Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Newcomer Is Drawn to a Diverse Street in City's East End

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Newcomer Is Drawn to a Diverse Street in City's East End

Article excerpt

Abbie Miller came to Pittsburgh last August to work as a neighborhood liaison for the Union Project, a community center in Highland Park. Among the items she brought was a box of old catalog cards from a library in Goshen, Ind.

She found a place to live a short walk from her workplace, which is located in a former church at Stanton and Negley avenues. She started exploring, looking for a street to draw. She found the right street in Euclid Avenue.

"I have drawn houses for a long time," said the 23-year-old graduate of Goshen College, where she studied art. Euclid was a manageable length to her -- 10 blocks from Penn Avenue in East Liberty to the entrance of Highland Park.

Ms. Miller has drawn every house on Euclid south of Stanton and half the houses north of Stanton. She will have completed the avenue by June 6, when she presents the drawings at the Pulse Gallery, 5151 Penn Ave. "Project PGH: The Euclid Avenue Project" will be part of the First Friday "Unblurred" monthly Penn Avenue street crawl.

In the meantime, she will deliver leaflets inviting every Euclid Avenue resident to the show, at which she plans to give them the drawings of their houses. The show runs from 6 to 9 p.m., with its first hour dedicated to Euclid Avenue residents.

"I would love for attendance to be as diverse as the street is," Ms. Miller said.

We met Monday at the corner of Stanton and Euclid, where she began drawing last fall. She pulled a little file box of library cards out of her purse, each with an exquisite line drawing. She has drawn some houses by standing in front of them, some by relying on Google maps and some from using photos.

We stopped at 725 N. Euclid, a red brick home from the early 1900s. The total value of the building and property is assessed at $38,700. By contrast, five houses directly across the street have been built within the last few years. She calls them "the Google houses," because they are selling in the high $200,000s and $300,000s and could be especially attractive to people moving from other cities for high-end jobs.

Euclid Avenue is a mix of old and new, care and careworn. Some houses are lovely with rhododendron, azaleas and decorative flags in front, and some need paint, repairs and weed-whacking. …

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