Photo by Victor Wu
As part of DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh, an annual two-day event that provides unprecedented access to buildings around the city, we are featuring 20 of the many buildings participating.
Today’s building is the Alphabet City building on the Northside.
A Brief History of the Alphabet City Building
The North Ave. building is now a permanent home for City of Asylum programming and arts events. City of Asylum is a safe place, a location for area writers, artists and creatives to let their ideas and opinions be known. Not only does it serve Pittsburgh, it welcomes those from all over the world. Communication, cultural exchange and lots of collaboration are encouraged.
The Alphabet City Project started a dozen years ago when neighbors asked the City of Asylum to buy a bar that was causing a lot of trouble on Monterey Street. 10 years ago, that deal was finalized and the City of Asylum started asking around for ideas and raising funds for their dream.
The site of the bar is now a reading garden by Alphabet City. After the City of Asylum received a yes from community organizations and the local zoning board, many neighbors reversed their original testimonies in favor and unfortunately appealed the project. After potentially facing years in court, the organization relocated to the Masonic Building. The Urban Redevelopment Authority gave the option to buy the whole building. The City of Asylum bought the building just three years ago and on September 10, 2016 the City of Asylum at Alphabet City opened.
Visit Doors Open Pittsburgh here to purchase tickets for this outstanding event!