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A Crumbling Pittsburgh Treasure

There may be an historical marker outside 1727 Bedford Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, but the building’s condition says a lot more than the words on the marker. Plywood patches where a front door used to be. Beyond it, plaster has fallen from the interior walls, exposing the crumbling red brick frame. The living room …

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Pauli, Ruch, Delligatti, Goldsmith, Abraham, Armitage, Desmett, Towle

Chuck Pauli, 73: Pauli was the former CEO and president of Pittsburgh specialty coatings company Kop-Coat. He was vice president and general manager of the Koppers Coating Division when British company Beazer PLC took over Koppers in the late 1980s. Pauli led a management buyout of the Coatings Division, which created Kop-Coat, and he later …

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Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive

I was born and raised in the Bloomfield-Garfield section of Pittsburgh, which is now called “Friendship.” I attended St. Lawrence O’Toole Grade School in Garfield, Central Catholic High and then Carnegie Mellon University in nearby Oakland, and have lived and raised my family in Squirrel Hill for the past 33 years. So, geographically speaking, I’ve …

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Finley, McClendon, Castillo, Hill, Shiller, Newton, McKone

On July 1, Macon Paine Finley will become head of the Ellis School. She comes to Pittsburgh from St. Louis, where she has been assistant head of school at the John Burroughs School since 2012. Her appointment comes on the heels of celebrating The Ellis School’s 100th anniversary. Before joining Burroughs in 2000, Finley served …

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The World Through a Food Truck

“Just don’t tell Baba our chicken is better.” It’s the only request Ryah asks customers who stop by to visit Leena’s, the food truck she operates out of a ’91 Chevy Step Van that began its life delivering the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Baba is her father, Mohammad, who grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp before …

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Seeing a Garden in a Pile of Debris

Julia had fired up the chainsaw because she had been bored, really. Retirement had been fun for an hour or two, but she needed something to do. She had grown tired of watching people dump things in the vacant lot adjacent to her East Hills home: couches, loveseats, enough beer cans to make you a …

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Jim Withers, M.D., Street Doctor

My father was a country doctor; my mom, a nurse. Their relationship was grounded in the values of service and compassion, and they included their children—me, for sure—in that vision. So I made house calls with my dad and, among other things, got to practice parallel parking while delivering Meals on Wheels with my mother, …

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Rivera-Tinsley, Spaulding, Anderson, Farmer, Zangerle, Leonardo, Earnshaw

Camila Rivera-Tinsley is the director of education at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. She comes to Pittsburgh from The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Philadelphia, where she specialized in private/public partnerships, doubled the number of students served by the center’s environmental education programming, and increased staff diversity by creating a communitybased job pipeline utilizing mentorship. …

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Washington, Nunn, Litman, Palmer, Page, Filoni

Milt Washington, 81: Washington was the long-time owner of Allegheny Rehabilitation Housing Corp.—one of the largest black-owned businesses in Pennsylvania. He was a man with a tremendous work ethic, and his success in providing low-income housing and in several other businesses he owned allowed him to become a committed civic leader as well. He led …

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Tunnels of Love

First, you had to pull the red wicker settee with its circus-striped cushions a few feet away from the wall. Then you put the army surplus table Mother sometimes used for the sewing machine next to that, in front of the closed-in fireplace; and if Father wasn’t using them for the work he brought home …

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Among the Trees

As Meg Cheever said, “The best park in Pittsburgh is the one you are in.” She founded the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in 1996 at a time when Pittsburgh was a long way from claiming victory in stemming the tide of decline that still clung to the city. With a band of determined supporters, she stepped …

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Mario’s Corner of the World in Sewickley

Mario spends most of his life in the dungeon. That’s what he likes to call his Sewickley Shoe Repair shop, the dungeon, although his beaming face betrays him. His customers come from all over—Aliquippa, Cranberry, Erie, Weirton—ready to launch with their “savior of my sole” puns. They’re mostly right, because there isn’t much that Mario …

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The Death of a Homeless Man

Last week, I got the news that I knew one day would come. Joe Regoli had died. Back in 1988, I wrote a series about Pittsburgh’s homeless, based on my living on the streets for 14 days and nights, undercover, with long hair and a beard. I was 26, and the Pittsburgh Press series changed …

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Richardson, Hamlet, White, McNally, Patrick, George, Crudele, Walker

Kathy Brittain Richardson is the 15th president of Westminster College. She comes to western Pennsylvania from Mt. Berry, Ga., where she was provost and professor of communication at Berry College. A native of Douglasville, Ga., she earned a bachelor of arts in communication and religion/philosophy, summa cum laude, from Shorter College, a master’s degree in …

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Vivien Li, River Keeper

My parents came from educated families in China and Hong Kong and immigrated to the United States. My mother arrived in the early ’50s as an undergraduate while my father, who was 10 years her senior, was studying for a Ph.D. Back then, it was difficult for Asians to come here. The immigration laws were …

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Gould, Kolar, Paris, Winter, Cardille, Oelschlager, Mosites, Williams

Rodney S. Gould, 93 Gould captained the undergraduate Cornell crew team where he later earned a law degree. He flew 35 World War II combat missions over Germany as a B-17 Bomber navigator. He was vice president of the Blaw-Knox Company and later Dravo Corporation and was very involved in community affairs, chairing the YMCA …

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Gino

Dinners plus two daily sides and bread…$6 each reads the inner page of a card-sized, laminated menu. Breaded Veal, Roast Beef, Cube Steak, Hot Sausage, Meatloaf, Chicken…all $6.00. The bread comes from Mancini’s, “Proudly Served” according to the banner hanging from the ceiling. Photography by John Altdorfer Gino has been operating his namesake restaurant at …

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The Basement of Precision

The fork brace will steady the custom-built 1973 FXE that’s currently in progress. Right now, it’s sitting on a lift in the garage that sits in the alley behind Jeff’s house, sandwiched between single rows of towering red T&E tool chests and a ’75 Camaro waiting patiently for plates and insurance. That unsteadiness is what …

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Offering a Way Out

There are about two dozen men—black, white, young, old—gathered in a well-lit commercial space that occupies 704 Main Street, Sharpsburg. In the front window is a white cross with an orange life preserver draped over it that reads Jesus Saves Lives. Anchored against the interior wall, in front of floor-to-ceiling mirrors hangs a wooden cross—about …

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Rogers, Hundorfean, da Silva, Finegold, Clouser, Dermody, Bartlett

Susan Rogers is vice chancellor for communications at the University of Pittsburgh. She comes to Pittsburgh from Dallas, where she was vice president for university advancement at The University of Texas at Dallas. Previously, she was associate vice chancellor for university relations in the office of advancement at the University of Arkansas and director of …

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Clint Hurdle, Baseball Impresario

I believe that all people inherently have at least one passion. And if that passion can be turned into a livelihood, life becomes special. I’ve had a passion for the game of baseball since I was 5 years old. And now, at the age of 58, instead of running to my backyard to play the …

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Words of Wisdom

“Reviewing the following excerpts from some of the 40 first–person profiles I created for the magazine over the past 10 years was an emotional experience for me. How many people get to choose from among the most prominent individuals in their hometown and spend time with them learning their life stories? Some have passed on …

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