PAA Hotel Project Update

Dear Neighbors,

By now, I expect that everyone is aware that the PAA Hotel project has broken ground and construction is underway. 

A copy of the Construction Management Plan is attached as well as the Traffic Management Plan drawings approved by the City.  Josh Lavrinc of Callay Capital has maintained the lines of communication between SFCA and the project principals; PJ Dick Inc. and Concord Hospitality Inc.  The details evolved between late October and the most recent clarifications as of late January.

There are a few things that are important to Schenley Farms and particularly our neighbors on Lytton and Bigelow Boulevard.

The original plan to close Lytton to through traffic between Fifth Avenue and Bigelow Blvd. was modified, in the approved plan, to One Way from Fifth Ave. to Bigelow.
All construction vehicle traffic is directed away from the Schenley Farms residential properties with the closest traffic turning left from Lytton onto Bigelow toward O’Hara.
All construction vehicle traffic, using the Bigelow Boulevard gate, shall exit by making a left at O’Hara and not proceed up Parkman Avenue or turn right onto Bigelow.  Should any construction vehicle traffic be observed violating the established route, please report it to SFCA.  Include date and time as well as vehicle description.
PJ Dick advised that they will maintain water service, filter sock, truck wash down/out to minimize road debris accumulation from truck tires and gate seal droppings, particularly with dump trucks hauling excavated spoil.  Schenley Farms neighbors should report any accumulation of mud or debris on area roads to SFCA if observed.
PJ Dick’s typical working hours will be 7 am -4 pm M-F, but there may be times that will need to vary.  Once exterior demo starts in bulk it will be 7 am-5:30 pm M-TH.  
PJ Dick has provided assurance that they will comply with the City Noise Ordinance.  IMPORTANT!  SFCA has worked closely with Councilman Gilman and Corey Layman, Zoning Administrator on the revised Zoning Code noise, vibration and air quality Chapters 916 “Residential Compatibility Standards” and 917 “Operational Performance Standards” that are before City Council for approval on Tuesday 2/14/2017.   SFCA contributed to these sections of the Code with the express intent of protecting Schenley Farms during construction and operation of commercial and institutional buildings located close to our residential neighborhood.
Loading & Unloading truck holding location:  PJ Dick has advised that sufficient holding area for trucks exists within the construction barriers along Bigelow and Lytton as indicated in the approved Plan. Further, PJ advised that it plans to open gates prior to 7:00 am to minimize the requirement for a holding area.  In no case are delivery trucks to park or hold near residential curbs on Bayard, Bigelow Boulevard or on any other street within the Schenley Farms residential district.  In the unlikely event of a violation, please report it to SFCA to include date, time and vehicle description.
PJ Dick has advised that it will distribute advance notification of any planned temporary lane, street or sidewalk closures and SFCA will advise our members.  PJ Dick is an excellent Construction Manager/General Contractor and we are confident that they will make the appropriate efforts to minimize this projects impact on our close residential neighborhood.

Please direct any questions or concerns about this project to the Schenley Farms Civic Association:

Best regards,
Norm Cleary
Schenley Farms Civic Association

SFCA 2017 Dues Notice

​Dear Neighbors,

The Schenley Farms Civic Association continues to work to preserve the historic character and maintain “the general welfare” of the neighborhood.  Since our inception in 1920, the Association has relied on members’ dues and voluntary participation to support normal activities.  With the exception of Annual Membership Meeting costs and minimal expenses, Association efforts and activities have been provided by our members on a strictly voluntary basis.

Your membership is vital to SFCA.  Equally important is your participation.  Please join or renew, and tell us about any neighborhood concerns at

Please, join your neighbors and support the Schenley Farms Civic Association by returning the attached form along with your Annual Dues check for $50.

Thank You,

The Schenley Farms Civic Association Board

Download 2017 Membership Form


Election Day Organ Recital at Heinz Memorial Chapel

The Schenley Farms Civic Association is pleased to present an Election Day Organ Recital featuring the works of Dieterich Buxtehude, J.S. Bach, Gabriel Pierné, César Franck and Léon Boëllmann.

What: Organ Recital by Graham Blyth (Challow Park, UK)
When: Tuesday November 8, 2016 at Noon
Where: Heinz Memorial Chapel
Admission: Free!

What better way to relieve at least some of the stress of our 2016 Presidential Election Year than to enjoy the artistry of a fine British musician?  We invite you to join our neighbors and friends for a brief lunchtime retreat from political ads and stressful decision making.  If you haven’t had an opportunity to experience the 4,272 pipe Reuter organ in Heinz Chapel’s beautiful setting and lovely acoustics then this Election Day is your day!

About the Organist:
Graham Blyth was born in 1948, began playing the piano aged 4 and received his early musical training as a Junior Exhibitioner at Trinity College of Music in London, England. Subsequently, at Bristol University where he read Electrical Engineering, he founded the Student Music Society, organizing and conducting the Chamber Orchestra and Choir. He holds diplomas in Organ Performance from the Royal College of Organists, The Royal College of Music and Trinity College of Music.

In 1973 he founded Soundcraft Electronics with Phil Dudderidge (now owner of Focusrite), and has been Technical Director from the beginning. Soundcraft has since grown to be one of the most significant designers and manufacturers of audio mixing consoles in the world. In the late 1980s he renewed his musical studies with Sulemita Aronowsky for piano and Robert Munns for organ. He gives numerous concerts each year as organist and pianist. He made his international debut with an organ recital at St. Thomas Church, New York, in 1993 and since then has given concerts on many famous organs in Europe and North America, most recently at St. Etienne du Mont, Paris and First Church, Los Angeles.

He has lived in Wantage Oxfordshire since 1984 where he is Artistic Director of Wantage Chamber Concerts. In 1995 he built a Recital Hall in the grounds of Challow Park House, an 80 seat auditorium with variable acoustics, using the Lexicon LARES system. This has recently been replaced by a much larger space (900 cu.m / 31,750 cu.ft), with natural acoustics, as part of a substantial performing and recording studio complex. Graham is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society and the Royal Society of Arts, and the recipient of an honorary D.Sc from Hertfordshire University.

Special thanks to Wendy Lau, Assistant Director of Heinz Memorial Chapel – University of Pittsburgh for her gracious cooperation and support.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

Norman Cleary
Schenley Farms Civic Association​


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Meetings with Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools
submitted by Norm Cleary, August 22, 2016

Dear Neighbors,
This is notice of an opportunity for input on education in Pittsburgh Public Schools.  Superintendent Hamlet will be holding listening sessions in 9 locations beginning this Thursday and throughout the month of September.  

Click here for locations, dates and info about the sessions.

Norman Cleary
Schenley Farms Civic Association


SFCA 2016 Dues Notice

submitted by Norm Cleary, January 18, 2016

​Dear Neighbors,
The Schenley Farms Civic Association is ninety-five years old and we’re still defending our single-family zoning classification, promoting safety and security, preserving the historic character and, as our Bylaws also provide, maintaining “the general welfare” of the neighborhood.  

Since our inception in 1920, the Association has relied on members’ dues and voluntary participation to support normal activities.  With the exception of Annual Membership Meeting costs and minimal expenses, Association efforts and activities have been provided by our members on a strictly voluntary basis.

Please, join your neighbors and support the Schenley Farms Civic Association by returning the attached form along with your Annual Dues check for $50.

SFCA has had another very busy year.  And 2016 is developing as one of the most significant and potentially impactful years for our residential neighborhood in many decades.   SFCA will soon send a News Letter outlining the issues and initiatives that the Association’s Board and member volunteers have been doing on your behalf and the challenges ahead.

Your membership is vital to SFCA.  Equally important is your participation.  Please join or renew, and tell us at what we’re doing right—or wrong.

On behalf of the Board, we look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting and Election in May.  We will announce the time and place in about a month.

Norm Cleary

President, SFCA

Download 2016 Membership Form


Update:  Proposed Increase to Residential Noise Standards
submitted by Norm Cleary, October 28, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

The City Planning Commission heard testimony from Schenley Farms neighbors opposed to the proposed increase in allowable noise amendments to the Zoning Code.  Special thanks to Deb Walko and Christina Schmidlapp for testifying at the hearing and Michael Vanyukov and Melissa McSwigan for their written testimony.  We were assisted by testimony from Architect Rob Pfaffmann and Wanda Wilson, Executive Director of OPDC.  A copy of my testimony is attached for your information.

The commissioners struggled with these changes to the Zoning Code.  My three minutes of technical testimony was mostly insufficient to aid with their understanding.  Their confusion was evident by their deliberation discussions.  But the good news is that they did understand that this change would have allowed double the ambient noise loudness in the city’s residential neighborhoods.  The bad news is they approved the new language, with noise level amendments, for consideration by City Council.

What does this mean?

Even with minor amendments to specific allowable noise levels, what the Commission approved is bad legislation.  City Planning has conflated nuisance noise (frat keggers and garage bands, for example) with mechanical systems and auxiliary power generator noise from commercial and institutional buildings.  With the assistance of Councilman Gilman we may have an opportunity to amend the language before it is presented to City Council for a vote.   Rob Pfaffmann and I have been “drafted” to meet with City Planning in an attempt to repair this section of Zoning Code.  Our first meeting has been scheduled for November 13th.  I will keep you advised of our progress.

As with our tiny neighborhood’s extensive work on Oakland Master Planning issues, this represents a substantial effort.  But properly crafted Zoning Code will be beneficial to Schenley Farms in controlling the impact of new building development in close proximity to the Schenley Farms Historic District.

You can see my testimony here:  
Norm's testimony concerning Noise Amendment to zoning code, October 27, 2015    

Best regards,

Norman Cleary
Schenley Farms Civic Association

Proposed Increase to Residential Noise Standards
When: Tuesday October 27, 2015 @ 2:00 p.m.
Where: John P. Robin Civic Building, 1st Floor
200 Ross Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Dear neighbors,
The City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Residential Compatibility and Operational Performance sections of the Zoning Code.  (See Noise & Construction Amendments, attached.)

Why this is important:

The proposed changes to Zoning Code Section 916.06 would increase acceptable nighttime noise emissions, measured at your property line, from 45 dB(A) to 55 dB(A).  Acceptable daytime noise would increase from the current 55 dB(A) maximum to 65 dB(A).  917.02 would increase permitted nighttime noise emissions, measured at the emitting property line, from 55 to 60 dB(A).

For some perspective, consider that typical urban nighttime noise is 40-45 dB(A) depending on nearby traffic noise.  45 dB(A) is considered to induce some sleep disturbance with open windows.  55 dB(A) is a serious annoyance level and impediment to sleep.  And for further reference, heavy traffic at a distance of 300 feet would typically generate a noise level of 60 dB(A).  By proposing these changes the city seems to be advocating one or all of the following:

  • Continuous use of conditioned air…
  • Use of earplugs when fresh air is desired while sleeping…
  • A sleep deprived urban population.

My tongue is only loosely stuck in my cheek. 

In September, City Council approved ill-advised changes to Zoning Code Section 601.04.  These new proposed changes are intended to “standardize” all noise sections of Zoning Code.  I would characterize this as being from the “two wrongs don’t make a right” department.

If you have concerns about noise impact on our neighborhood, I urge you to offer testimony at Tuesday’s hearing.

Best regards,


Noise & Construction amendments

Norman Cleary
Schenley Farms Civic Association


Fairfield Lane Fall Clean Up
Who:  Residents along Fairfield lane or other interested neighbors
When:  Saturday October 24, Starting at 8:30 A.M.
Where:  Fairfield Lane (Bigelow Boulevard gate will be open.)

Fairfield Lane is in need of our attention.  Jim Franzen has been kind enough to organize the Fall Clean Up.  He has provided the following information:

As in the past, about 20 students will be joining us from the PittMakeA DiffernceDay (PMADD) neighborhood assistance program. Some of us will be starting 8:30AM; the PMADD students will be here at 10:00; we will end after lunch. 

Each of us will (should) bring whatever tools we have: clippers, rakes, brooms, saws and trash bags and smiles. (Bring extras if you have them, so that we’ll have enough to equip our helper-students.) As in the past we will have a good time, the more the merrier. Part of the good time will be sharing lunch together: pizza, greens, salad, cookies, coffee and colas. A donation basket will be on the provisions table at the foot of the steps which lead down from our property (4212 Centre Ave.) to the Lane. 

Some number of you have been active throughout the year, making clean-up a sort of on-going effort. Thanks from all of us to you who've done such good work.

All Parkman Avenue properties, bordering the Lane, extend midway across Fairfield Lane.  Hopefully, you can participate.  If not, a donation to the worker’s lunch fund would be appreciated.  
Please contact Jim as soon as possible to confirm your participation.
Home: (412) 681-4094
Mobile: (412) 760-7807

Schenley Farms Civic Association


PAA-Hotel HRC Hearing UPDATE
submitted by Norm Cleary, June 7, 2015

The Board would like to thank our neighbors who attended the PAA Hotel Pre-HRC Hearing meeting last Monday.  For those of you who missed it, Josh Lavrinc of Callay Capital provided an overview of the revised hotel plan and Rob Dauer offered some insight into the PAA’s plans moving forward.  A “spirited” discussion followed including comments from Councilman Dan Gilman.

Neighbors, representing twenty two Schenley Farms households, voted their position on the revised plan before the HRC:


Considering our Board’s tied vote and the member vote we concluded that, without a clear mandate from the neighborhood, SFCA should not take a position at the HRC Hearing.  Our HRC Hearing testimony is attached:  SFCA HRC Hearing Testimony June 3, 2015

After taking much testimony on Wednesday, the Historic Review Commission voted 2-2—a tie!  Acting Chair, Ernie Hogan was quoted as saying “I didn’t see that one coming”.  The City is currently engaging in procedural efforts to vote again in 30 days and break the tie.  We’ll keep you advised.

Thanks to all who have contributed your opinions and to Schenley Farmers who testified at the HRC Hearing.

Best regards,

Norman Cleary
Schenley Farms Civic Association

PAA-Hotel April 1 HRC Hearing Postponed

At our March 18th meeting,  28 of our neighbors voted to oppose the PAA hotel development as proposed, with 1 vote in favor.  SFCA has communicated our objections to the developer and the city.  We were notified by Councilman Gilman’s office last night that the PAA and Oakland Fifth Avenue Hotel Associates LP had withdrawn their application from Wednesday’s April 1 HRC agenda.  They intend to submit a modified plan for the HRC Hearing on May 6th.  (Mark your calendars.)  That gives them until April 17th to develop a revised plan that, at the very least, complies with the new construction guidelines for the Oakland Civic Center Historic District.

The councilman has requested that SFCA meet with OFAHA representatives on Wednesday to help define design objectives for their plan revision effort.  We intend to focus on a careful review of the guidelines, Schenley Farms Company historic documents, zoning code and your comments and concerns voiced at the meeting.  A draft of the meeting minutes (not yet approved by the board) is attached (see below).  Additional comments are welcome and should be e-mailed to the Schenley Farms Civic Association by noon on Tuesday.

This year’s Annual Membership Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday April 29th at 7:00 p.m.  A formal notification, with the particulars, will be sent to you shortly.  The revised hotel development plan will be on the agenda for review with you before the HRC Hearing.  Please mark your calendar.

On behalf of the entire board, I want to express appreciation to our neighbors for your thoughtful input and commitment to the preservation of the Oakland Civic Center Historic District and the SF neighborhood.

 Thank you,

SFCA Board Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2015

Annual Meeting of Schenley Farms Civic Association
When:  Wednesday, April 29, Refreshments at 7:00 P.M.  Meeting starts at 7:30 P.M.
Where:  Twentieth Century Club Lecture Room (Parkman and Bigelow)


Election of 3 candidates to the Board of Directors
Schenley High School Apartment Conversion City Planning Commission Approved Plan (Construction Begins!) 
Proposal for Hotel Adjacent to Pittsburgh Athletic Association (Parking Lot)  
UPMC Master Plan (Approved!)
Schenley Place Construction Progress Update
Parking and Traffic Issues
New Development in North Oakland
Wayfinding Street Signage Initiative
New Neighbors Introductions 
New Business

Please RSVP to Schenley Farms Civic Association
Schenley Farms Civic Association


UPMC Master Plan City Council Hearings
submitted by the SFCA Board, February 6, 2015

Dear neighbors,

You already know that the Schenley Farms Civic Association, in cooperation with Councilman Dan Gilman, has taken a lead role in the community’s response to UPMC’s Oakland Campus Master Plan.  The net result of multiple meetings with UPMC and a community meeting held on December 9, 2014 is a final version of the Master Plan that better informs the community of the potential impact of UPMC’s ongoing Oakland facilities evolution.  The revised Master Plan addresses a 10 and 25 year planning envelope and provides information of benefit to Schenley Farms and all Oakland residents.

Councilman Gilman has advised us that the UPMC Master Plan Hearing before City Council has been scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 26 at 1:30 p.m. This is a public hearing and anyone who wishes to offer concerns or objections will have the opportunity to address Council.  A preliminary vote will be taken on March 4, and a final vote on March 10.

For your calendar:
Public Hearing, Thursday, Feb. 26 at 1:30 p.m in City Council Chambers, 5th Floor, City-County Building.  UPMC will make a brief presentation.  If you wish to comment, you will have the opportunity to speak to Council for three minutes, but you must register by calling the City Clerk at 412-255-2138.  If you don’t register, you will be limited to testimony of one minute.   
City Council meeting of Standing Committees, Wed., March 4 at 10 a.m. Council will discuss the Master Plan and take a preliminary vote.  You may speak for three minutes at the beginning of the session during the “Public Comment” period.  There is no need to register. 
City Council Legislative Session, Tuesday, March 10 at 10 a.m.  Council will take a final vote.  If you wish to speak, the procedure is the same as for March 4 above.

You can find the UPMC Master Plan
Oakland 2014 Master Plan.

If you have questions, contact the Schenley Farms Civic Association at

Schenley Farms Civic Association
Board of Directors


PAA Hotel Project/Schenley Farms Meeting
submitted by Norm Cleary, December 20, 2014

When: Thursday, January 8, 2015, 6:30 PM
Where: PAA, 4215 Fifth Avenue (Room to be announced.) 
The PAA and Callay Capital LLC have invited the residents of Schenley Farms to a meeting to discuss the plans for Concord Hospitality’s hotel project.  SFCA urges all neighbors with an interest in this project, and its short and long term impact on our neighborhood, to attend this meeting.
The following information has not yet been confirmed but is provided for your consideration in anticipation of the meeting.
·         The proposed hotel would be a 10 story building with 180 rooms on the one-half acre lot currently used for parking. 
·         Access/egress would come from Bigelow Boulevard, with Soldier/Sailors across street.   
·         Parking area would be three stories, one underground (including 50 spaces for PAA membership) and two above ground. 
·         One unique feature would be a top floor hotel lobby with panoramic views. 
·         Rooftop dining and lounge
·         Construction likely to take two years
·         Preliminary architectural design suggests matching exterior details and tile roof consistent with the PAA building.
·         The property is located in the Oakland Civic Center Historic District and in the Educational/Medical Institution (EMI) zoning district. 
Schenley Farms is soon to be surrounded by construction projects.  The extent of this new project’s impact on us, through the construction phase and long term hotel operations, must be carefully considered.  Your SFCA board members look forward to seeing you at the PAA meeting on Thursday, January 8th.
Happy holidays,
Norman Cleary
Schenley Farms Civic Association

Schenley High School Apartment Development Community Meeting Date Set
submitted by Norm Cleary, SFCA Board President, October 1, 2014
The Schenley High School Community Meeting, that we have been anticipating, is now scheduled.
When:  Tuesday October 14th at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Oakland Career Center
                294 Semple Street

PMC Property Group will present their latest plans to redevelop the high school into 173 apartments.

You can preview their plan package and approval schedule at .  The Traffic Study should be posted here by Monday of next week.  The Schenley Farms residential neighborhood will be most impacted by this project for many years to come.  This is your opportunity to evaluate PMC’s adaptive redevelopment plan and express your opinion.  SFCA encourages your attendance at this important meeting. 

So that we can gauge neighborhood participation we would appreciate confirmation of your attendance by e-mail reply to Schenley Farms Civic Association .  Should you have preliminary questions, please send them to the same address .  The Board looks forward to seeing you at this meeting.


Chevron Building Generator Test on October 6, 2014
submitted by Norm Cleary, SFCA Board President, Sept 30, 2014
When:  Monday October 6th from 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Where:  Chevron Building
The University of Pittsburgh will be performing the required monthly emergency generator test on Monday October 6th from 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.   Schenley Farms neighbors in close proximity to the Chevron Building will be most impacted.
However, there is good news!  A new customized generator enclosure has been ordered for the Chevron generator set.  It is a custom fabricated noise attenuation system that is scheduled to ship by the first week of January. The university plans to install the enclosure as soon as possible once it is received.  SFCA will advise you as additional information becomes available.


Ruskin Avenue to Close to Vehicular Traffic on October 3, 2014    
submitted by Norm Cleary, SFCA Board President, Sept 30, 2014


The Schenley Place project is now ready to transition from the all concrete phase of the project to the structural steel phase.   Their Department of Public Works (DPW) permit has been updated to permit a temporary closure of the remaining single traffic lane on Ruskin Avenue.  This is being done to provide space for the crane required for steel erection. 


The street closure will begin on Friday afternoon, October 3rd.    On Saturday October 4th  the crane will be assembled resulting in an unusual weekend work day at this construction site.  Steel erection will begin on Monday October 6th.  The structural steel and decking have been sequenced to arrive on the days needed since there is limited laydown space at the site.   Sippel Steel has been advised to notify all drivers of the approved truck route and to not arrive before 7:00 a.m.  The crosswalk, currently across Bayard at Bigelow, will be relocated to the corner of Bayard and Bellefield.   This is a much safer scenario for pedestrians.   


It is hoped that this change will reduce traffic conflicts in and adjacent to Schenley Farms.   Elmhurst has committed to work with us if unintended consequences, from this adjustment, are discovered.   The steel erection phase should be complete in approximately eight weeks.   Ruskin Avenue will then revert back to the current single lane, one-way configuration for the balance of the project. 


Best regards,



Community Meeting about UPMC South Tower Postponed!
submitted by Norm Cleary, SFCA Board President, Sept 15, 2014

Dear neighbors,

UPMC has asked that we postpone Wednesday’s South Tower Community Meeting because the city has asked for additional revisions.  They will need to incorporate those revisions before the community presentation.  Thus, Wednesday’s meeting at the OPDC Career Center, 294 Semple Street is cancelled.  SFCA will alert everyone when UPMC is ready to reschedule. 

Thank you,



County Health Dept Holds Public Meetings on Community Health Assessment
submitted by SFCA, Sept 12, 2014

The Allegheny County Department of Health is holding a number of community meetings to discuss the health of the community and to elicit ideas from the community. Although you are invited to attend any or all of  meetings, the specific meeting for our district is:

When:  Monday, October 6, 6:30 to 8 p.m. 
Where:  Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – East Liberty, 130 S. Whitfield Street, East Liberty. 

Click on the link below for complete details:

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Notice of Chevron Building Emergency Generator Scheduled Operation on Saturday, September 6, 2014.
submitted by Norm Cleary, August 28, 2014

Dear Neighbors,

Starting the weekend of August 9-10th the University of Pittsburgh commenced an extended operation of the Chevron Building emergency generator.  The extended use is a result of electrical infrastructure work currently in process in the Chevron Building.  On Sunday evening, August 10th SFCA conducted a visual inspection of the generator-set and performed noise measurements.  We found that there were no noise abatement systems associated with this installation and noise levels exceeded the limits set by City of Pittsburgh 601.04 Noise Control section c.1.  We reported our findings to the university and the city.

Dan Fisher, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities Operations and Maintenance has advised SFCA that PITT’s Senior Electrical Engineer is working with the generator manufacture to investigate all mitigation options for reducing the noise levels to a reasonable level.  He has assured SFCA that the university will make a concerted effort to limit the operation of the Chevron generator until the mitigation project is complete.  

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that on Saturday, September 6th at 9:00 PM a contractor is scheduled to perform work on the building electrical infrastructure that will require the generator to operate for approximately one hour. Due to safety concerns for the workers they are required to secure the power to the facility.  Dan has assured us that all steps will be taken to limit the actual run time of the generator.


We have asked the university to inform us of future generator uses, other than routine monthly testing, until the noise mitigation project is complete.

Have a great Labor Day weekend,



City Reformed Presbyterian Church to Hold Services at the Twentieth Century Club.
submitted by Norm Cleary, August 27, 2014

City Reformed Presbyterian Church has moved their Sunday services from the PAA to the Twentieth Century Club.  Visit the City Reformed website for more information.

Community Meeting to discuss the UPMC Presby South Tower Demolition and Redesign
submitted by Norm Cleary, SFCA Board President, August 21, 2014

When:  Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 6:00PM
Where:  OPDC Career Center, 294 Semple St, Pittsburgh
There will be a Community Meeting to discuss the UPMC Presby South Tower Demolition and Redesign.  Attendees will include OPDC, UPMC and Oakland residents.  Please refer to the document below for the limited information about the Plan that is currently available.  We expect a more comprehensive presentation at the meeting.  Please attend if you have any questions or concerns.

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Helicopter Flights Over Schenley Farms Scheduled for Thursday, July 3, 2014
NOTICE:  Overcast conditions may result in rescheduling for July 4th or later.
submitted by Norm Cleary, SFCA Board President, July 2, 2014

Dear neighbors,

Your Civic Association was notified today that the University of Pittsburgh Office of Admissions and Financial Aid has hired a video company to capture aerial footage of Oakland. The footage is intended to showcase Oakland and UPMC’s proximity to downtown and green space to prospective students and families.

It appears that Thursday (July 3rd) will be a clear enough day for the helicopter to film aerial footage. The crew plans to fly over campus beginning around noon. They will be doing video shots and still shots, so you may see several passes. It is likely that this helicopter will fly over Schenley Farms.  These over-flights are not associated with STAT MedEvac or the PUH helipad flight activity.

Happy Independence Day,


Marigold Edwards, U.S. Squash Hall of Fame Class 2013 Inductee
submitted by Blithe Runsdorf, April 30, 2014

Long time Schenley Farms Resident, Marigold "Goldie" Edwards, will be inducted into the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame in October, 2014.  She has won twenty-eight masters national singles championships, more than any other woman in U.S. history.  Congratulations, Goldie!  





SFCA Annual Meeting And Election
submitted by Norm Cleary, SFCA Board President, April 27, 2014

When:  Thursday, May 1, 2014; refreshments at 7:00PM, meeting at 7:30PM
Where:  PAA second floor library room

Dear neighbors,

Thursday May 1st is the date that we announced in an e-mail back on March 10th for the Schenley Farms Civic Association Annual Membership Meeting.  We are all so busy that I just wanted to send a personal reminder that your Board would appreciate your attendance at this important meeting.  We only have one a year and this one will be packed with important information affecting our neighborhood.


1. Presbyterian University Hospital (PUH) Helipad Update: John Innocenti, President of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside; Bob Kennedy, UPMC Vice President of Government Affairs; and Doug Garretson, President/CEO of STAT MedEvac will attend.  It’s quite an opportunity to have all three of these executives together to hear their perspectives on air ambulance operations at PUH and take questions from the community most affected by it.  SFCA, in cooperation with Doug Garretson at STAT, has achieved significant improvements to PUH operational impact on our neighborhood since it opened last May.  This is your opportunity to learn more about it and tell them how their operations affect you.


2. PMC Schenley (High School) Residential Development:  Jerold J. Novick, Executive Vice President & General Counsel PMC Property Group, Inc., Dusty Elias Kirk, Global Real Estate Practice Group Leader at Reed Smith, along with the project architect from Strada Architecture LLC will discuss their plans as they have developed since the early community meetings.  We expect to learn more of the project specifics and schedule.


3. Pittsburgh City Council District 8:  Councilman Dan Gilman will be on hand to fill us in on District 8 issues affecting North Oakland and Schenley Farms.  There is a lot going on in Oakland including a new project breaking ground at the site of the old Allegheny County Health Department.  The UPMC Master Plan is going to City Planning on May 13th, including the new Luna Parking Garage.  This Shadyside project is likely to bring increased parking shuttle traffic to our neighborhood.


Other topics will include Permit Parking successes and enforcement issues, street lights, zoning issues and last, but not least, election of officers to our Board of Directors.  So climb out of that pothole and join your neighbors at the PAA, second floor Library Room.  Refreshments at 7:00.  Meeting starts at 7:30 sharp.  I look forward to seeing you.


Best regards,



Schenley Farms Parking Permits and Visitor’s Pass Reminder
Submitted by Barbara Brown, Permit Parking Chair, January 18, 2014    
The City's Department of Public Works will soon be posting area “FF” signs for our Residential Permit Parking District (RPPP). Signs could be in place by February 3rd.  Please note that there is only a one hour grace period for those vehicles without a permit, visitor's pass, or visible legitimate variance. If you have not already done so, it is important that you purchase what you will need for your household before enforcement begins. Once a check and required documents are mailed to the Parking Authority, it takes only a few days to receive stickers and visitors placards. Visiting the office at 232 Boulevard of the Allies Monday thru Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. gets them to you in a few minutes.  More information can be found at


Schenley Place Traffic Management Plan & Project Update
Submitted by Norm Cleary, SFCA Board President, January 18, 2014

The Elmhurst Group SCHENLEY PLACE project is about to enter a new construction phase.  On or about Monday January 20th a Department of Public Works approved Traffic Management Plan will go into effect.  Many of you have expressed concerns about the impact of this building’s construction on our residential neighborhood.  Your SFCA in cooperation with a number of our neighbors past and present have invested considerable time, energy and financial resources in efforts to mitigate disruptions.

The attached plan narrative and associated drawings provide a detailed description.  You will draw your own conclusions.  My personal opinion is that this plan is far from ideal, particularly for the properties on Bayard and Bigelow from Bayard through Lytton.  It was our hope that all truck traffic serving the construction site would arrive and depart via Ruskin.  There is no longer sufficient space on the site or adjacent to it for turning trucks, particularly trailer trucks, for departure back to 5th Ave.  Please know that we have explored every conceivable option and this represents the better of the arguably bad plans.

It will be the responsibility of the Elmhurst Group and their General Contractor, Burchick Construction to assure compliance with the TMP.  There should be no Schenley Place truck traffic on Lytton, Tennyson, Parkman or Bigelow Blvd. from Centre to Ruskin.  SFCA will communicate any reported violations, from our members, to the owner and GC.  Should you observe any offenses please e-mail the Schenley Farms Civic Association at with the date, time, location and description of the vehicle.

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Schenley High School Development Progress Report
submitted by Norm Cleary, SFCA Board President, October 14, 2013
The PMC/Schenley HSB Associates LP*, new owners of Schenley High School, closed the transaction with Pittsburgh Public Schools on Monday August 12th.  Since then PMC/Schenley and their architects, Strada LLC, have been progressing rather quickly with their plans to convert Schenley High School to market rate “Luxury” apartments.
The plan, which is still a work in process, was presented at a community meeting on September 11th.  A copy of the Power Point from that meeting can be downloaded at the link, below.  Here are a few key points:
1. Total Units: 165
1 Bedroom: 119
2 Bedroom: 46  (The actual unit count is subject to change based on final plan development.)
2. Parking Spaces: 117
        Indoor/Outdoor spaces: 104
        Handicap: 7
        Tandem: 6
3. Bicycle: 55 spaces for up to 110 bicycles
A Zoning Variance will be required to enable PMC/Schenley to provide fewer parking spaces than the total number of apartment units.
4. There are no plans for the use of the auditorium
5. 1985 Addition:  Gym will be retained as a tenant amenity.  The natatorium will not be used.
6. Auditorium: No plans for restoration or use.
7. The primary tenant entrance will be off the Bellefield parking lot entrance.
8. Details of the construction schedule and plan, such as hours of operation, contractor parking etc. have not been announced.  SFCA has requested that there be no activity between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.  PMC expects the renovation to take 14 to 18 months with interior demolition starting within 6 months.
PMC/Schenley presented their exterior restoration and renovation plans for Schenley High School at the Historic Review Commission Hearing on October 2nd.  PMC/Schenley shall perform alterations necessary to convert the former Schenley High to rental apartments.  The exterior renovations include:
1. Removal of all mechanical louvers from the window openings.
2. Removal of all miscellaneous lights and signage.  New exterior sconce type lighting fixtures shall be installed.  Parking lot lighting shall be added.
3. A new entrance will be created at an existing mechanical louver and 2 windows will be widened at the parking level facing Bellefield Avenue.  Garage doors shall be added for access to inside parking. (See Lower Level Plan 1.4)  
4. The building will be cleaned and masonry repair will be done where required.  
5. Mechanical units will be added to the roof.  Strada assured HRC that the mechanical units will not be visible at street level and therefore screening will not be required.
The HRC unanimously approved PMC/Schenley’s plan.  A copy of the Power Point submitted to the HRC can be downloaded at the link, below. 
*Holding entity owned by PMC Property Group Inc. Philadelphia PA

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Schenley Building Presentation_ 09-11-2013.pdf
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Permit Parking Resolution for Schenley Farms: Passed and Signed, Awaiting Implementation

submitted by SFCA, October 4, 2013  

The Permit Parking Resolution providing for the implementation of Permit Parking in Schenley Farms, permit area "FF",  was passed by Pittsburgh City Council on August 5, 2013, and signed by Mayor Ravenstahl on August 7, 2013.  The Parking Authority is currently working on the implementation, which might take until early next year to complete.  Be on the lookout for a letter from the Parking Authority later this year describing the Parking Permit Process, the "FF" permit area defined by the Resolution, and how to purchase Permits for "FF". 

We're almost there!    


submitted by Mary McDonough for the SFCA Board, September 27, 2013

When:  Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 1:00PM
Where:  200 Ross Street, Downtown

The Historic Review Commission will meet on Wednesday, October 2, at 200 Ross Street, Downtown.  There are 20 hearings on the Agenda, beginning at 1 p.m.;  the ones that are of concern to our neighborhood are:

#11.  PMC/Schenley proposes “The alteration of the former Schenley High to rental apartments.  The exterior renovations include the removal of all mechanical louvers from the window openings and all miscellaneous lights and signage.  A new entrance will be created at an existing mechanical louver and 2 windows will [be] widened at the parking level facing Bellefield Avenue.  The building will be cleaned and masonry repair will be done where required.  Mechanical units will be added to the roof.” (Emphasis added by SFCA)

#16.  Owner of the Wyndham Hotel (former Holiday Inn) proposes: “Remove existing Holiday Inn Sign.  Replace with Wyndham Inn sign/ no base/ just bolt onto existing base.   

#17.  Univ. of Pittsburgh proposes renovation of Clapp Hall to include demo and replacement of the existing penthouse, reconstruction of parapets, stone cleaning, repair of damaged stone work, replacement of all exterior window and doors, replacement of greenhouse glazing, addition of grade level air intake structure, and rooftop duct enclosures.

Please note that the HRC has jurisdiction over what is done to the exterior of a property only.  We may have concerns about other aspects of the projects—such as the use, noise, odors, traffic, parking, etc;  those issues, however, cannot be resolved by the HRC.

We regret giving you such short notice;  the HRC did not include us in their usual distribution of the agenda.

As always, you are encouraged to participate by:  attending the hearing and speaking (you’ll have 3 minutes per issue);  submitting your opinions to the HRC by email to <>; or telling the SFCA what you think at <>

Thanks for being involved in your neighborhood.

Mary McDonough for the SFCA Board________________________


Submitted by Norman Cleary, July 31, 2013

Today’s Standing Committee recommendation to approve Resolution #2013-1712 is the next to the last step in the process for City Council approval of the creation of Permit Parking Area “FF” for Schenley Farms.  The final step will be a vote to approve at next Monday’s Legislative Session.  Legislative Sessions are typically held on Tuesdays.  But since Council’s August recess starts next week, their final meeting will be on Monday.  The Mayor will then have ten days to veto it.  If the Mayor does nothing the Residential Parking Permit Program will become effective for Schenley Farms.  Actual implementation information and timelines will be announced here.  

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Submitted by Valda Gebhart and Mary McDonough, June 29, 2013

With unanimous approval by the City Planning Commission on June 25, 2013, creation of the Schenley Farms Permit Parking District enters the home stretch.  Kudos to neighbor Barbara Brown whose dogged determination has nurtured the proposal from talk to near-completion—and to those who turned out to testify at the hearing! But it’s not over yet, folks.


The Planning Department will send the legislation to City Council, where the bill will be introduced in Council at a Legislative Session. Eight days later it will come up in Council at a Standing Committee Session. By law, it will then be held for a public hearing.

Once it has been scheduled by the President of Council, notice of the hearing will be posted at and the SFCA will notify neighbors by email.  At the hearing, you will have an opportunity to speak to Council for three minutes to encourage their approval of our permit parking district. District 8 Chief of Staff, Dan Gilman, says it’s not likely that Council will have any objection, but suggests that we not take it for granted. He said, “It is important to have some residents attend the public hearing, but you do not need to pack chambers.”


After the public hearing, when the bill returns to Council, they will take a preliminary vote. Six days later, they will take a final vote. Then, the Mayor has 10 days to sign, veto, or let it become law without his signature.


Since Council is in recess in August, passage of the bill is likely to occur in September. Once the parking district is approved, it will take a couple months for the Planning Department to mail notices to all residents, have them apply for permits, and put up signage. Gilman said, “Realistically, we are looking at the end of the year for the program to start.”


Generally, City Council meets every Tuesday, in Legislative Session, and Wednesday, as Standing Committees.

They are in recess in August through Labor Day.  For much more, see


Dues Notice and New Member Drive
Submitted by Norm Cleary, SFCA Board President, May 20, 2013

Dear Neighbors,

The Schenley Farms Civic Association is ninety-three years old and we’re still defending our single-family zoning classification, promoting safety and security, preserving the historic character and, as our Bylaws also provide, maintaining “the general welfare” of the neighborhood. 

Since our inception in 1920, the Association has relied on members’ dues and voluntary participation to support normal activities.  With the exception of Annual Membership Meeting costs and minimal expenses, Association efforts and activities have been provided by our members on a strictly voluntary basis.

SFCA has had a very busy year.  The following is a list of issues and initiatives that the Association’s Board and member volunteers have been doing on your behalf:

Monitor the progress of the Schenley Place office building development at the First Baptist Church parking lot.  (Yes this is creeping forward.)  One million dollars in state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funding has been authorized for this Elmhurst Group project.
Promote a cooperative relationship with Oakland Planning and Development Corporation and assess OPDC’s “Oakland 2025 Plan” impacts on the Schenley Farms Historic District.
Successfully opposed a proposed and historically inaccurate expansion of the Schenley Farms National Historic District.  Had this application been approved, as had been endorsed by senior staff of the State Historic Preservation Office, your historic district’s boundary would have expanded to include fraternity houses, apartments and other properties on N. Dithridge St, N. Bellefield Ave, Bigelow Blvd, and Centre Avenue.
Provided input and guidance on appropriate use of signage for the new CVS Pharmacy to be built at the corner of Centre Ave and N. Craig St.  Our efforts, in support of OPDC and the Bellefield Area Citizens Association (BACA), will help set signage standards for much need development of the close North Oakland strip of Centre Avenue.
Successfully opposed the Reapportionment of most Schenley Farms households, from the southeast side of Bigelow Blvd. through the southwest end of Parkman Avenue, from City Council District 8 (Bill Peduto) to District 3 (Bruce Kraus).
Helped to form and held key Steering Committee membership in the Future of Schenley High School Visioning Study and Report to Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Successfully negotiated for two “Community Representative” seats on the Schenley High School Bid Review Committee.  SFCA held one seat and the other was offered to the Hill District.
Opened dialog with senior management of PMC Property Group to assure ongoing community input in the adaptive residential reuse of Schenley High School.
Successfully applied for and are in the final approval stages of Permit Parking for Schenley Farms.
Launched the official Schenley Farms Civic Association web site

In 2011 your Board reduced dues from $250 per household to only $50.00 per annum.  The primary reason was to expand membership to as many Schenley Farms Historic District households as possible.  Our membership has expanded to sixty six of eighty four eligible households in the District.  We sincerely hope to expand membership to include all households through this year’s dues notice and membership drive.  If you are among the eighteen households who have not yet joined SFCA we look forward to welcoming you to the Association.

Through the years, additional contributions have occasionally been solicited to fund special efforts, especially the legal costs incurred in defending our single-family residential zoning.  Often Board members and other neighbors who are lawyers have participated in litigation efforts pro bono; they never receive compensation for their services.  Other professionals, too, give their valuable time and expertise.   In fact, no member, director or officer is ever paid for services.         

If you’ve been wondering when the SFCA was going to ask for 2013 dues, the answer is NOW!  (We’re a little late but we’ve been kind of busy.)  Please join your neighbors and support the Schenley Farms Civic Association by returning the attached form along with your check for $50.  With your paid membership you will receive your User Name and Password for access to the Members tab for exclusive member’s only resources.  Your membership will extend through December 2013.  We’ll get back on an annual calendar year in January 2014. 

Best regards to all,
Norman Cleary

 If you haClick, Click below for the printable form:
       SF        SFCA_Dues_Form_2013.pdf
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Community Management Plan Meeting for Permit Parking Report
submitted by Barbara Brown, Permit Parking Chair, May 14, 2013

To All Schenley Farms Neighbors,
The May 6, 2013 community meeting with Ashley Halloway, the city planning representative for our permit parking designation, marked a critical phase of the designation process. As the result of an open discussion regarding the process and what best would suite the needs of all of our residents, it was agreed that Ashley report to City Planning Commission that we have met all criteria for such a designation and that he and our community are requesting the following:
Days of Enforcement: Monday-Saturday
Hours of Enforcement: 7AM-7PM
Grace Period for Non-Residents: One Hour  
There will be a hearing before City Planning Commission at 2PM on June 25, 2013. It is crucial that we have as much resident support as possible at the hearing, preferably through actual physical presence, but, if not, through a written submission. There will be a formal notification (posting and letter) regarding the hearing 2 weeks prior to the date. I will also be emailing a more detailed  request for attendance and support. If you were unable to attend the meeting on the 6th and have specific questions regarding the process, days and hours of enforcement, etc., please feel free to email me at or Ashley Holloway at
I thank you,
Barbara Brown, Permit Parking Chair   


SFCA Annual Meeting Minutes, April 30, 2013
Submitted by Shirley Cassing, Acting Secretary, May 10, 2013

The meeting convened at 7:30 pm in the Library of the PAA.

Neighbors present were Michael Abney, Elizabeth Behrend, Barbara Brown, Rebecca Caserio, Shirley Cassing, Moira and Norm Cleary, Jonathan Daniel, Dave DeJong, Goldie Edwards, Paul Fischbeck, Barry Gold, John Grefenstette, Robert Kelley, Lewis Lobdelll, Heather Long, Mary McDonough, Ursula McKenzie, Andy McSwigan, Alida Merlo, Susan Moreland, Eleanor Raczka, Blithe Runsdorf, Mary Sorrels, Janet and Rob Squires, Nancy Tall (and her daughter Karen Kollar), DebWalko, and Al Zangrilli.

Also present were: Dan Gilman and Bill Peduto.

Norm introduced new neighbors Michael Abney, David DeJong, and Heather Long.

Dan Gilman provided an update of events that affect Schenley Farms.  Bigelow and Bellefield will be paved this summer, and Tennyson patched.  There is new leadership at the ICP.  Several changes along Centre Avenue near Craig Street will be occurring:  CVS in the old Giant Eagle site and potentially a 6 story apartment building at the SW corner of Centre and Craig.  And various other projects further from Schenley Farms (SF).

Neighbors posed several questions for Dan:  New street lights for SF?  Pedestrian crosswalk at Bigelow and Lytton?  Above ground wiring in several places abutting SF?  Dan promised to look into these issues.

SFCA Treasurer, Shirley Cassing, reported a balance of almost $9000 in the treasury.  A new request for dues ($50 per household) is forthcoming.

Minutes of the last annual meeting were read.  There was a motion to approve, no discussion followed and the minutes were approved unanimously.

Andy McSwigan introduced three nominees to serve 3-year terms on the SFCA Board of Directors.  Jean Francois Richard and John Harper currently serve and are willing to serve again; Barbara Brown to replace Valda Gebhart.  The new slate was unanimously accepted.

Norm provided an update of activities concerning SF in the future and over the past year:

There will be construction on the Baptist Church parking lot, but when is uncertain.  
SFCA played an active role in the visioning process to aid in the sale of the Schenley High School Building and will continue to work closely with the developer.  
SFCA has a website ( – thanks to Deb Walko.  Most of the website will be open access, but there will be certain sections only accessible by SFCA members.
The Schenley Farms Historic District of the National Register of Historic Districts now also includes Bellefield Dwellings a building at the corner of Centre and Bellefield Avenues.
Pittsburgh Public Works has been contacted repeatedly over the lack of street cleaning in our neighborhood.

Mayoral candidate, Bill Peduto, spoke briefly about his connections with SF and the unique charm of our neighborhood.  He talked of his involvement in the meeting the neighborhood had with the ICP concerning their playground project and how that project helped make the ICP feel more a part of SF.

Barbara Brown (the SF Permit Parking Chair) reported that about 80% of the Permit Parking process has been completed.  The planned enforcement will be from 7am to 7pm, Monday through Saturday, for one hour.  A community management plan meeting will be held Monday, May 06, 2013, 7pm at Mary McDonough’s home (217 Tennyson Avenue).

Two new items of new business were discussed.  To be considered in the future:  new street lights and the repair of street curbs.

The meeting adjourned at 9 pm.

Shirley Cassing
Acting Secretary_______________________

Schenley Farms Permit Parking Committee Report
submitted by Barbara Brown, Permit Parking Chair, April 30, 2013
See Community Management Plan Meeting for Permit Parking Report above.

Dear Schenley Farms Neighbors,

We are pleased to report that the major components of the Designation Process have been successfully executed. The results of our Petition Drive, as verified by the Department of City Planning, confirmed that over 93% of Schenley Farms residents support designation as a Residential Permit Parking District.  Both the Department of City Planning and Penn DOT’s Parking Survey confirmed that over 90% of cars parked on the streets of our neighborhood, for at least two hours during peak parking times, belong to commuters. 

Our next step is for all interested residents to meet with our Neighborhood Planner, Ashley Holloway, prior to his drafting a report for presentation to the City Planning Commission. At this meeting the specifics of our proposed program relating to hours and days of enforcement and length of grace period for non-residents will be discussed. All Schenley Farms residents are invited. Please RSVP to, but if you can't respond you'll still be welcome.

The time and location are as follows:
May 6, 2013, Community Management Plan Meeting
When:  Monday May 6, 2013, 7 pm
Where:  217 Tennyson Avenue, at the home of Mary McDonough
Barbara Brown, Permit Parking Chair


Parking Permits Update
submitted by Barbara Brown, Permit Parking Chair, April 15, 2013

To all Schenley Farms Residents,

I want to thank each of you for your participation in the Permit Parking Petition phase of the district delegation process. Of the 83 eligible residencies in our neighborhood, 78 voted in favor of advancing a plan for designation of our community as a Residential Parking District. We, therefore, reached a 94% favorability rating, well above the required 70% mandate. The Department of City Planning is currently verifying our Petitions and will soon be conducting a parking survey of our community and coordinating its findings with Penn Dot. Our next direct involvement will be a Community Management Planning Meeting with Ashley Holloway, Neighborhood Planner, Department of City Planning. We will be given advanced notice of this happening. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at Again, I thank you.

Barbara Brown, Permit Parking Chair your paragraph here.

​​​​​Schenley Farms Historic District

Sponsored by the Schenley Farms Civic Association