RBCoYP PGH Summit

Are you curious where people will be coming from for the first meeting of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists in Pittsburgh in April? WE ARE, TOO! So we decided to make this neat map of people who have already registered.

Click here to register today, and we’ll add your city to the map!

What’s Happening in 2016: Wheeling, WV

What’s Happening in 2016: Wheeling, WV

By Stephanie Wright – Wheeling Young Preservationists

Who are the Wheeling Young Preservationists?

WYP logoWe are skilled tradesmen/women, social service workers, stay at home dads, young couples restoring their dream home, bankers, political science majors, archivists, entrepreneurs, developers, local historians…we just about have it all! WYPs may come in many forms, but we have one common thread: Our passion and determination to maintain positive momentum as we usher in Wheeling’s new era of rust-belt resilience.

WYP has several ongoing projects from years past that we are excited to continue and expand upon in 2016.

Education

WYP- wood epoxy consolidation workshopLast year, WYP launched a monthly hands-on workshop series geared towards equipping young, DIY-minded preservationists with the knowledge to tackle some of their own restoration projects. Our workshops included a 3-part plaster restoration workshop, a wood epoxy consolidation workshop and a lead safety workshop. The 2016 workshop series will run from June – October; more information will be released on WYP’s Facebook page soon!

Mt. Wood Cemetery

Preservation efforts began in the summer of 2012 when a grassroots movement of several local organizations and volunteers began meeting on Mt. Wood’s behalf.

Incorporated in 1848, it is resting place for many of the area’s prominent and hardworking citizens and offers breathtaking views of the city and the Ohio River. Volunteers come together monthly to participate in the physical restoration of long-neglected headstones and monuments, and to survey, document and research each grave.

Information on the progress at Mt. Wood Cemetery can be found here.

WYP mt. wood cemetery inventory

New in 2016

WYP is excitedly planning a month-long celebration for May. This fun and education-filled Preservation Month will kick off with an Instameet on the 1st that will encourage the use of the National Trust’s #ThisPlaceMatters campaign as well as our own local version, #WheeLove. Additionally, we will be featuring local preservation success stories on our blog throughout the month, organizing community service days at The Blue Church, participating in First Friday festivities with a Plein Air-style paint and sip, and releasing a printed walking tour of Centre Market, Wheeling’s historic shopping district.

To follow our events in May, get up-to-date information on upcoming workshops and service days, please check out our website and follow us on Facebook.

A Beginner’s Guide to Pittsburgh, Part 1

By Mike Panzitta – Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

BGtPP1

So you want to learn a little about Pittsburgh before you make your big journey to the first meeting of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists in April? I don’t blame you…the City of Steel can be intimidating for a first- (or even fortieth-) time visitor. There are formidable obstacles like rivers, bridges, and tunnels, and more neighborhoods with the word “hill” in them than you can shake a fist at. Let’s start with two of the basics: Rivers and Neighborhoods.

Rivers

Pittsburgh is defined by its rivers. Our rivers are the reason Pittsburgh was able to grow from Fort Pitt in the mid-18th century to an industrial giant in the mid-20th century, and they shape a singular topography that confuses even the most geographically-inclined residents. There are three of them, so repeat after me – Allegheny (“al-uh-GEY-nee”), Monongahela (“muh-non-guh-HEEL-uh”), and Ohio (“Ohio”).

Hydrologically, the Monongahela (colloquially known as “the Mon”) flows into the Allegheny to form the Ohio. If you want to know more about the rivers, ask me (Mike)…I’ll bore you to death with both fun and less-than-fun facts.

Vocab word of the day: “Confluence.” It’s the meeting of two or more bodies of water. In Pittsburgh, we call our confluence “The Point,” and it’s the home of Point State Park. Point State Park was the site of two of Pittsburgh’s original structures – Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne – and was declared a National Historic Landmark just one year after the Park was built in 1974. It’s also home to a much-loved and recently renovated fountain, the marketing campaign for which is one of our favorites (“If there is no fountain, what’s The Point?”).  Fun fact – one of the alternate plans for the park was designed by some guy who went by the name Frank Lloyd Wright. The plan was rejected by the city…sorry, Frank!

Neighborhoods

This section title is a bit misleading since there are something like 92 neighborhoods in Pittsburgh city-proper, and even some of those are questionable (I’m looking at you, Hays). But I’ll run you through a few of the areas you’d expect to encounter on this visit so you can act as cool as an old pro.

The Golden Triangle is what we call Downtown (pronounced “Dahn-tahn”). It’s sandwiched between the Allegheny and the Mon, which determined the original triangular street grid of the city. It’s home to incredible architecture, and is currently experiencing a boom in residential occupancy like many downtown areas across the country. The tip of the Golden Triangle is the Point!

The North Side is what we call pretty much all the neighborhoods north of the Allegheny. Formerly a separate entity known as Allegheny City, it was annexed by the City of Pittsburgh in 1907 (think: Brooklyn). The North Side has an abundance of historic buildings and neighborhoods. It’s where most of you will be staying, so you’ll get to know it really well!

Mount Washington, formerly “Coal Hill,” is technically not a mountain. It’s at the elevation the land was at before the rivers came through and made it really tough to bike around, probably on purpose. If you look at a photo of Downtown Pittsburgh, there’s like an 86% chance it was taken from Mount Washington. The riverside slopes of Mount Washington are also home to these funky things called “inclines” that take you directly from the waterfront to the top of the mountain, which will afford you one of the best-known views of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas (more on what inclines are and why they exist in future posts).

The South Side is sandwiched between Mount Washington and the Monongahela and is known for a crazy high concentration of bars and restaurants. It’s a pretty common place for newly-minted 21-year-olds to go out, but there’s a lot of great less-frequented places, and the residential section is full of beautiful intact sets of historic row houses. Our row houses are one of our pride and joys! The South Side Slopes, though they sound like a ski resort, also have some of the best views of the city.

The East End lies…wait for it…east of downtown and is home to probably the greatest variety of neighborhoods. Oakland, the Hill District, Lawrenceville, and East Liberty are all prominent neighborhoods in the East End, some of which are experiencing a lot of gentrification. YPA has advocated to preserve more and more sites in the East End in recent years, and we have also seen some great examples of adaptive reuse (such as the Union Project) and some disappointing demolitions (like 6012-6018 Penn Ave).

Well, that’s enough to digest for now. See you next time, when I cover the Inclines and City Steps!

Preservation + Pints (Or Shots)

Preservation + Pints (Or Shots)

By Sarah Marsom – Young Ohio Preservationists

Craft breweries and distilleries have swept Ohio by storm. Many breweries are hoping to revitalize the state’s history as a beer capital, and many distilleries are using historical beverages to inspire their contemporary palates. Here are a few places you should try!

Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus – Columbus, Ohio

Both a popular bar and eye catching building in Columbus, Elevator Brewery’s history dates back to 1897. Located in the Bott Brothers’ Billiards building, this contemporary bar thrives on its historical elements—the billiards tables from the 1800s, stained glass entry, tile floors, decorative ceilings, and a well preserved bar. The Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Columbia Building. You can go to www.elevatorbrewing.com for more information.

elevator breweryImage source: elevatorbrewing.com

Rhinegeist – Cincinnati, Ohio*

Rhinegeist means “ghost of the Rhine”, and bringing a ghost back to life is exactly what this beer company did! Located in the historic Over-the-Rhine brewery district, Rhinegeist is revitalizing the beer industry, which, with the area, thrived in the late 1800s. Prohibition put 38 breweries out of business and left countless German immigrants unemployed. In the recent past, developers have been revitalizing the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, and Rhinegeist has sparked new life into Christian Moerling Brewing Company’s old bottling plant. Want to learn more about the building’s history and Rhinegeist? Take one of their guided tours. You can learn more at www.rhinegeist.com.

*Cincinnati is also home to underground brewery tours! This town’s beer history is deep!

rhinegeist Image source: rhinegeist.com

Homestead Beer Co  – Licking County, Ohio

While the brewery is not in a historic building, Homestead Beer Co has its headquarters in the very historic community of Granville, and the name evokes wonderment of the original farm settlements, which created a thriving Licking County in the 1800s. Homestead Brewing does not use modern yeast strains, instead preferring yeast which could have been used by grandfathers of the past to brew. With brew names such as 1805, Five Points Irish, and Barnraiser, one knows the people behind Homestead use the past as inspiration to create contemporary drinks. Go to www.homesteadbeerco.com to learn more.

homesteadImage source: homesteadbeerco.com

E.S. Distillery – outside Fremont, Ohio

Located in a 120-year-old barn, the Ernesto Scarano distillery is also worth a visit. This craft distillery is supposedly the smallest legal whiskey distillery in America. Visit www.esdistillery.com for more information.

What are some of your favorite bars, breweries, or distilleries in Ohio with historic elements?  Add your favorites to the list in the comments section below.