auto Makers or CEOs...


  10. Anon 2:12 (monk?)..

    Trust me, I RARELY side with Unions. Take the "Union" out of the equation and insert "new owner". What did the residents expect when the property was sold to a new owner? Peaceful bliss forever? It's unfortunate, but that's life.

    BTW, I seem to recall some spat between the tenants and the former owner some time ago. Maybe that's the reason the property was sold? Less aggravation?

  11. Maybe, Union should 'Practice What They Preach...'

    "Believe in us and we will raise you to an acceptable standard of living"...we embrace the little guy, so to speak.

    Residents would have been treated better by UPMC, USS, ALCOA, HEINZ, STEELERS than they have been treated by UNION.

    Public perception weighs heavily on bottom line...UNIONS are corporations...without burden of bottom line.

    Elected Officals would take on Big Business if ownership was Corporate...Pesky Rebublicans.

    The Politcal Clout is very different when UNION Dollars end up in political coffers.


  12. Conservative Mountianeer...where do you hail from?

    WV Trailer Park?

    Or, Corporate 'Bored' Room...

    Wish Jerry Sringer was running for Congress, trailer park icon...

    What do you call 32 WV fans in line waiting for Pitt vs WV football game?

    'A set of teeth...'

    It's open season on trailer trash..!

    And, UNIONS are loaded for bear.


  13. Monk is exposing self! Deeegazette will appreciate following….
    Called Monk: Lot 17... Formerly resident of Brookline….Pittsburgh all.
    Dear Dad,
    Can you believe I’m getting married? It seems pretty crazy if you ask me. But, I know Brian is the best man for me and that I truly love him-so you shouldn’t worry (to much!) However, he will never, ever take your place.
    I know things haven’t been the greatest for our family recently and that things may not be truly resolved at the moment either. But what I do know is that I have Two Awesome parents and that will never change. I was blessed with two people who love me for who I am and that’s all I could ever ask for.
    When I think about my life to come and the possibility of starting my own family, I will always think about how I was raised-values instilled in me and simply beautiful memories.
    I will never forget wiffle ball in the backyard or nature walks down the alley for science class. I won’t forget best macaroni and cheese ever, $1 runs to mini-mart, or weekend drives to Peabody for All City Music. I will never forget sprinklers in the backyard in the summer or the notes on the kitchen counter signed “pops” with your picture and the famous “P” hat. And surely won’t forget being brought up by proudest STEELER fan ever!
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love you and will never forget these times no matter how old I get and will always value everything I’ve been taught. I can’t wait to dance with you at my wedding.
    I will love you now and forever! Xoxo
    ‘Double yoi”
    Love always Megan
    Feeling Proud Boilermakers?

  14. Monk -

    I was bounced from my native Sq. Hill by Walnut Capital. We had someone from the Historic Review commission come down and have a meeting with us, but residents didn't have leaders like Carl Sutter, Carl Redwood, or that kid from Ridgemont taking the ball and running with it. Thence to Regent Square, then Nor'side.

    Here's lookin' at you, Reidbord!

  15. Bram, love ya brother!

    With enough 'Bud Light w Lime'

    I might share megan's wedding dance with blog....

    You already have text.


    Quantum Physics...reality yet explained

    How about Rudabaker winning D4....

    got to love it

  16. Monk can dance...

    Everyone is talking about my dance with Megan. It was unique because one of Megan's students from Ellis School shared dance floor with us along with Friend.

    Both were dressed in white gowns with white headbands. Student was accompanied by doll with hair as blond as hers...they sat on dance floor.

    While we danced, Megs explained who they were...told her "such loyalty should not go unnoticed."

    I maneuvered us close to child, leaned Megan on right hip and bowed very low to left... acknowledged Angels...the crowd gasped as I thanked them for joining us in celebration.

    Took right hand from Megan's waist and gave her small Megan was suspended and arched over hip.

    Fred Astaire could not have done better....where it came from I don't know, never heard single word of song(J. Cash siging 'In My Life')

    ...and I can't dance!

    Thinking Quantum Physics...hoping science lesson makes You Tube.

    Rumor has it, that it will.

    Nothing of significance here...just enjoying the right things...


  17. I can ramble with the best of them.

    I may not have married off a daughter but feel very emotional at having shared her first Bruce concert with 17 year-old daughter who shares a name with kid from Monk family.

    On the fence about what to do about this post from Bram. Considering filling a cooler and parading around with a sandwich board sign, a la Landsbury who could not get his mail.

    Mother-in-law grew up in housing supplied by coal company and family owed souls to the company store. We have photos.

    Boilermakers should consider all PR aspects of situation.

  18. Is Alpark Terrace covered under Constitution? - Life Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness (LLPH)

    Any Lawyers out there?

    What did Jefferson mean when he wrote this?

    Did it mean he could screw Sally Hemings like Union is screwing Alpark Terrace?

    Union has right to pursue LLPH but at our expense? Where is the balance...clearly times have changed since Sally Hemings, but to what degree?

    We have reached a consensus of sorts at Alpark Terrace....Pay us the assessed value of our homes.

    Burden of selling and recouping buyout expenditure, (cost of LLPH), problem for new owners.

    Buy out costs 60 to 75K. Recoup income 15 to 25k. This is chump change for union but a fortune to residents...

    Adams was better guy than Jefferson...Abigail was classy lady, didn't like slavery or 2nd class citizenship for women. I should change affiliation to Republican.

    But I digress...LLPH, what does it mean, and when does it mean more for one than another?


  19. "A Bud Light with Lime"