Carnegie among bounce-back communities
Carnegie is one of nearly a dozen Allegheny County towns involved in a program to help bolster its business district.
Leaders since 2007 have been able to participate in the Allegheny Together Program, through the county's economic development department, which helps to rebuild aging walk-through business districts with advice and refers communities to funding sources.
“They helped with way-finding signage to show how to get to the library, borough building and main streets and business signs,” said Joanne Letcher, executive director of the Carnegie Community Development Corp., a nonprofit that promotes the town.
Carnegie joined Allegheny Together in 2011. Today, there are 11 communities involved.
Town leaders start by creating an advisory committee to work with consultants from Town Center Associates, a company based in the Uptown section of Pittsburgh that offers planning services for traditional business districts.
The development corporation, the borough and KMA Design, a Carnegie architectural signage company, took part in the wayfinding effort. Signs will be placed throughout the town over the next four years. Business owners can purchase signs for $428 with business logos that will replace the current banners on lampposts.
Nearly a dozen people, including Letcher, meet monthly.
Six businesses that learned about the Sustainable Pittsburgh organization through the Allegheny Together effort have obtained designations, which are tied to following specific practices such as recycling. The businesses are Black Lamb Consignments, Carnegie Coffee Co., Distinctively Different Decor & More, Modern Mercantile PGH, More Than Words Fine Papers and Puhlman's Flower Shoppe.
Today, Carnegie has more than 400 businesses.
Lance Chimka, manager of business for the county's economic development department, helped to design Allegheny Together to boost lackluster business districts.
“Underinvestment in public infrastructure, rising vacancies, negative public perception, inappropriate business mix, public safety issues, transportation, blight and abandonment are all themes communities want to address,” he said.
Most towns that are assisted, however, are those that with some investment may turn the corner.
Program applications show a community's motivations to make changes, but they also tell the story of the town's past efforts and its vision for the future.
Consultants help the committee put a plan together to bolster business. There used to be so much to do in Carnegie, Letcher said. “People used to come to Carnegie to shop, eat and be entertained. There were three movie theaters,” she said.
She blames malls for causing the decline of many a main street. Carnegie's continuing comeback will be fueled by a younger demographic as the town presents itself as a destination for arts and entertainment with its galleries, acting troupes, restaurants and musical programs, including those at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall.
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- State law complicates Allegheny County proposal for letter grading of restaurants
- Alle-Kiski Valley roundup: Riverview volleyball outs Chartiers-Houston
- Bill Clinton to campaign in Pittsburgh for Pa. gubernatorial candidate
- House 58th District seat candidates focus on education, taxes
- Rossi: Fleury is, and will remain, Penguins’ soul
- Ross brothers ordered to pay fine, remove debris from Christmas display
- Rural communities can’t shake effects of subprime crisis
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Russian steel to lose duty shelter
- Steelers film session: Watt kept under control
- Testing legs, giving backup goalie a chance are Penguins’ priorities