Summary Information
Title: Preservation Pittsburgh Records
Collection Number: AIS.2005.03
Creator: Preservation Pittsburgh.

Collection Dates: Bulk, 1991-1998
Collection Dates: 1985-2005
Extent: 7.25 linear feet (plus 3 cassette tapes and plaque)

Language: English

Abstract:
These records contain documents collected by Mary J. Paradise, founding president of Preservation Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization devoted to the retention and creation of designated historic districts and buildings within the City of Pittsburgh. The records span 1985-2005 and consist of general correspondence of the organization, meeting minutes, bylaws, committees, reports, research, and specific projects that Preservation Pittsburgh undertook.
Publisher:

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
412-648-3232
archives-ref@mail.pitt.edu
Date Published:

February 2011
Author:

Finding aid prepared by Bryan M. Moll.
History

Founded by Mary J. Paradise in 1991, the nonprofit organization, Preservation Pittsburgh, was born out of an unsuccessful, although very significant, attempt to prevent the demolition of an Oakland landmark: the Syria Mosque. A performance venue located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Bigalow Boulevard in Oakland, the Syria Mosque was designed by Huehl, Schmidt & Holmes architectural firm of Chicago and constructed in 1912. As part of an official Master Plan, the University of Pittsburgh successfully lobbied (although perhaps illegitimately) the Pittsburgh City Planning Commission to raze the Syria Mosque to make way for an expansion of its medical facilities. Preservation Pittsburgh emerged out of the mobilization of concerned citizens in a very public protest and campaign known as the "Save the Syria Mosque Organization.” Despite attempts by the Pittsburgh City Council to preserve the building, the Syria Mosque was torn down beginning in August 1991; today the site contains a parking lot.

This mobilization effort gave birth to Preservation Pittsburgh, which soon developed into a viable activist group with an advanced structure of bylaws, officers, a vast membership, and numerous committees in place, each with a prerogative concerning the retention and creation of designated historic landmarks, buildings, and districts. The organization’s mission statement advocates for public awareness of local history and preservation, as well as the promotion of relevant goals to public officials, most notably the City Council. It has functioned to mitigate and instigate deliberations between government and development institutions, private groups, and citizen organizations in favor of its mission. It also has financially supported the creation and restoration of endangered historic landmarks, primarily buildings. Significant successful campaigns include the designation and restoration of Schenley Farms as a historic district as well as the Oakland Civic Center. Preservation Pittsburgh also supported the designation of the King Estate as a historic landmark, and other nineteenth-century mansions such as the former Victoria Hall, now the Waldorf School. Ascetic projects were also successfully undertaken to ban excessive billboard signs by recommending stringent regulations to the Pittsburgh City Planning Commission.


Collection Scope and Content Notes

The Preservation Pittsburgh Records retained by Mary J. Paradise (founder) contain original drafts as well as final copies of correspondence, key contacts of influence, and institutional records such as committee reports, grants allocated by the city, membership lists, project files, meeting minutes, bylaws, composed document histories, newspaper clippings, and research. The bulk of the material dates from 1991, when Preservation Pittsburgh was officially formed, to 1998.


Arrangement

The records are arranged into the following three series:

Series I. Committee to Save the Syria Mosque, 1991-1995

Series II. Administrative Files, 1992-1999

Series III. Project and Relevant Organization Files, 1981-1998


Subject Terms

Topics
  • Architecture -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Historic buildings -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Historic buildings -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- Conservation and restoration
  • Historic districts -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Historic preservation -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Nonprofit organizations -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

Corporate Names
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.). City Planning Commission.
  • Preservation Pittsburgh.
  • Syria Mosque (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

Locations
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- Conservation and restoration

Genres/Forms
  • Administrative records
  • Bylaws (Administrative records)
  • Correspondence
  • Minutes
  • Photographs

Category
  • Architecture
  • Associations

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Preferred Citation:

Preservation Pittsburgh Records, 1985-2005, AIS.2005.03, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Bryan M. Moll during the fall 2010.

Copyright:

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.


Collection Inventory

Series I. Committee to Save the Syria Mosque, Bulk, 1991-1992 1987-1995


Box 1
Folder 1-2 Chronology of the Syria Mosque events organized by Mary Paradise, 1991
Folder 3 Historic Review Commission chronology & other reports by history organizations, 1981-1982
Folder 4 Historic Review Commission, minutes and reports, research for pending Alleghany County Court case, 1981-1982
Folder 5 Research for litigation to save the Syria Mosque, 1982-1991
Folder 6 Historic Review Commission, research material, 1982-1991
Folder 7-8 A History in Documents, Syria Mosque, Schenley Farms, 1987-1991
Folder 9 The Syria Mosque & University of Pittsburgh, Newspaper Coverage & Letters, 1991
Folder 10 City Planning Commission, Historic Review Commission, research material, 1991
Folder 11 Syria Mosque legal correspondence and fees, 1991
Folder 12 Planning litigation to save the Syria Mosque, research & correspondence, 1991
Folder 13 Historic Review Commission, clarification points, 1991
Folder 14 Syria Mosque Advocacy planning, 1991
Folder 15 Protest letters, meeting for Oakland hosted by the City Planning Commission, 1991
Folder 16 Newspaper coverage, editorials, 1991
Folder 17 Correspondence to Norman C. Arbes, Bureau for Historic Preservation, 1991
Folder 18 Save Syria Mosque presentation to Commissioners of City Planning, 1991
Folder 19 Protest letters, 1991
Folder 20 Jim Ferlo to Jack Paradise, how to designate a historic district or landmark, 1991
Folder 21 Allegheny County Court of Pleas case, Committee to Save the Syria Mosque v. National Development Corporation et al, 1991
Folder 22 Syria Mosque, research and correspondence, 1991
Folder 23 Mass advocacy mailing, Save the Syria Mosque Committee, 1991
Folder 24-25 Assorted Chronology, Syria Mosque, Schenley Farms Historic District, Oakland Civic Center, 1991-1992
Folder 26 Syria Mosque, research & correspondence, City Planning Commission, 1991-1992
Folder 27 Syria Mosque, research & correspondence, 1991-1992
Folder 28 Save the Syria Mosque, John G. Ranges, Chief of Chambers Development Company, 1991-1992
Folder 29 Syria Mosque, University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees, 1991-1993
Folder 30 Syria Mosque, research & correspondence, University of Pittsburgh, Commission of City Planning, 1991
Folder 31 Protest Photographs, 1991
Folder 32 Ferlo proposal to the City Planning Commission, 1991
Folder 33 Committee to Save the Syria Mosque argues for designated historic landmark, 1991
Folder 34 Save the Syria Mosque media, Preservation Pittsburgh unofficially formed, 1991
Folder 35 Preservation Pittsburgh organized, 1991
Folder 36 Supreme Court of Pennsylvania favors Mosque supporters, 1991
Folder 37 Advocacy, outreach, Preservation Pittsburgh mission, 1992
Folder 38 Designation of the Syria Mosque site, Preservation Pittsburgh, 1992-1996
Folder 39 University of Pittsburgh Facilities Management Memorandum, 1993

Box 6
Folder 36 Petition to "Save the Syria Mosque," 1991
Folder 37 Historic Review Commission, BOCA, 1991

Series II. Administrative Files, Bulk, 1991-1996 1991-1999


Box 2
Folder 1 Accomplishment evidence 1992-1995
Folder 2 ACLU, Legal and Organization Bylaws, 1994-1995
Folder 3 Action Planning, Preservation Pittsburgh, 1993-1994
Folder 4 Administration Binder, Paradise, 1991-1992
Folder 5 Administration assorted files, 1992-1996
Folder 6 Administration assorted files, 1993-1996
Folder 7 "The Advocate," Preservation Pittsburgh Newsletter, 1991-1995
Folder 8 "The Advocate," notes, assorted mailings, newspaper coverage, 1993-1996
Folder 9 Annual Award, the Jamie D. Van Trump Award, 1994-1995
Folder 10 Annual Award, James D. Van Trump, Jim Ferlo, 1992-1993
Folder 11 Annual Dinner Meeting, 1991-1993
Folder 12 Annual Dinner Meeting, 1993
Folder 13 Annual Dinner Meeting, Second, Goals established, 1992-1993
Folder 14 Annual Dinner Meeting, Third, 1994
Folder 15 Annual Dinner Meeting, Victoria Hall 1994
Folder 16 Annual Dinner Meeting, 1995
Folder 17 Annual Reports, 1991-1993
Folder 18 Annual Reports, 1994
Folder 19 Articles of Incorporation, Original bylaws, consultation, tax exemptions, 1992
Folder 20 Articles of Incorporation, Internal Revenue Services, Bylaws, 1992-1993
Folder 21 Board of Directors, Preservation Pittsburgh, 1994
Folder 22 Budget & Reports, 1991-1996
Folder 23 Bylaws drafting, 501-C-4, Add Hoc Committee, 1994
Folder 24 Bylaws drafting & reform, 1992-1996
Folder 25 Bylaws drafting & 501-C-3, 1994-1996
Folder 26 Bylaws 501-C-3 Taskforce, 1992-1993
Folder 27 Committee, Action Alert, 1993
Folder 28 Committee, Architectural Assessment, 1992-1993
Folder 29 Committee, Environmental Amenity, 1991-1993
Folder 30 Committee, Finance, records & reports, 1991-1992
Folder 31 Committee, Membership, 1992-1996
Folder 32 Committee, Nominating, officer records, 1992-1996
Folder 33 Committee, Officers, reports, 1992
Folder 34 Committee, Public Relations, 1994
Folder 35 Committee, Religious Structures, 1991-1994
Folder 36 Committee, Reports, 1993-1994
Folder 37 City Council, Correspondence & statements, 1991-1992
Folder 38 City Council, Lobbying, correspondence, planning, grants, 1991-1994
Folder 39 City Council President, Jim Ferlo, correspondence, lobbying, grants, 1992-1994
Folder 40 City Council, Hearings of interest, 1991-1997
Folder 41 Consultation work for Preservation Pittsburgh, 1993
Folder 42 Correspondence, Assorted, 1991-1994
Folder 43 Correspondence, Assorted, 1993-1994
Folder 44 Correspondence, Significant mailing materials, documents--arranged by Paradise, 1993-1999
Folder 45 Coverage in newspaper media, Preservation Pittsburgh early organization, 1991

Box 3
Folder 1-6 Chronology, Assorted by Paradise, 1991-1998

Box 6
Folder 38 Early Organizing and Membership, 1991-1992

Box 3
Folder 7 Editor, Letters, 1993-1994

Box 6
Folder 35 Formalizing Preservation Pittsburgh's Committe structure and bylaws 1992-1995

Box 3
Folder 8 Garden Party Fundraiser, 1993
Folder 9 Grants, Research materials, 1991-1994
Folder 10 Grants, Pittsburgh City Council, 1992-1994
Folder 11 Grants, Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, 1992
Folder 12 Grants, Pittsburgh City Council, 1993
Folder 13 Grants, Pittsburgh Granting Agency, accomplishment representation 1994
Folder 14 Grants, Research into potential funding, 1991-1994
Folder 15 Historical Architecture Review Board, Senate Bill No. 805 to protect private property, preservation of cities, 1995
Folder 16 Historical Architecture Review Board workshop, 1995
Folder 17 Internships, 1993-1994
Folder 18 Internal Revenue, 501-c-4, 1993
Folder 19 Inventory, 1993
Folder 20 Lubetz, Arthur, Agreement expires, office moves to Cultural Trust Shared Office Space,
Folder 21 Lubetz, Arthur, Gift of office space, 1992-1993
Folder 22 Membership, Correspondence, 1992-1998
Folder 23 Membership, Early organizing, 1992-1995
Folder 24 Membership, Fundraising, treasurer's report, 1991-1992
Folder 25 Membership, Renewal sample letters, 1993-1994
Folder 26-27 Mailings & Postage, 1993-1994
Folder 28 Meeting Announcements, 1991-1995
Folder 29 Meetings, Board 1994
Folder 30 Meeting Minutes, Board of Directors, 1996
Folder 31 Meeting Minutes, Preservation Pittsburgh Handbook, 1996
Folder 32 Meeting Minutes, 1992-1993
Folder 33 Meeting Minutes, 1993-1994
Folder 34 Meeting Minutes, annotated, 1991-1992
Folder 35-36 Meeting Minutes, 1992-1994
Folder 37 Meeting Minutes, 1997-1998
Folder 38 Meeting Minutes & Member Information, 1992
Folder 39 Meeting Minutes & Membership 1994
Folder 40 Meeting Minutes & Membership 1995-1996
Folder 41 Meeting Minutes, General Members, 1992-1993
Folder 42 Newspaper coverage media, correspondence & reports with members, University of Pittsburgh development in Oakland 1993-1995

Box 4
Folder 1 Historic Preservation Ordinance, Appeal to Councilman Ferlo, 1996
Folder 2 Paradise, Assorted notes 1991-1993
Folder 3 Paradise, Research information into nonprofit organization, undated
Folder 4 Pittsburgh City Parks, 1992-1994
Folder 5 Pittsburgh Register of Historic Places 1993

Box 6
Folder 32 Preservation Pittsburgh, Initial organization as nonprofit 1991
Folder 33 Preservation Pittsburgh, Established as nonprofit, justification & planning 1992

Box 4
Folder 6 Preservation Pittsburgh, Assorted board correspondence, 1993
Folder 7 Preservation Pittsburgh, Initiatives, 1991-1994
Folder 8-9 Preservation Pittsburgh, Original notes on possible goals & structure, 1985-1993
Folder 10 Preservation Month, 1994
Folder 11 Preservation Week, 1992

Box 6
Folder 12 Preservation Week, includes Pittsburgh City Council Resolution plaque 1993
Folder 13-14 Preservation Week, 1994
Folder 15 Preservation Week, 1995
Folder 16 Preservation Week, 1996
Folder 17 Preservation Week, Membership, 1996
Folder 18 Preservation Week, Sunny Ledge Mansion, 1995
Folder 19 Press Releases, 1992

Box 6
Folder 34 Promotional & Fundraising Events, 1992-1996

Box 4
Folder 20 Reports, Drafts, 1992-1993
Folder 21 Retreat, Preservation Pittsburgh, 1992
Folder 22 Retreat, Meeting announcements, 1992-1994
Folder 23 Smithdale, Nancy--applicant for coordination consultant 1993
Folder 24 Treasurer's Report 1993

Series Project and Relevant Organization Files, Bulk, 1992-1998 1981-1998


Box 4
Folder 25 Allegheny City Society, 1993
Folder 26 Allegheny County Jail, 1994
Folder 27 Allegheny Historic Preservation Society, Inc., 1993
Folder 28 American Institute of Architects, 1993-1994
Folder 29 Begler Kowall & Ombres Law offices, Arthur Lubetz grant of office use, 1993-1994
Folder 30 Bigalow Boulevard, 1996
Folder 31 Billboards, Pittsburgh campaign against, Public hearing 987.01 and 987.02 proposal to amend, 1991-1993
Folder 32 Billboards, Signs Zoning, 1992
Folder 33 Billboards, Signs Zoning, 1992-1993
Folder 34 Billboards, Signs Zoning, 1993-1995
Folder 35 Billboards, Scenic America against, 1992
Folder 36 Bloomfield Citizens' Council, 1992-1990
Folder 37 Bloomfield Garden Corporation, 1995
Folder 38 Bridges, 1993
Folder 39 Center Avenue YMCA, Manchester Citizens' group Executive Director, Rhonda Brandon supports Preservation Pittsburgh's dedication, 1994
Folder 40 Center Avenue YMCA, National Trust for Historic Preservation president advocates, 1994-1995
Folder 41 Citizens' League of Southwestern Pennsylvania, 1992-1993
Folder 42 Community Technical Assistance Center, 1985-1994
Folder 43 Concept Paper: "Faith, Spirit, and Heritage: Houses of Worship in Western Pennsylvania," prepared for Preservation Pittsburgh president Arthur Lubetz June 24, 1997
Folder 44 DeAngelis, Jim, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Urban and Regional Planning, 1992-1993
Folder 45 Downtown Pittsburgh, 1994-1995
Folder 46 Downtown Register Historic District Research, 1987-1994
Folder 47 East Carson Street Historic Designation, South Side Local Development Company, 1992-1993
Folder 48 East Liberty Development Company, 1992-1994
Folder 49 Freeman, Peggy Pierce, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Mary Cardwell and the National Negro Opera Company, 1993-1994
Folder 50-51 Friends of the Riverfront, 1992-1997
Folder 52 Highland Park Reservoir, 1993
Folder 53 The Hill District, 1993
Folder 54 Historical Architectural Review Board, 1995
Folder 55 Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (Heinz History Center), 1991, 1993-1996

Box 5
Folder 1 Holland, Dan, Board Member of Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), 1992-1993
Folder 2 Hussey, Thomas L., University of Pittsburgh, 1992-1996
Folder 3 King's Estate Garden Party, 1990-1993
Folder 4 Longhill Property, 1992
Folder 5 Lowe, Stanley, correspondence on "Sacred Places," 1994
Folder 6 Lubetz, Arthur, 1994-1997
Folder 7 Lubove, Roy, Pittsburgh Historian, death, 1995-1996
Folder 8 Market Square, 1991
Folder 9 Moorewood-Shadyside Civic Association, 1994
Folder 10 Neighborhood Groups and Organization Advocacy, 1991-1992
Folder 11-12 Neill Log Cabin, Ad Hoc Committee, copies of historical and secondary sources to compile final report of legal status of the building, 1993-1994
Folder 13 Neill Log Cabin, Ad Hoc Committee to Organize Harvard-Yale-Princeton Club tour, 1992-1993
Folder 14 Neill Log Cabin, Background research, possible project, 1992-1993
Folder 15 Neill Log Cabin, Copies of historical documents, 1993
Folder 16-18 Neill Log Cabin, Restoration, public advocacy and Preservation Pittsburgh Ad Hoc Committee efforts and research, 1993-1996
Folder 19-21 Oakland Civic Historic District, 1991-1994
Folder 22 Oakland Community Council, 1993-1997
Folder 23 Oakland Directions, Inc., including by-laws, membership and officers, 1991-1992
Folder 24 Oakland Neighborhood Alliance, 1994
Folder 25 Oakland Neighborhood Conservation Association, 1981-1985
Folder 26 Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, 1993-1994
Folder 27 Page, David, 1992
Folder 28 Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Bureau for Historic Preservation, Key 93, 1992-1995
Folder 29 Penzer, Richard, developer, 1994
Folder 30 Philadelphia Historical Commission, Appellate Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Eastern District reverses decision against, 1988-1991
Folder 31 Phipps Conservatory, 1993
Folder 32 Pittsburgh Archaeology and History, Committee on, 1992-1995
Folder 33 Pittsburgh Athletic Association, 1991-1992
Folder 34 Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, 1994-1995
Folder 35 Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, 1991-1995
Folder 36 Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, 1994-1995
Folder 37 Pittsburgh Founders Council, 1992-1994
Folder 38 Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1992-1997
Folder 39 Pittsburgh & Pennsylvania Historical Organizations, 1990
Folder 40 Preservation Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, resume of Howard Kittell, Executive Director, 1989-1994
Folder 41 Preservation Pittsburgh awarded an outstanding community service award by The Observer, 1995-1996
Folder 42 Preservation Pennsylvania, 1994
Folder 43 Preservation Pennsylvania, reports, 1991-1995
Folder 44 Regional Resources, Inc., 1992-1993
Folder 45 Saint Mary Magdalene, 1994
Folder 46 Saint Paul's Cathedral, 1991-1992
Folder 47 Save Outdoor Sculpture, 1993
Folder 48 Schlenke, Helen, against Mellon Bank, 1994
Folder 49 Schenley Ballroom, 1992-1993
Folder 50 Schenley Civic Association against Schenley Hotel Association, 1987-1988

Box 6
Folder 1 Schenley Farms, Ad Hoc Committee of, 1993
Folder 2 Schenley Farms, 1985-1987
Folder 3 Schenley Farms, 1987
Folder 4-6 Schenley Farms Civic Association, 1989-1996
Folder 7 Schenley Farms Civic Association, Holiday Inn, 1988-1990
Folder 8 Schenley Farms Designation in Oakland Historic District, 1991-1996
Folder 9 Schenley Farms, Efforts to designate as historic district, 1991
Folder 10 Schenley Farms, Research into Franklin F. Nicola, Schenley Farms realtor, 1983-1991
Folder 11 Sierra Club, Allegheny County, 1992
Folder 12 Smith, Christopher, Councilman endorses Hill District YMCA dedication, 1994
Folder 13 Society of Architectural Historians, 1993
Folder 14 Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, 1992-1993
Folder 15 Soldiers & Sailors Memorial site and chronology, 1991-1992
Folder 16 Steel Industry Heritage Corporation, 1992-1994
Folder 17 The 1840s Murray House, 1992
Folder 18 The Priory, 1995
Folder 19 The Regent, 1992
Folder 20 The Twentieth Century Club, 1992
Folder 21 Thrice, Harley, 1994-1995
Folder 22 University Club, 1992
Folder 23 University of Pittsburgh, 1994
Folder 24 University of Pittsburgh, Master Space Plan Interim Report, 1992
Folder 25 University of Pittsburgh, O'Connor, President, 1991-1994
Folder 26 University Presbyterian Hospital Office, 1990-1991
Folder 27 Urban Redevelopment Authority merger with City Planning, 1992
Folder 28 Ursuline Center Bloomfield Citizens Council, proposed Ursuline Academy Historic District, 1992-1994
Folder 29 Washington County Historical Society, 1993
Folder 30 Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, 1992-1993
Folder 31 Westmoreland County Historical Society, 1993