806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Above & Beyond

If you’d like to recognize a neighbor who went above-and-beyond for you or the neighborhood this month please send a note to or give Cathy a call at (412) 418-2027 and, space allowing, we’ll recognize them in the Gazette.

  • Anne G. spent a good bit of time tracking down and getting confirmations from an ever changing field of City Council candidates for the Candidates Night forum.
  • Holly P. got us an amazing deal on mulch for the Tree Well clean up.
  • Speaking of tree-wells, Gene and Trish spent an evening passing around flyers for the event and Michael S. is making donut runs & organizing coffee.
  • Super excited that Q Development will be sponsoring the garden triangle this year!

Neighborhood Cleanup!

Submitted by Michael Shealey 

Saturday, April 11th at 9:00 am

Please join your neighbors at the AWCC office at 806 Western for the first neighborhood cleanup of 2015. If we have mulch, we will be mulching some of our neighborhood’s tree well. With or without mulch, we will be getting trash off our streets and alleys. Refreshments provided.

Reminder: Neighborhood street sweeping begins April 13!

Neighborhood Cleanup

Submitted by Michael Shealey

Saturday, April 11th at 9:00 am

Please join your neighbors at the AWCC office at 806 Western Avenue for the first neighborhood cleanup of 2015.

If we have mulch, we will be mulching some of our neighborhood’s tree well. With or without mulch, we will be getting trash off our streets and alleys. Refreshments provided.

Rescheduled: Lake Elizabeth Cleanup

Lake Elizabeth

We have rescheduled the Lake Elizabeth clean up!

Who: Neighbors of Allegheny Commons
What: Removal of leaves and debris from Lake Elizabeth
Where: Meet at Soldiers Monument
When: Monday, February 16th at 3:30 pm
Why: Removing the excess debris will allow DPW to refill the lake with water
How: DPW will be providing trash bags, rakes and gloves to assist in the clean up. Please come dressed for the cold weather! Some tools will be available but feel free to bring along anything that might be helpful!

light snacks and refreshments will be available

Letter from the President – February 2015

So I have this idea….actually I have a lot of them, all of which came from talking to other folks about ideas they are excited about for the neighborhood. Thanks to everyone who responded to my last President’s message as well (although now I’m slightly intimidated that people are actually reading these.)

Here’s a few things folks were interested in:

  1. Parking (but I think I’m going to have to start with something easier, like world peace, but I promise we’ll get back to that.)
  2. Helping new folks feel welcome, and making it easy for them to get involved with the neighborhood.
  3. Projects to make the neighborhood even more gorgeous, like spiffing up the alleys and helping everyone maintaining their tree wells.

As you can tell from the breadth of our membership meeting agendas, folks have already hard at work on some of these projects. Just one example, some of our neighbors on Tuesday will be presenting a proposal for hanging flower baskets on Western that they’re hoping for neighborhood support for, so please come and express your opinion (in a friendly, good humored way, of course.)

Another idea we will be discussing, is an application for some funding to purchase mulch and potentially even flowers and fencing and having an “Allegheny West Tree Well Day” as one of monthly clean up events sponsored by the Friends of Allegheny. From my perspective there’s an incredible wealth of gardening knowledge in our neighborhood that I’d like to take advantage of. I’d be more than happy to wheel a barrow full of mulch up the street for a neighbor, especially one who is new in town and hasn’t had a chance to figure out where to even get mulch. And, of course, there will be a potluck. As a bonus, I swear I will stop showing up to social events with paperwork for people to fill out after I file for the grant.

Some of those same gardeners have suggested that the April clean up would be the ideal month, and we’ll hear about the results of the grant application in late February so we’ll have lots of time to plan a blow out of a clean up.  By the way, these Buhl Fundation funds are open to anyone on the Northside, so if you have another idea you think could benefit from $1000 I’m happy to help you out with the application (but you have to take the petitions to the mixer.)

Hope to see everyone at the Membership meeting next Tuesday, with more ideas they’d like help making happen.

Catherine Serventi
President, AWCC

P.S. Carol R., I have ordered the tiara, you have to come to the meeting now.

An Old Allegheny Christmas

Submitted by Carole Malakoff

The 33rd Annual Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour will be held on Friday, December 12 from 5:00 to 11:00 pm and Saturday, December 13 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Tickets are selling very quickly. Dinner, Brunch and Lunch Tour tickets are sold out. Regular Tour tickets are still available after 6:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. Tell your family, friends, and co-workers to purchase theirs today!

The Tours

As always, the tour will feature 6 homes on the regular tour, plus 4 homeowners hosting Brunch, Lunch or Dinner.

Homes open for the regular tour are:

  • 950 Beech Avenue – Carrie Doyle
  • 926 Beech Avenue – Trish and John Burton and family (This home will be decorated with the help of The Urban Gardener, our North Side garden center.)
  • 834 Beech Avenue – Jessica and Bill Murphy
  • 913 Brighton Road – Carole and Bob Malakoff
  • 849 North Lincoln Avenue – Hal Dixler and Nick Duerlinger
  • 719 Brighton Road – John DeSantis (Also, the Toy Train Museum will be open here. Tickets to view it may be purchased on-line in advance or at the door for $12.)

Hosts for the Dinner, Brunch, and Lunch tours are:

  • 929 Beech Avenue – Linda and Joe Iannotta (Linda will be preparing all of the food for the brunches, lunch and dinner.)
  • 844 North Lincoln Avenue – Cecile and Carl Canales
  • 1021 Galveston Avenue – Debra and John Lantz
  • 913 Beech Avenue – Shirley Mehring and Howard Brokenbek

These homeowners need your help. Offer them a helping hand to decorate, welcome guests, or serve food.

Toy Train Museum

Something new this year at The Toy Train Museum at Holmes Hall … available for sale, the newly released book, Greenberg’s Guide to Lionel Standard & 2-7/8 Gauges, 1901-1940. This is a 432 page edition with 1,364 illustrations, many of them from the John DeSantis collection. The perfect holiday gift for the toy train enthusiast.

Signed copies are $100.

Committee members and homeowners have been working since September to put this event together. Now there are several things you can do:

Volunteer Opportunities

Tour guides are still needed – contact Doug Sprague,
Housesitters are also needed – contact Carole Malakoff,


Fill a trash bag with leaves and other “stuff“ from your curb and street. Sweep leaves out to the street. City street sweepers will be around the neighborhood on Wednesday and Thursday before the tour. Please move cars from the street so they can do their job.

Street Closings

Beech Avenue (both blocks), Galveston (from Dounton Way to Buttercup Way), the 800 block of North Lincoln Avenue, Rope Way (from Buttercup Way to North Lincoln Avenue) and the 800 block of Buttercup Way will be closed to traffic from 4:00 to 11:00 pm on Friday and from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm on Saturday.

Off-street parking is available at:

  • the CCAC lot on Ridge Avenue, just across from the Fort Duquesne on-ramp
  • the Babb Inc. lot on the corner of North Lincoln and Galveston Avenues
  • the Smart Solutions lot on the north side of the 800 block of West North Avenue

Volunteer Party

All volunteers are invited to help celebrate another successful tour in Allegheny West, on Saturday evening, December 13 from 9:00 to 11:00 pm at the Smart Solutions facilities on the 800 block of West North Avenue. Our tours have been so successful over the years because of the effort and spirit that you, the volunteers, have put forth. Let’s do it again this year!

The 2014 Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

Submitted by Carole Malakoff

Everything you need to know about this year’s Christmas Tour, and more…

This year’s tour is Friday, December 12, 5:00 – 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 13, 10:00 am-8:00 pm. 

In addition to regular tours ($30), there will be brunch and lunch ($60), and dinner tours ($120).

Ticket Sales

Tickets are selling briskly. Regular, brunch, lunch and dinner tours are about 1/3 sold out. We are expecting a sell-out again this year, bringing more than 1500 visitors into our small neighborhood. To purchase tickets or for more details, check our web-site,

The homes on the regular tour

950 Beech – Carrie Doyle
926 Beech – Trish and John Burton and family
834 Beech – Jessica and Bill Murphy
913 Brighton – Carole and Bob Malakoff
849 N Lincoln – Hal Dixler and Nick Duerlinger
719 Brighton – John DeSantis

Hosting brunch and lunch

913 Beech – Shirley Mehring and Howard Brokenbek
1021 Galveston – Debra and John Lantz
844 N Lincoln – Cecile and Carl Canales

Hosting dinner

929 Beech – Linda* and Joe Iannotta

*Linda is doing all of the food for the dinner, brunches, and lunch again this year. 

The Holiday Gift Shop

Again this year, The Holiday Gift Shop will be in the basement of Calvary Church, the start of the tour, so guests can shop before going on tour. Arrangements will be made to hold purchases for guests while they tour. For more information about the shop, contact:

Martin Fuess

Train Museum

The popular Toy Train Museum will, once again, be open at Holmes Hall. DVDs of the train exhibit will also be for sale ($15). They sold out last year so, if you want to purchase one, do so now via Amazon:

 Tin Plate Legends in Action, Part 3

Street decorating

We will be decorating our streets on Saturday, December 6, starting at 9am. Volunteers will be bunching greens in the Serventi/Wilson garage on Dounton Way, just off Galveston.


Also on Saturday, the 6th, please join your neighbors and help pick up litter around the neighborhood. If each of us fills one trash bag with litter, our streets will be litter-free.

We need your help!

There are many opportunities to volunteer. On Saturday, the 6th, come out for a few hours to help bunch and hang greens for the neighborhood lamp posts. During the tour, you can be a tour guide, a conductor at the Toy Train Museum, a greeter at Calvary Church, a house-sitter for a homeowner on tour. You can also help light luminaria or set up the street closing barricades.

Holiday Party

All volunteers are invited to our Holiday Party. This year it will be at the Smart Solutions facilities, the old Hipwell building, on the 800 block of West North Avenue, on Saturday, December 13 starting at 9pm.

Decorating by The Urban Gardener

Our local North Side garden center, The Urban Gardener, will be decorating the Burton home for the tour.

Post Gazette story

Look for a feature on Trish and John’s home in the Post Gazette on Saturday, December 6.

To volunteer

Contact the following coordinators:

Tour guides

Doug Sprague

Church greeters

Brandon Williams

Party helpers

Gloria Rayman 

Lighting luminaria

Chris Fetter

Toy Train Museum conductors

Cecile Canales 

Housesitters and everything else

Carole Malakoff 

Street Closings

To insure the safety of all, the following streets will be closed to traffic and parking on Friday, the 12th from 4pm to 11pm and on Saturday, the 13th from 9am to 11pm:

  • the 800 and 900 blocks of Beech Avenue
  • Rope Way from Buttercup Way to Western, and from Western to N Lincoln
  • Galveston Avenue from Dounton Way to Buttercup Way
  • N Lincoln Avenue from Galveston to Brighton Road

Please make arrangements to park elsewhere. We will provide information on off-street lots available closer to the tour weekend.

The next Tour Committee meeting will be on Thursday evening, November 13 at 7:30 pm at 913 Brighton Rd. Everyone is invited to attend.

Allegheny West Cleans Up!

From Howard Brokenbeck

Thanks to everyone who participated in the city wide clean-up on May 24th!

The next community cleanup is scheduled for June 28th. We will meet at 9:00 AM at the AWCC offices, 806 Western Ave. Coffee and donuts will be served.