Oakland Square now historic

City Council votes 6-0 for designation

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Oakland Square is now a historic district, thanks to Pittsburgh City Council's vote in favor of the designation yesterday.

The 6-0 vote, with Councilmen Sala Udin and Gene Ricciardi absent and new Councilman Dan Deasy abstaining, ends a three-month process that pitted neighbor against neighbor, and homeowners versus landlords.

Ricciardi, who represents the area, sent word that he supports the designation.

The district includes the 3400 to 3700 blocks of Parkview Avenue and 3602 to 3728 Dawson St. The core of the district consists of 67 homes built by developer Eugene O'Neill and builder Charles Chance from 1889 to 1896.

Before the final vote, supporters told council they hoped the designation would help them prevent the division of single-family homes into multi-unit apartments usually rented to students.

"I want this to be a historic district because I want there to be more families who live here and I'll have more kids to play with," Sam Hayden, 10, told council.

The designation means that owners of 100 properties need Historic Review Commission approval before altering, demolishing or adding to their structures. In past hearings, some property owners have objected to ceding some of their rights.

That view wasn't in evidence yesterday.

"We believe in not strictly being individuals, but in being part of a community," Parkview resident Jason Grant said after the vote.

Rich Lord can be reached at rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542.


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