806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

The 2019 Tour is quickly approaching! The tour dates are Friday December 13th and Saturday December 14th. The tour committee is thrilled to share that we currently have ALL houses for the tour! Thank you to all of the homeowners. The tour committee will be reaching out to you concerning expectations, as well as to answer questions. We are  available for anything you need, even a hand for decorating.

Beech Avenue will be closed to traffic during the tour. Parking will be open to Allegheny West residents in the lower Babb parking lot starting on Friday the 13th at 4:00 pm and continuing through the tour on Saturday. Please keep our tour guests safe and utilize this lot. For residents who park on N Lincoln, please consider parking in the Babb lot as well to clear the street during the tour.

New This Year: Carriage Rides

This year we will be offering horse-drawn carriage rides for an additional fee during the Saturday afternoon tours (weather permitting).

Volunteers Needed

Saturday, December 7th (Cathy and Gene’s Garage) starting at 9: 00 am, coffee and donuts provided. We need a few (actually several) good men to help hang – please consider lending your time and ladders.

We will need volunteers for the train tours. A link will be sent in upcoming email blasts or if you are interested, please contact Cecile Canales at

Tour guide* sign up shifts now available. Doug Sprague leading the effort again this year. A link will be sent in upcoming email blasts. If you’re interested, you can contact contact Doug directly at

* Please note, tour guides are required to do a tour route walkthrough. Check future email blasts for walkthrough schedule.

We will need tour announcers and guest greeters at Calvary during tour times. Brandon Williams will be leading the volunteer sign-up for this. Please check future email blasts for schedule opportunities or contact Brandon at

Thank you all for your participation and we’re looking forward to another successful tour!

A Special Thanks

Submitted by Trish Burton

Thanks are in order . . . 

. . .  to the loyal group of volunteers who last week helped to put 7,435 labels on the lovely Christmas Tour mailers. A special thanks to Amelia Beer, who helped with set up and clean up, in addition to labeling about 3,000 mailers herself! 

. . .  to another small group who helped to do the fall clean-up for the Parklet. Tony and Diane Caruso, Sally Graubarth, Carol Schramke and Emilio Diendomi pulled out the annuals, transplanted perennials and moved bricks.

. . . and Cindy and Rich Fraer from Washington County loaded up the 15 bags of yard debris to dispose of them!

Thanks to all! Your time and energy are much appreciated!

Christmas Tour 2019

Remember the dates are set for this year’s Christmas Tour: Friday, December 13th and Saturday, December 14th.

The planning process has begun. Much of the tour will remain as in past years, with Calvary UMC as the starting point (with an antique and vendor show!) and concluding at Holmes Hall with the Train Tour available to guests. The tour committee is actively seeking houses to be on tour. If you would like to offer your home, or to get more information about what is involved in being on tour, please contact Carol Gomrick or Annette Trunzo.

Please continue to check the weekly eNewsletters and the monthly Gazette for updates, committee meetings and volunteer opportunities.

Carol Gomrick: | Annette Trunzo:

Christmas Tour 2019

“The sun is shining, the grass is green” … and you’re now humming “White Christmas,” right?! It’s the perfect time to begin planning to welcome revelers to our neighborhood to kick off the holiday season!

The dates are set: Friday, December 13th and Saturday, December 14th. The planning process has begun. Much of the tour will remain as is past years, with Calvary UMC as the starting point (with an antique and vendor show!) and concluding at Holmes Hall with the Train Tour available to guests.

The tour committee is actively seeking houses to be on tour. If you would like to offer your home, or to get more information about what is involved in being on tour, please contact Carol Gomrick or Annette Trunzo.

Please continue to check the weekly eNewsletters and the monthly Gazette for updates, committee meetings and volunteer opportunities.

Carol Gomrick:
Annette Trunzo:

Annual Labor Day Block Party

Join us for the Annual Labor Day Block Party on the 900 block of Beech Avenue. The AWCC will provide burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob. Bring your own chair and a side dish to share.

Monday, September, 2nd
4:00-8:00 pm
900 Block of Beech Avenue

Our good neighbors at Calvary United Methodist Church will also be in attendance. The church will be open, and Doug Lucas will give a presentation on the history of the church at 5:30 pm.

The 900 block of Beech Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic for the party, so please move your vehicle off of the street.

If you are able to volunteer to help with the block party, please contact Greg Coll at

Letter from the President – July 2019

“All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs.
To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.” ― August Wilson

Allegheny West Civic Council business typically slows down dramatically during July and August, with the Council often not holding General Membership meetings during these high summer months. Because we do have to vote on the budget, we will hold the July meeting as scheduled on Tuesday, July 9th. However, our regular meeting space at Calvary Methodist is not available so we will relocate the meeting for July. The alternate location is not yet confirmed, information will be provided via email blast so please be on the lookout for that update. The July meeting will also be somewhat abbreviated as we’ll have time constraints – the Treasurer’s report and budget will have top billing, followed by Ways and Means and Housing and Planning updates.

We head into the slower summer months on the heels of a very busy spring. There are some people who deserve a special mention for their efforts on recent neighborhood events:

Carol Gomrick – Chair of the Tour and Tasting event which was a big success in large part due to Carol’s hard work. So many people volunteered their gardens, time, talents, etc. and Carol coordinated all that work! It was an impressive team effort and we’re lucky to have Carol leading the way!

Greg Coll – and his team pulled off a lovely Memorial Day picnic even going so far as to arranging perfect weather.

Diane Caruso and Trish Burton – are responsible for the new brick pathway and beautiful look of the parklet at Western Avenue and Brighton Road. They corralled resources to finish this garden upgrade before the tour and it looks great.

Of course there are many others volunteering their time towards Allegheny West projects and events, we are very lucky to have many neighbors who give their time so generously.

And speaking of August Wilson, the cast and crew of the movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be around the neighborhood, particularly on the 800 block of W North Avenue filming in the next couple of weeks. Look for flyers with details on road closings and contact info to be distributed to affected homes.

The July 4th neighborhood picnic will highlight love, laughter and a rib cook off. Hope to see you there!

Ann Gilligan
President, AWCC

Seeking Members for the Ways and Means Committee!

Attention Neighbors: We need people who are interested in fundraising activities to join the Ways and Means Committee. We put together the various tours, raffles and special events for the neighborhood. Please consider becoming involved in the planning of upcoming events.  Committee meetings are on the second Monday of each month at the AWCC office (806 Western Avenue) at 7:30 pm. For the July 10th meeting, there will be  a debrief from the Wine Tasting Tour and discussion of preliminary plans for the Victorian House Tour. Hope to see you there! Any questions, please contact Annette at

Allegheny West 2019 Neighbor of the Year

Holly Pultz, Allegheny West’s Neighbor of the Year 2019, moved from the country to Beech Avenue thirty-two years ago with Dan, her husband, and their daughters, and that’s when the neighborhood beautification project began. At that time, Irish, a lady of the streets, yelled at Holly for weeding and cleaning up the streets, but that didn’t stop her. She loved the diversity of the neighborhood. An award-winning artist, Holly quickly put her creativity to good use in Allegheny West, designing and painting the facades used for the AW miniatures, sold at early Christmas house tours. She also has led art classes & programs for children and several Paint Monkey-type events to raise money for a neighborhood church choir to sing at Carnegie Hall.

If you’re driving past the Triangle garden at North & Brighton at 7L00 am, you might catch a glimpse of Holly pulling weeds and tidying the garden. It is just one of the many quiet acts of service that Holly provides and that has led to Holly’s nomination as Allegheny West Neighbor of the Year. Holly’s fierce determination has meant that beautification projects aren’t just discussed, but are realized, thanks to Holly’s researching and then cajoling local suppliers, leading fundraising efforts and, finally, literally getting her hands dirty as tree wells and empty lots are weeded, planted, mulched and maintained.

There are many other activities that Holly has cheerfully helped with over the past thirty years, such as block parties, pancake suppers, monthly clean-ups and flower baskets. She always appears with a smile on her face and a great attitude. No one can resist her laugh. But perhaps most impressive is that Holly shares her many gifts and talents, her time and energy, with graceful, elegant humility.

Holly will be honored at the Northside Leadership Conference dinner on Thursday, June 13th, at the Priory Grand Hall.
Congratulations, Holly!!

Get Ready for 2019 Tour and Tasting, featuring the Northside!

Submitted by Carol Gomrick

I’m thrilled to share that all of the homes are secured for the 2019 Wine Tour. Thank you to the following homeowners for opening up your homes.

2019 Homes

Holmes Hall (719 Brighton Road)
Scott Keeney (905 Beech Avenue)
Carol & Brett (940 W North Avenue)
CCAC West Hall (Ridge Avenue)
Emmanuel Church (957 W North Avenue)
Dennis & Doug (808 Galveston Avenue)

PLEASE NOTE! We are very excited that we are looking to have on the tour West Hall part of CCAC. This stop is added so guests will be able to view the incredible exhibit sharing a 50-year history retrospective of Allegheny West. An incredible story, beautifully woven together by Doris Short and Greg Coll. Doris and Greg will be on hand to walk guest through the exhibit. We would be remiss if we did not thank CCAC for generously opening the hall for the tour and allowing the exhibit to be extended for the guests.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Dr Quintin Bullock, CCAC President, Dr Evon W. Walters, Campus President and Mary Henderson with Facilities who all have supported the efforts to open these historic buildings for our tours. Please look in the near future on the Allegheny West website and in the program for upcoming wine tasting classes being offered at the CCAC Allegheny Campus.

Volunteers Needed

The tour committee is actively looking for volunteers to help during the tour – please see the list below of opportunities available. There are limited slots so they will fill up on a first response method: Contact Annette Trunzo or Carol Gomrick to sign up ( In the next email blast, a link to a Google Docs sign up sheet will be available.

Volunteer Responsibilities | 1 per Homeowner / per Tour

Homeowners will be seeking wine pourers/food servers and greeters.

House Lead

Point of contact for the homeowner (House lead will need to be available during the entire shift)

  • Makes sure all issues are addressed / e.g. extra plates/napkins etc.
  • Coordinate with Annette Trunzo for additional supplies as needed
  • Coordinate on Saturday to tear down service at tour house and coordinate remaining food/wine delivered to after party. 1 per household / openings Friday 5 – 9 / Sat 1-5 / Sat 5 – 9 (Holmes Hall is filled.)

Food Runner

  • Point of contact for the homeowner
  • Requirements will vary based upon the restaurant assigned to the house
  • Pick up food from local restaurant and deliver to the home | may require multiple trips during the tour. Restaurants: Bier’s Pub, Lola Bistro, Brugge on North, Bistro 2 Go
  • Deliver dessert to the homes for the last tour of the evening

Tour Runners

  • Point of contact for Annette Trunzo to set up/tear down tour; address any issues during the tour
  • Make sure parking signage from AWCC office is set up/returned for the tour
  • Set up/tear down tables for Byers Hall and return tables to their owners (Doris/Greg and Carol/Brett)
  • 3 per tour / openings Friday 5 – 9 / Sat 1-5 / Sat 5 – 9

After Party

  • Help setup/tear down after party at Carole and Bob Malakoff’s house – 9:00 pm start
  • Need to deliver food/drinks / help set up Saturday night after the tours
  • Clean up after the festivities

Tour Guides

Thank you all for your support of the 2019 tour. Pray for great weather! Cheers!

2019 Tour and Tasting

Submitted by Annette Trunzo, Ways and Means Chair

The 2019 Tour and Tasting will be held on Friday June 21st and Saturday June 22nd. The Committee is excited to share that we have several houses, but we still need a few more. If you are interested in putting your home and garden on tour, please contact Carol Gomrick:

The theme of the tour will be a vastly different from previous tours. To highlight the incredible restaurant scene in Pittsburgh, the committee is reaching out to local restaurants to provide the food “tastings” and appropriate wine pairings. Guests will not only have the opportunity to try a variety of wines, but also learn more about what is making Pittsburgh such a foodie destination! Starting in April, the committee will be asking for help to promote the tour through social media and will share available volunteer opportunities. Please continue to check the Gazette and weekly email blast for updates and information.