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Join our Welcome Committee!Edit

Do you wish you had been welcomed to the neighborhood officially by the Federation? Would you be interested in helping us welcome our newer neighbors? We are forming a Welcoming Committee, and would love your input!

If you are interested in sharing your thoughts and ideas, please attend an informal meeting on Sunday, Feb. 25th, at 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Please email jen -@- thetinkers -dot- com for location information. Brighton Heights Citizens Federation


Median Home Price: $75,000 Population: 14,318 Factoid: 718 Acres, Riv Vu

Brighton-ing up the Heights

The crisply renovated Osterling Flats on California Avenue, their century-old ornate Dutch-style facades gleaming, send the signal loud and clear: What's old is new again in Brighton Heights. This North Side community is revamping local resources, including the Flats and a former bank that's morphed into a spot to eat and meet your neighbors. Giving directions to Brighton Heights may result in a variety of interpretations. Next to Riverview Park? Yes. Just over the McKees Rocks Bridge? That, too. Meanwhile, one busy street, Termon Avenue, snakes up a hill off Route 65 near a bridge close to a business district, where main drag California Avenue willfully hangs a right. The resulting five-street intersection can stymie would-be explorers. Home buyers, press on: There are bargains on these tree-lined streets.

"We're on the other side of Riverview Park from Observatory Hill," says Ray Meyer, who's lived on McClure Avenue for 26 years. "We two [neighborhoods] share the park." Families like the Meyerses are finding new neighbors who also appreciate the housing stock in this North Side neighborhood.

row of Brighton Heights homesOne is 38-year-old Kelly Burns, who bought and restored her 1930s Arts and Crafts brick home on Viruth Street six years ago after returning to the city from North Carolina. She spearheads the "Portal Project" of the Brighton Heights Citizens Federation. The plan is to bring economic revitalization to the business district, welcoming visitors to the neighborhood with a new sign, cleaned-up streetscape and a new traffic roundabout to replace the five-point traffic stop at Termon.

Property values in the Heights haven't risen as dramatically as in other city districts, but they're still 27 percent higher than they were in 1995. And that could change even more as new families take advantage of solid, affordable houses, and singles consider a new crop of condos.

Legion Park monument"The Osterling Flats are just beautiful. The community group has converted three California Avenue buildings on the downtown bus line into great units with the old marble fireplaces," reports Meyer. Osterling, the architect of Clayton and the Union Trust Building, designed the buildings in the early 1900s with ornate Dutch rooflines. Buyers like the one and two-bedroom flats' interior touches, added by EDGE Architecture, as much as the price, around $125,000.

The VaultSupplying the energy for a nascent business-district renaissance is The Vault, a bank turned coffee and tea bar and performance space that opened last year. It's become a destination for parents en route to Rooney Middle School, commuters grabbing the Bellevue-downtown bus outside or art lovers checking out exhibits in the tiny upper-level gallery while chomping on The Vault's famous open-faced PB&J sandwiches. One recent show: tattoo art.

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