What does the Pink House want?

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I'm not a house whisperer, but I have met dozens of old buildings in 18 years as Homes editor, and many were in far worse shape than the Pink House. Here's what I believe it wants:

Keep it pink. The house has been this color for at least 40 years. Sewickley has enough tasteful creamy white homes. A pink youth center is kinda kitschy kewl.

Turn teens loose on the first floor. Repair the plaster, strip and refinish hardwood floors, and create a series of bright spaces decorated by young artists. Install interior storms and screens but leave intact the leaded casement windows. Create a small kitchenette in the old kitchen.

Send the grown-ups upstairs. Turn second-floor bedrooms into meeting rooms that could be used for Bible study, community meetings, etc. Rent out the third floor as office space to nonprofits. Install an elevator and mechanicals where the back staircase is now, and extend it to a rooftop deck on the flat roof, which has an incredible view of the entire Village.

Green the parking lot. Add parking spaces on the right side of the house atop permeable pavers or grass supported by a grid like the one installed on the lawn of Phipps Conservatory. It could be used for parking on Sunday mornings and for sports at other times.

Grow gardens and playgrounds. Add more parking spaces where the church playground is now, and move playground equipment to the left side of the Coyle House, where it would be shaded by mature maples. Ask Peggy Rea Joyner to design a meditation labyrinth and children's garden. Church members of all ages could plant it together.


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