July 5, 2022

Viscosi Media


The pit in the Hill District drives the growth of the CEC community

4 min read

Accordingly Allegheny Council for the Improvement of Our Neighborhood AreaPitt’s Oakland area Extended In connection with the crisis of urban renovation in Pittsburgh in the 50’s, a little less than a century. When there is no direct attacker at the university Displacement In Pittsburgh communities, it is actively working to improve relationships with these communities.

One of the ways Pitt aims to do this is through community engagement centers, the oldest of which is in Homewood and Founded in 2018. Meanwhile, located on Wylie Avenue, the Pitt CEC Pitt’s in the Hill District is closest to the Oakland campus.

Pitt’s current CEC building on Wiley Avenue in the Hill District.
(John Blair | Senior Staff Photographer)

Pitt’s Community Engagement Center His doors opened Just a year ago in the hilly district. As part of the CEC, Pitt has also ensured this 15 years commitment According to Kirk Holbrooke, director of Hill CEC, at least in the neighborhood areas of this partnership. According to the CEC website, the goal of the time commitment is to allow the university and Pittsburgh communities to grow stronger together.

At the beginning of its history, the building with what is now Pitt CEC was once Pittsburgh Hebrew Institute. The building was used for cultural education for Jewish immigrant children in the early 20th century. The Hebrew letters still stand on the door, declaring it the Hebrew Institute of Pittsburgh, although it no longer serves that purpose.

Further, 1908 became Wiley Avenue K Boys Club. The program provided after-school activities for children affected, more generally for children Financial turmoil Like the Pittsburgh Hebrew Institute at the time, the K Boys Club provided a place for people with a common background to come together and collaborate.

Brenda Tate, a longtime community member and member Neighborhood Advisory Council For the Hill District Community Engagement Center, she fondly remembers her childhood memories at the K Boys Club.

“This building has played a big role in my life and growth. In fact, the room we were in used to be a kindergarten room, a young nursery type room, ”Tate said. “When it was K Boys Club, I spent time in this room because you change into different rooms for each age group.”

According to Tate, Hill CEC is doing everything that previous organizations did in the same building – providing community space for meaningful access. While this is now a pit-attached building, its main goal is to serve as a resource for the community.

Now, both Pitt students and community members can come together and engage in the resources and programs Hill Hill CEC offers, according to Tate. The building is now called Blackie Program CenterTribute to Bill Blake, who did a great deal of community work through the Hill House Association.

According to Tate, Pitt had a low-ideal relationship with the former Hill District community. There is a major reason for this Urban renovation in Pittsburgh. Urban renewals took place throughout the country and even in cities around the world in the 1950s. It included plans to build various cities, at the same time demolishing inferior buildings in poor areas. Various urban renovation projects have had a disproportionate impact on blacks and migrants.

In Pittsburgh, the Civil Redevelopment Authority Essential buildings demolishedTo make way for the urban area, including residences in the Lower Hill District. Over time, the The civic arena was demolished Although much of the civic grounds were disturbed by the building, the removal was further exacerbated by the relocation of the Hill District to the capital, Pittsburgh.

The URA also demolished buildings now considered North Auckland. Although now considered a predominantly pitted area, it was not always so. Prior to the urban renovation, North Auckland was considered part of the Hill District. The Cost Sports Center, Tree Hall and Peterson Event Center are now there.

Regarding the commitment between Pitt and Hill District, another member of the Hill District Community Engagement Centre’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, LaVet Wagner, said that trust builds trust between the organization and the community when it provides support.

“The organization is for the right things in society, to help the community build community, not to take and leave the community,” Wagner said.

According to Holbrooke, the CEC regularly organizes events that bring together Pitt’s resources that work together with the ideas that the community has and make their dreams come true. Some events are included Career information sessions, Data literacy and skills training, PittServes And Swanson School Collaborative Outreach And others.

With Marlow Hall, a community resident, and Hill CEC’s former outreach coordinator, now Pitts, the ease with which this CEC works is a key factor. Creativity CenterSo in addition to online resources, phone calls and physical flyers are made.

Right now, there’s Pitt 6 million investment In the New Granada Theater and in the brand new adjoining building which the Hill Community Development Corporation will develop as a new site for CEC in the Hill District.

The New Granada Theater, Pitt’s new CEC building, on Center Avenue in the Hill District.
(John Blair | Senior Staff Photographer)

An important part of such an investment is that Pitt currently has funding for the community, which, according to Holbrooke, is not something they will have to wait for. The money did not come from loans or grants, Holbrooke said, indicating what Pitt is doing to establish good relations with the Hill District community.

According to Holbrooke, Pitt has left ownership in the hands of each CEC to build stronger community ties. Holbrooke said the goal is to preserve community engagement centers as a guarantor center between Pitt and the communities he works with.

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