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Project Will Preserve History of Former Addison Terrace and Hill District

KBK Enterprises has asked The KBK Foundation to work alongside the development and construction efforts to document and preserve the rich history of the Hill District. While over 400 units of mixed-income housing will physically restore much of the Hill’s environment, The KBK Foundation aims to add to the pride and heritage in another way- with an in-depth Addison Terrace History Project (ATHP).

One of the most notable places in the country for the jazz heritage, Pittsburgh’s Hill District has numerous community organizations and movements aimed at preserving its history. This project will bring an element that isn’t typically associated with public housing, art. Historically, the Hill District was known for its art scene and the project will acknowledge, praise, reintroduce art into the community, and broaden the cultural diversity of historic preservation by capturing the history of the Hill District through film and art. By preserving the story of Addison Terrace, it will be remembered for generations to come.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

As a partner, The KBK Foundation is in a unique position to tell the story of the Hill District in the context of the Addison Terrace Development. Dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Addison Terrace has a history of its own. The purpose of this project is to connect the past of Addison to its future through a film, historical exhibit, public art, and supporting programming.

The Addison Terrace History Project is projected to run from January 2014 through December 2015 with elements of the film, exhibit, art, and programming running simultaneously. The KBK Foundation staff will monitor and guide the project, perform outreach and engagement, oversee research, and manage funding. The KBK Foundation was recently awarded $31,500 from McAuley Ministries to fund the training and education of five promising students from the Hill District to create  a documentary film of the history of the Addison Terrace and public housing in America.

The greatest value of this project will be had by the residents of the future Addison Terrace and the users of the community building and parks at the top of the hill. We have a unique opportunity on the Hill because our project is not just multi-family housing but, located throughout the community as well. This work, the film, exhibit, art, and programming, are all for the purpose and benefit of any resident, student, child, or friend who uses the space, sits on a bench, or watches the documentary. The ATHP programming branch will allow students and community members of all ages to participate in the historic research, production of film, exhibit and public art pieces. The hands on experience will allow individuals to develop technical skills that can be carried into their future endeavors.

Part of the mission of The KBK Foundation is to provide social and educational services to the residents of the communities in which we work. We have had the distinct pleasure of working on a similar project in New Orleans which included great community engagement and yielded a moving and informative 30 minute film about the former Calliope Public Housing development. In that instance, The Foundation was able to expand its repertoire of services to include historic preservation. The community building at the new Marrero Commons will screen the film continuously and the exhibit produced will hang on its walls permanently.

The services The Foundation offers to our residents in Pittsburgh have included job readiness, tutoring, after school and daycare services as well as art projects, dance workshops and holiday events. Our engagement with our community members spans beyond the building; it includes the fostering of a community with educational and informative opportunities. This historical documentary and exhibit will, in a sense, be a first for The Foundation, but, it will also be an expansion on what we’ve done in the past.