"End of the Line"
Bus Billboard Collages
[ see them on the buses ]
Urban Removal | Neighborhood Gardens | Local Heroes | Community-based Renovation | Neighborhood Libraries
A strong theme that emerged from our interviews at library workshops
is the impact of large road and building projects on Pittsburgh's residential
neighborhoods. Even the threat of such construction is enough to deflate
housing values and send an area into decline. People spoke of the horrors
that noise, debris, dislocation and permanent disruption highway construction
can have on their community. These projects clearly serve the interests
of suburban and outlying populations at the expense of city residents.
There are numerous community gardens that sustain the aesthetic and culinary
needs of Pittsburgh's city residents. They are maintained by hundreds of
volunteer gardeners. We found several garden based beautification projects
located in small areas adjacent to PAT bus stops. Garden enthusiasts can
also meditate on the artwork and architectural remnants in the beds of the
Olde Allegheny Garden Society or catch scenic views of the Northside between
ears of corn in a community vegetable garden on the slopes of Polish Hill.
At every workshop we heard stories of the unsung heroes of Pittsburgh,
the people whose daily contribution to their fellow Pittsburghers made their
neighborhood a positive place to live. Although most of these people will
never get a statue in their honor or a bank to bear their name, we feel
it is critical to acknowledge their role in building their communities.
We feature one such person, Ruth Rosfeld, as a symbol of the numerous individuals
whose civic excellence truly illustrates the motto of Pittsburgh as "America's
Most Livable city."
The flip side to "urban removal" is the pro-active stance that
neighborhood groups are taking to improve the physical conditions of buildings
in their areas. Through their efforts many dedicated workers counteract
the media stereotypes of the inner-city neighborhood as a place of danger,
apathy and physical decay. Their projects range in size and scale and many
organizations, such as Youthbuild based in Homewood, have social missions
such as training and educating young people, that allow them to impact the
community beyond just renovating old homes.
(announcement poster for bus interiors)
Our announcement poster celebrates the six participating Carnegie Branch
libraries as centers of their neighborhoods and doorways to knowledge. Images
also honor the community workshop process whereby many individuals contributed
stories, images and time to the "End of the Line" art project.