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sean mcdaniel

Some groups on the n.side are doing the same thing. unfortunately, the prices they charge for rehabbed homes is amazingly high for less than trendy (and even less appealing) streets such as james, foreland, suismon and other less than trendy streets. in addition, one group, the east allegheny citizens org (or something like that) often sells some of the least desireable properties to the URA (though usually for modest sums). For whatever reasons, this stuff moves so slowly in Pittsburgh. Going on nearly 40 years now, the transformation of the Mexican War Streets continues to sputter along, as is the case in Manchester.

Actually I know two reasons, schools and safety. During the early 1980s, my wife and I seriously considered a home on Jacksonia Street, a MexWar street, just a few doors away from the mattress factory. Back then drug dealers congregated near the home's gated front yard, by a stop sign. Shootings frequently occurred within a few blocks, many fatal (the shootings, that is). Today, guess what? It's the same scene — 25 years later.

And the schools, well, I can imagine they're only worse. And I really don't want to imagine.

The mexican wars streets are charming. But the considerable number of young black men standing on corners or haunting the alleys don't provide a sense of security. Nor does the unforgiveable number of young black men who get gunned down on those seemingly peaceful streets.

Let's just imagine what will happen when a stray bullet strikes a white resident walking his or her yorkie one night. Sometimes i wonder if that's what it really take to sweep the drugs and danger out of the area. But I hope not.

Sam M


All that sounds an awful lot like the old Patterson Park. I think one of the admirable things about this articles is that it admits that no one in completely sure why this neighborhood was able to make a turnaround like it did:

"The striking turnaround was at least partly dependent upon market forces, including an unprecedented housing boom - now muted - and a resurgence in urban living. And not every neighborhood is anchored by a 137-acre park."

Replicate this program. Will it succeed again? I don;t know. Seems like the people who ran it were pretty smart. But even if you take the same people who ran this program and move them five streets over. Will they succeed again? I don't think it's a sure thing at all. Move them a few hundred miles to a different city? Now things get really complicated. Why fo some neighborhoods redevelop without any programs at all? Why do some resist milions and millions of dollars in investment directed by really sincere people?

Strange stuff.

sean mcdaniel

Well, the park on n. side might not be 137 acres, but Paterson Park turned itself around in a decades. We're looking at 4 decades here on the North Side. Interestingly, a row of houses on Allegheny Avenue, just across from Beech Street, was renovated about 5 years ago. Their value really hasn't increased, and they are constantly for sale or empty. What's missing? Well, it's not Beech Street. The homes aren't as nice (but they're still decent) and there are no trees. Move it over one street, a hundred feet, the equation turns out so much differently.

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