By Mike PanzittaYoung Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh (above image photo credit Emily Pumm)

I was originally going to call this “What We’re Planning to Focus on this Year” but 2016 is already half over! Happy July! I wanted to give a quick rundown of what YPA has planned in the upcoming months to give a quick update to you, all my fantastic Rust-Belt-y friends.

Happy Hour with Carrie

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This is Tour Guide Jim pointing out how awesome he and Tour Guide Tom are. (T.G.T. probably pictured in background Also in background: BIG ASS MACHINERY!) Photo Credit Emily Pumm

As you know if you came to Pittsburgh for our RBC April Summit, we love our industrial history out here in Southwest PA, and the Carrie Blast Furnace site is a prime example of how artists and preservation advocates can come together to create something you really can’t find anywhere else.

Carrie Furnace from the other side of the river. Memories of Tom… #RustBeltTakeover #ThisPlaceMatters #ThisKeystoneMatters

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If you went on the Carrie Furnace Tour in April, this is pretty much the same thing…except imagine after touring a real life going out for beers at a local brewery with your tour guide afterwards! Yeah. Sounds pretty great. This is our second year of partnering with Rivers of Steel for this event, and it promises to be amazing. I missed it last year and cannot wait!

Check out our event page for more info!

Open Streets at the Pedestrian Bridge

So many puns…so little time. Happy Valentines Day from YPA! #ypaheartbombs #ypatop10

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As an engineer and infrastructure nerd, I love infrastructure. And as a North Sider, I love the North Side. What kind of sandwich do you get when you smoosh those two loves together with some preservation mayo? You get the Allegheny Commons Pedestrian Bridge (and a really stretched metaphor).

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Lake Elizabeth in the way-back-times. The Pedestrian Bridge is way back in the left background. (Photo credit: Someone who’s definitely dead now)

The Pedestrian Bridge, which was one of our heart bomb sites last year, used to be an important connection over a rail line that runs through the park. Sadly, the deck has been removed so freight can be double-stacked on rail cars. And as much as I love train infrastructure, pedestrians come first. So we’ve been working with City Government and a couple of the local Foundations to rebuild this connection!

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What the bridge looks like now…

One of the ideas we “borrowed” from BYP is the concept of “Painting for Preservation,” an all-ages event where people are encouraged to sketch, paint, photograph, sculpt, compose music about, dance on, just in general Art a Preservation-ready site. And this time, we’re going to be a part of OpenStreets PGH, a program put on by BikePGH where they close down a bunch of roads to car traffic and people are encouraged to do…whatever they want during it! So if you’re free July 31, come say hi and hang with us! We’ll be right around the star on this map.

Dormont Pool Party!

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The Dormont Pool, pre-restoration.

Who says preservation can’t be fun and relaxing? We’re planning on celebrating one of our proudest preservation victories with a pool party August 20 at the Dormont Pool, one of the largest and oldest public pools in the state. The pool was in continuous operation from the ’20s until around 2006, when upkeep and repair costs caused it to close indefinitely. YPA put it on its 2008 Top Ten Preservation Opportunities list, and since then, the pool has reopened, back and better than ever!

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Dormont Pool today. (Photo credit: Friends of Dormont Pool)

We plan to chill, read, swim, play board games (this may just be wishful thinking on my part), and just have a good time to celebrate the summer and the pool itself. Grab your suits and join us! Read more about the event at its Facebook page. And check out Friends of Dormont Pool for more information and history!

Well, that’s the events YPA Pittsburgh has coming up in the next couple months. As always, we’ll be advocating and educating people about preservation issues in Southwest PA, but these are a couple of the “special” get-togethers we have planned. See you there!

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