Mary Cassatt Garden
Program Area: Ambassador Project, ReClaim
Topic: Vacant Land
Neighborhood: Allegheny Center, Northside
Parent Project: ReClaim Northside 2014-2015
We are currently waiting for approval from PennDot for this project to move forward. In the meantime, check out Bridget’s website to learn more about this project: http://www.marycassattgarden.com/
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | April 27,2015
Like many Northsiders, Bridget has been frustrated by the image outsiders have of the Northside. As a resident, Bridget has observed that many folks visiting the Community College of Allegheny County, Heinz Field, or PNC Park don’t always realize what the Northside’s nineteen unique neighborhoods have to offer.
It’s Bridget’s dream to use vacant lots to connect more visitors to her neighborhood.
The space she hopes to work on has a long and interesting history. Located in Allegheny Center, the PennDot-owned vacant lot was once the childhood home of Mary Cassatt, the famous impressionist artist. Today it is an island surrounded by busy streets and highway onramps. Over the years, the site has been cared for by various groups, including Allegheny City Society and Ambassadors from GTECH’s very first Ambassador program (GAANs) in 2012, and these groups added historical signs and plant perennials. Due to lack of funding and community capacity, the site has not achieved it’s true potential or met the needs of those using the site on a regular basis.
For a vacant lot, the site is highly trafficked by pedestrians. Every day hundreds of CCAC students walk through the lot from the T stop to their campus. Bridget aspires to make the lot and safe and inviting place for Northside visitors. The updated design for the Mary Cassatt Garden will add trees, a defined path and whimsical, directional signage to the site.
I would love to see a more inclusive community. Better schools, public spaces, a better economic center, and a sense of inclusion and understanding. Right now, there’s a lot of segregation between community members of different races and socioeconomic statuses. I know a common ground exists and I’d love to uncover it while building the community economically and socially.— Bridget Little, ReClaim Northside Ambassador
Reedsdale Street & Interstate 279 & 65th Infantry Division Memorial Highway, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA