Panther Hollow Community?
Letter to Pittsburgh City Council
President Bruce Kraus
March 16, 2018
Council President Bruce Kraus,
On February 23, an email was sent individually to ten leaders who are advocating for a roadway through Panther Hollow. They are: Mayor William Peduto, Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, CMU Interim President Farnam Jahanian, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Heinz Endowments President Grant Oliphant, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation President William P. Getty, Richard King Mellon Foundation Director Sott Izzo, Michael Baker International Chief Executive Officer Brian Lutes, City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure Director Karina Ricks, and Chair of the Urban Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors Kevin Acklin.
This was the email:
You should be fully aware of the long-standing adamant opposition to any roadway through or above our neighborhood of Panther Hollow, including the latest roadway proposal made at the February 20 meeting.
We have made our position abundantly clear on the website www.SavePantherHollow.com. Actions that will be taken include, but are not limited to those mentioned in the recent letter to John R. Allen titled “The Gilded University Cage”.
We want to give you the opportunity to respond to this email. Please provide in detail all of the benefits to the Panther Hollow community, especially to the elderly residents who have lived here their entire lives, and who wish to live the remainder of their lives in dignity and peace.
Nine of those ten leaders immediately chose silence. Kevin Acklin responded, but did not state in any way that the roadway could benefit the Panther Hollow community. When asked to do so in a follow-up email, he then chose silence.
As you know, because of the uncontrolled growth of Pitt and CMU, we are also in a battle to stop an outside developer from building townhouses for student housing on our street.
Panther Hollow is a cultural treasure for the city of Pittsburgh. It embodies the essence of the Italian immigration experience in Pittsburgh. The above mentioned leaders should be using their creative and innovative skills, as well as their vast resources, to enhance, protect, and preserve this historic district.
Panther Hollow’s legacy should not be tucked away in the file cabinets of the Heinz History Center. This district should be the birthplace of an Italian Cultural Center to perpetuate the rich traditions and history of the Italian immigrant experience of not only Pittsburgh, but all of Western Pennsylvania. Panther Hollow should be the venue to honor those who came before us, and to tell the story of this invaluable Italian immigrant experience.