Summary Information
Title: Allegheny Conference On Community Development (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Records,
Collection Number: MSS#285
Creator: Allegheny Conference On Community Development (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Collection Dates: 1920-1993
Extent: 188.5 linear feet (377 boxes)
Abstract:
The Allegheny Conference on Community Development is a nonprofit organization that works with the public and private sectors to improve the economy and quality of life of the Pittsburgh region. The organization has worked to curtail air pollution, establish Point State Park, consolidate public transit operations, assist minority-owned businesses, and develop Pittsburgh's Cultural District. The records include minutes, correspondence, reports and printed materials. The records document the large scope of the involvement of the Conference in the planning and redevelopment of the greater Pittsburgh region.

Language:

The material in this collection is in English.

Repository:

Senator John Heinz History Center
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412-454-6364
library@hswp.org
http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/libraryArchives.aspx

Date Published:

April 2010
Author:

The guide to this collection was written by David R. Grinnell.
Encoder:

Encoded by Matt Strauss on April 28, 2010, from an existing finding aid.

History

The Allegheny Conference can trace its origins to a meeting of Richard King Mellon, Dr. Edward R. Weidlein, President of the Mellon Institute, and Wallace Richards, Secretary of the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association, in Washington DC during the Winter of 1943. According to Weidlein, “We talked about the future of Pittsburgh in the Post War years and came to the conclusion that unless something was done, Pittsburgh would become a dying city.” (Lorant, p.381) Their thoughts evolved into the creation of an organization that would do research and study on the region, which would create a community improvement plan. Following this meeting Weidlein, Richards and Dr. Robert E. Doherty, President of Carnegie Institute of Technology, invited forty individuals from business, industry and politics for a luncheon at the William Penn in the Spring of 1943. Doherty presided at the meeting and outlined many of the problems faced by the community. It was then agreed to formally organize the group into what was then known as, the Allegheny Conference on Post-War Community Planning. Doherty was elected as the chairman, Weidlein as vice-chairman, Richards as secretary and later, Vincent Lanfear, Dean of the School of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, as the treasurer. The main body of the Conference became known at the Citizens Sponsoring Committee. Soon, the Conference occupied office space in the Cathedral of Learning.

In 1944 the Citizens Sponsoring Committee approved the Incorporation of the Conference and its Bylaws, which established an Executive Committee. The Incorporators consist of: Doherty, Arthur E. Braun, L. W. Monterverde, J. Steele Gow, Alexander Reed, and Edgar J. Kaufmann. During this year, the Conference also altered its name to Allegheny Conference On Community Development. They establish new office in the Magee Building in downtown Pittsburgh. Willard E. Hotchkiss is listed as the Executive Director and presumable the first to hold that position. Some of the early working committees established by the Conference were: Economic Problems, Employment, Financial Resources, Health, Housing and Neighborhood Development, Land Use and Zoning, Legislation, Public Improvements, Highways, Mass Transportation, Parking, Refuse Disposal, Smoke Abatement, Stream Pollution Abatement, Water Supply, Recreation, Research Coordination, Welfare, Agriculture, Cultural Development and Smoke Abatement.

On February 1, 1945, Park H. Martin was hired as the second Executive Director. Under his leadership the Allegheny Conference had it first major victory, the passage of the Pittsburgh Package in the State Legislature. The Pittsburgh Package was a series of bills that helped to establish more smoke control in Allegheny County, insured the extension of the Penn-Lincoln parkway, new garbage disposal plants, the establishment of a Transit and Traffic Commission, permitting the State to take ownership of several bridges, establish a Parking Authority, establish a Department of Parks, and permitting the broadening of the tax base by allowing taxes on sources other than real estate. This was a huge step in insuring that local government agencies would have the power to move the Pittsburgh Region in a direction that was envisioned by local planners. In 1959, Martin accepted the position of Secretary of Highways for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Edward J. Magee succeeded Martin as the Executive Director. Under Magee the Conference continued it redevelopment of Point State Park, Gateway Center and the Lower Hill. The coordination of these projects proved to be a major coup for Magee. He later resigned in 1968.

Robert B. Pease, the former Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Redevelopment Authority, succeeded Magee as the Executive Director of the Allegheny Conference. Under Pease’s leadership the Conference’s focus was expanded to include more about the living conditions and climate of the citizens of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. After the explosion of the racial riots in 1968, the Conference instituted a program to assists minority business growth. They established programs that would encourage minorities to open businesses, they provided leadership training for them and also low interest loans and grants. These programs were coordinated with local banks, business leaders and social service groups.

Pease remained the Executive Director until 1992. He had one the longest tenure in that position to date. Under his leadership Pittsburghers saw the rise of Three Rivers Stadium, the USX Tower, Oxford Center, Fifth Avenue Place, and PPG Place. The Offices of the Conference moved from the Magee Building after the construction of the USX Tower. In the Tower, the Conference had a suite of offices designed for its multifaceted work.

In 1992, Richard Stafford took over the leadership of the Conference as the Executive Director. Recently, with the construction of the new headquarters of ALCOA on the North Shore, the Conference Offices have moved the old ALCOA building. It continues to be active as a cooperative agency.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Allegheny Conference On Community Development Records are housed in 357 boxes and are arranged alphabetically in twenty series. Series have been designated for Annual Dinners; Articles; Community Activities Advisor; Conventions; Director of Planning; Executive Director; Financial Materials; Highland Park Zoo—Aquarium; Highways; Lower Hill Redevelopment; Mellon Square Park; News Releases; Pittsburgh Bicentennial Association; Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association; Point Park Committee; Planning, Recreation, Conservation and Park Council; Report Library; Three Rivers Stadium; and Topical Files. These records include minutes, correspondence, reports and printed materials. The records document the large scope of the involvement of the Conference in the planning and redevelopment of the Greater Pittsburgh region.

The arrangement of the records has been recreated by the order in which they appeared to have been used or created by the Conference Staff. This order was most often very apparent to the processor. However, on some occasions it was not and therefore, best judgment in the arrangement of these records was used. Many of these records were maintained by separate individuals in a variety of capacities at the Conference Offices. Therefore, material found in the Topical Folders Series may have additional or duplicated papers in other series, such as, the Executive Director or the Director of Planning. Researchers searching for specific topics need to be aware that it may be necessary to search in several series.

Series I: Annual Dinner (1945-1991)

This series consists of 6 boxes of records and is arranged chronologically. Starting in 1945, the Conference hosted an annual dinner meeting, which quickly grew to a large number of participants, including speakers and guests. These records document the names of the individual who were invited to attend, whether a member, guest or speaker.

Series II: Articles (1944-1987)

These series consists of 6 boxes of materials and is arranged alphabetically. Two subseries emerged from this series: Miscellaneous Writings and National & Regional Periodicals.

The subseries, Miscellaneous Writings appears to be a collection of papers and articles written by members or employees of the Conference. They are arranged alphabetically by the title of the article or by subject.

The subseries, National & Regional Periodicals is a collection of articles written in periodicals about Greater Pittsburgh, focusing on its redevelopment and its history. They are arranged alphabetically by the title of the periodical and then by the title of the article. If the author is known, it is indicated on the container list. Of special note is a folder listed as “Bibliography,” This contains a chronological list of the many articles that were written about Greater Pittsburgh’s redevelopment or history.

Series III: Community Activities Advisor (1968-1978)

This series consists of 7 boxes of records and is arranged alphabetically into these six subseries: Bernard Jones Files, Economic Development Committee Loans, Economic Development Committee Proposals, National Alliance of Businessmen, Opportunities Industrialization Centers, and Requests.

The subseries, Bernard Jones Files, appear to be the topical folders of Mr. Jones when he was the Community Activities Advisor. These folders are arranged alphabetically. They are primarily correspondence.

The subseries, Economic Development Committee Loans, consists of case files of the loans to local business, approved through the Conference. These folders are arranged alphabetically by the name of the business. They are primarily correspondence.

The subseries, Economic Development Committee Proposals, consists of case files of proposals to fund community groups or businesses. These folders are arranged alphabetically by the name of the group. They are primarily correspondence.

The subseries, National Alliance of Businessmen, consists of documents concerned with the JOBS program. These folders are topical and arranged alphabetically. They are primarily correspondence and organizational materials.

The subseries, Opportunities Industrialization Centers, consists of general files that are arranged chronologically.

The subseries, Requests, consists of case files of requests for funding through the Conference. These folders are arranged alphabetically by the name of the institution that is making the request. They are primarily correspondence and supporting documents.

Series IV: Conventions (1964-1975)

This series consists of 1 box of records and is arranged alphabetically by the name of organization that is sponsoring the convention. These appear to be conventions that the Allegheny Conference either participated in or promoted Pittsburgh as the host city.

Series V: Director of Planning (1988 -1992)

This series consists of 6 boxes of records and is arranged alphabetically into three subseries: Committees; Conservation, Recreation and Redevelopment; and Transportation.

The subseries, Committees, consists of records of a variety of groups that are not always part of the Allegheny Conference. However, Conference staff may participate in these groups. The folders are arranged alphabetically by the name of the group. They consist of correspondence and supporting documents.

The subseries, Conservation, Recreation and Redevelopment, consists of records related to the development of the city of Pittsburgh. The folders are arranged alphabetically by the name of a project and consist mainly of correspondence and supporting documents.

The subseries Transportation, consists of records related to the continued development of public and air transportation in the Greater Pittsburgh region. The folders are arranged alphabetically by subject and consist mainly of correspondence and supporting documents.

Series VI: Executive Director (1934-1990)

This series consists of 26 boxes of topical files maintained by the Executive Director of the Allegheny Conference. It appears that this filling system was created when Edward J. Magee was the Executive Director and was continued when Robert B. Pease held that position. The folders are arranged alphabetically by topic.

Of special note are the many folders of Appointment Books, which gives a research a glimpse of vastness of the daily activities of the Executive Director. The Appointment books are arranged chronologically.

Records of the Executive Committee are also located in this series. They are arranged chronologically and compliment records located in the Topical series.

Records of the Sponsoring Committee are also located in this series. They are arranged alphabetically by title. This is the most comprehensive location for material on this group, which forms the membership of the Conference.

Series VII: Financial Records (1947-1988)

This series consists of 72 boxes of records and is arranged alphabetically by these thirteen subseries: Employee Benefits, Fundraising--Special Funds, Fundraising--Operating Funds, Fundraising--Topical, Special Fund #1, Special Fund #4, Special Fund #6--Grants, Special Fund #6--Loans, Special Fund #6--Topical, Special Fund #6--Pending, Special Fund #7, Special Fund #11, Topical Folders.

The subseries, Employee Benefits is arranged alphabetically by topic. These records include mainly information concerning the Pension Plan and its changes as the Conference grew and had more employees. These records consist of correspondence and statements.

The subseries, Fundraising--Operating Fund is arranged alphabetically by the name of the individual or company that is being solicited by the Conference for donations to its operating funds. This subseries reads like a who’s who of Pittsburgh area wealthy and major businesses. The folders consist mainly of correspondence. Of special note is that for the early years of this direct mail fundraising effort, the Allegheny Conference and the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association solicited these funds jointly. This leads one to believe that the physical as well as the financial connection of these two agencies is extremely intertwined.

Series VIII: Highland Park Zoo—Aquarium (1953-1969)

This series consists of 2 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically by folder heading. They consist mainly of documents centered on the construction and maintaining of the Aquarium at the Highland Park Zoo. It appears that this series may have originated in the Topical Files of the Conference Offices, but had become inactive and was then removed.

Series IX: Highways(1938-1984)

This series consists of 4 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically by topic or structure. They consist mainly of correspondence, supporting documents, reports and programs.

Series X: Lower Hill Redevelopment (1949-1985)

This series consists of 2 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically by topic. They consist mainly of correspondence, reports, news releases and printed materials. This series contains records of the beginnings of redevelopment in the Hill thru more current uses of the Mellon Arena by sports teams. It appears that this series may have originated in the Topical Files of the Conference Offices, but had become inactive and was then removed.

Series XI: Mellon Square Park (1949-1959)

This series consists of 2 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically by topic. They consist mainly of correspondence, contracts and reports centering around the construction and maintenance of Mellon Square Park in the Golden Triangle of Pittsburgh. It appears that this series may have originated in the Topical Files of the Conference Offices, but had become inactive and was then removed.

Series XII: News Releases (1955-1982)

This series consists of 1 box of records and is arranged alphabetically by topic. These folders consist of news releases send out by the Conference and also those that were received by the Conference.

Series XIII: Pittsburgh Bicentennial Association (1951-1972)

This series consists of 1 box of records that are arranged alphabetically by topic. These folders consist mainly of correspondence and other supporting documents on this organization that was formed to coordinate the Bicentennial celebration of Pittsburgh in 1958. It appears that this series may have originated in the Topical Files of the Conference Offices, but had become inactive and was then removed.

Series XIV: Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association (1920-1985)

This series consists of 11 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically by topic. These folders consist mostly of the Minutes of the Association. Records of the Minutes begin in 1944 and continue until 1981 when the organization was disbanded. It appears that because of the shared office space with the Allegheny Conference that the Conference then became the custodians to the records of the Association.

Series XV: Point Park Committee (1937-1981)

This series consists of 8 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically by topic. These folders consist mainly of correspondence and reports centered on the creation and maintenance of Point State Park in Downtown Pittsburgh. It appears that this series may have originated in the Topical Files of the Conference Offices, but had become inactive and was then removed.

Series XVI: Planning (1930-1981)

This series consists of 9 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically into two subseries: Planning in Allegheny County and Planning Outside Allegheny County.

The subseries, Planning in Allegheny County consists of folders arranged alphabetically by the title of a project or building. The folders on individual buildings contain a wealth of information on either the construction of the structure or its use.

The subseries, Planning Outside Allegheny County consists of folders arranged alphabetically by the name of a city or country. These folders contain general information on other locations that either assisted Pittsburgh planners or that studied Pittsburgh Redevelopment for the implementation of redevelopment plans in their city or region.

Series XVII: Recreation, Conservation and Park Council (1939-1971)

This series consists of 3 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically by topic. These folders consist mostly of reports on the annual Spring and Fall Flower Shows at Phipps Conservatory. It appears that this series may have originated in the Topical Files of the Conference Offices, but had become inactive and was then removed.

Series XVIII: Report Library (1923-1993)

This series consists of 62 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically by topic. There are 54 distinct subseries found in this series. They are: Aliquippa; Aviation; Art; Capital Investments; Conservation; Convention Center; Cultural Activities; Directories; Economic Development; Education; Employment; Energy; Environmental Protection; Environmental Scan; Exhibit Hall; Fiscal Planning; Foundations and Trusts; Gateway Center; Golden Triangle; Government; Health and Welfare; Highways; History; Hotels; Housing; Industry; Japan; Labor; Land Use and Zoning; Legislation; Libraries; Metropolitan Study Commission; Miscellaneous; Parking; Planning; Point Redevelopment; Population; Port of Pittsburgh; Poverty; Public Relations; Recreation; Research; RIDC; Sanitation; Southwest PA Regional Planning Commission; Stream Pollution; Television; Traffic; Transportation; Urban Coalition; Urban Crisis; Urban Redevelopment; Water Supply; Welfare; and Zoning. These folders consist of published and unpublished reports and pamphlets related to the topic of the subseries.

Series XIX: Three Rivers Stadium (1957-1978)

This series consists of 4 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically by topic. These folders consist of correspondence, reports and agreements centered on the construction and maintenance of Three Rivers Stadium. It appears that this series may have originated in the Topical Files of the Conference Offices, but had become inactive and was then removed.

Series XX: Topical (1929-1992)

This series is the largest series in this collection. It consists of 123 boxes of records that are arranged alphabetically by topic. There are 83 distinct subseries found in this series. They are: Aviation; Biographical Sketches; Bridges; Business Resource Center, Caliguiri Memorial, Citizens Service Project; Civic Business Council; Committee for Economic Development; Convention Center; Culture; Downtown; Downtown Study; Drug & Alcohol Abuse; Economic Development Committee; Education; Education Fund; Energy; Executive Committee; Flood Control; Forbes Fund; Forks of the Ohio National Park; General Correspondence; Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce; Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau; Greater Pittsburgh Office of Promotion; Health and Welfare; Health Policy Institute; Hill District Task Force; Historical; Home Rule Charter; Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania; Hotel Tax; Housing; Intergovernmental Cooperation Program; Jones, Bernard H.; Legislation; Lorant Book; Lower Hill Redevelopment; Market Square; Martin, Park H.; Mass Transportation; MIT, Mellon Square; Memorials; Metropolitan Affairs Non-Profit Corporation; Metropolitan Study Commission; Minority Enterprise Initiative; Minority Small Business Investment Company; Minority Entrepreneur Loan Program; Monongahela Valley Redevelopment; National Alliance of Business; National Conference of Christians & Jews; North Shore Redevelopment; Partners for Livable Places; Penn’s Southwest Association; Pennsylvania Business Roundtable; Pennsylvania Economy League; Personnel; Pittsburgh Clean City Committee; Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; Pittsburgh New Futures; Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development; Pittsburgh Photographic Survey; Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association; Private Industry Council; Sculpture; Small Business Administration; Smoke Control; Railroads; Schenley Park; Southwestern PA Regional Planning Commission; Television; Tokar, Franklin; Transit Planning Task Force; University of Pittsburgh; Urban League; Urban Redevelopment Authority; Urban Youth Action; Water Committee; Western Pennsylvania Conservancy; Wood Street Commons. These folders consist of correspondence, reports, supporting documents and minutes.


Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

In the Topical Series, Personnel Subseries, the folders under the subtitled “Individuals” [Box 327, Folder 9 thru the end of Box 330] are closed until 2015. Also in the Topical Series, Pittsburgh New Futures Subseries, folders under the subtitled “Interviews” [Box 340, Folders 9 & 10] are closed until 2015.

Aquisition Information:

These materials were received in one accession, Accession # 1994.0314, in August 1994.

Preferred Citation:

Allegheny Conference On Community Development (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Records, 1920-1993, MSS 285, Library and Archives Division, Senator John Heinz History Center

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by David R. Grinnell in July 2000.

Copyright:

Property rights reside with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Library and Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Separated Material:
Allegheny Conference On Community Development (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Photographs, MSP 285.

To the Printed Collection--Duplicates of many of the reports and publications have been cataloged separately in the Library.


Contents List
To view a detailed contents list for this collection, please contact the Heinz History Center's Library and Archives.