Things to do in Homewood

Open Streets 2018 on Homewood Avenue, resident Akosua Nimako in the Afro-Nubian Parade, the Homewood branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and resident Mary Savage in a community garden along Frankstown Avenue (all photos by Martha Rial)

Among the emerging neighborhoods in the shadow of the city, Homewood has overwhelming challenges. And yet it is pushing forward toward a more promising future.

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Homewood is made up of distinct and varied neighborhoods. You can find data on individual neighborhoods using Niche.

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Home to some 6,200 residents, this urban community in the East End is really three neighborhoods rolled into one: Homewood North (the largest), Homewood South and Homewood West. The trio is surrounded by the East Hills on the east, Larimer to the west, Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar on the north and Wilkinsburg and Point Breeze to the south.

Homewood has been home to many famous Pittsburghers, including photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, Pittsburgh industrialist Andrew Carnegie and jazz great  Billy Strayhorn.

Today, through the work of local residents, artists, nonprofits and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the community is working to make Homewood a more vibrant family neighborhood.

Vanessa German’s “Love Front Porch” is one example: The artist invites children to join her on her porch and create works of art, a fitting metaphor for this effort.

Another example is the Afro American Music Institute with a curriculum that preserves tradition and attracts diverse audiences who wish to learn the African American perspective on music and its history. Dorsey’s Record Shop has been around since 1946 and provides the area with a plethora of music from various genres, but focuses on R&B, jazz, hip-hop and gospel.

Homewood Station, which provides affordable apartments and a café to senior citizens, was completed in late 2013.

A dynamic arts scene is also emerging, assisted by Operation Better Block and the Homewood Arts Initiative.

And of course, there are two can’t-miss barbecue places: Dream Barbecue, known for its ribs, and Showcase Barbecue, a big destination during the July 2018 OpenStreets PGH that was attended by more than 32,000 people.

Dana’s Bakery has been a neighborhood staple for 40 years and owner Joe Simmons is up every morning doing all of the baking for the business. Donuts are the most popular item, but the bakery also sells cookies, cakes and Italian ice.

Everyday Café is also a popular spot, the only coffee shop in the neighborhood and a gathering spot for residents. It prides itself on being Pittsburgh’s first completely cashless coffeehouse.

In 2012, The Wheel Mill opened, Pittsburgh’s first indoor bicycle park, an 80,000-square-foot facility located on Hamilton Avenue.

And Bones and All is right nearby, making beautiful custom furniture on-site.

Homewood is also home to the Community College of Allegheny County’s Homewood-Brushton Center, the Homewood Coliseum, a venue for arts and cultural events, MONMADE, an initiative promoting Pittsburgh makers, a bowling alley, a remodeled public library and East End Brewing.

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