- A Proud Tradition That Continues to Evolve
The city of
Pittsburgh is virtually defined by the neighborhoods that comprise
it, and Shadyside has always been considered a unique area.
To families, college students, professionals, and other individuals
who live along its tree-lined residential streets--hence the name
Shadyside--the neighborhood is home; a quiet community where exquisite
Victorian Homes stand side-by-side with multi-unit apartment buildings.
To those who
visit Walnut Street to shop for treasures, browse through its
variety of stores, mingle with friends or meet for dinner, the
area is a combination of Rodeo Drive, Aspen Village, and New York's
Fifth Avenue neatly rolled into one six-block package of specialty
shops, restaurants, clothing stores and more.
business district, centered on Walnut Street and bordered by South
Negley Avenue to the east and South Aiken to the west, has evolved
over the past several decades.
will remember the former mainstays, such as Loft's Candies, The
Gazebo, Gentry Gentlemen's Outfitters, and Brendan's. And before
it housed the balcony and Stylegate, the Shadyside Theatre really
did show movies. But Shadyside has a proud tradition that goes
back to the turn of the century.
Establishments Provide the Heritage
was founded in 1887 by Rudolph John Henne and was originally on
Centre Avenue in East Liberty, just a few minutes away from its
present location. In 1n1978, Henne's grandson, John R. Henne,
moved the store to Shadyside, an action that brought immediate
growth to the family business. Recently, Anne Henne and John Henne,
both great-grandchildren of the founder, joined the business,
completely remodeled the interior, and moved the store to its
present location at the corner of Filbert and Walnut. For more
than 100 years, Henne Jewelers has been servicing several generations
of Pittsburgh families with a commitment to quality.
"It is not
unusual for a customer purchasing an engagement ring to say that
both his mother's and grandmother's rings came from our store,"
says John Henne. "We've been given opportunities to move or to
add a second location in some of the newer malls and shopping
districts, but there is no place I would rather be than in Shadyside.
We have found Shadyside to be the place where we can offer unique
quality jewelry ranging from $50 to $50,000.
Walter Texaco now stands at the corner of Walnut and Ivy Street
once stood a house that was demolished in 1935 and rebuilt as
a service station 10 years later. Originally called the Shadyside
Service Station, it was owned by the McCargo family and operated
independently until it was sold to Texaco in May 1961. C.F. (Chub)
Walter worked at the station during that time and finally took
it over in October of that year. At that time, rent was $120 a
month, plus a penny for every gallon of gasoline sold. In 1982,
Chub and his wife Henrietta (Hank) bought the property, which
they have owned and operated since.
"This is truly
a mom-and-pop business," said Hank, who noted that all three of
her sons have worked at the station. Their son, Tim, continues
to serve as mechanic. "We like to think that we go a step beyond
what is expected in taking care of our customers. Not only are
we good at what we do-we're also incredibly friendly."
1920s, Rollier Brothers Servistar Hardware has been serving the
Shadyside community. It was founded in the 1920s as a plumbing
service company and evolved into a hardware/housewares specialty
retailer. The appearance of the store today is a world apart from
the original plumbing and hardware business. The dusty plank floors,
crude homemade fixtures, and dimly lit displays of years past
have long since been replaced by a brightly lit, clean, well-organized
modern retail showroom.
pleasant atmosphere allows people to feel comfortable about just
browsing. Rollier's carries basic hardware, paint, plumbing, and
garden products, as well as a wide assortment of kitchen, bath,
and closet items. And the salesclerks, as well as the family members,
are always eager to help you need to solve a problem.
Pharmacy and Cosmetique has been in business since 1904, filling
customers' prescriptions and providing a wide range of sundry
items. A few doors away is the Aiken Market, a meat market and
delicatessen all in one.
has always maintained a strong association with the arts community
and has been a home to many galleries and shops specializing in
arts and crafts. The Clay Place has been a part of Shadyside for
23 years. It was originally located on the second floor of the
5600 Building on Walnut Street, which housed artists' studios.
In the beginning, the gallery had only a small space to sell pottery
and teach students. Eight years ago, when the building was torn
down, the gallery moved to a larger space in the Mineo Building.
Since then, The Clay Place has grown in size and has become known
across the U.S, for its exhibiting artists.
Art is manifested
in a variety of ways on Walnut Street. Not only is art found in
the traditional paint brushes and pottery, but also in the area's
many clothing stores and boutiques, like Stylegate, Footloose,
and Pamar, which feature the fashions of talented new designers
projecting their individuality and sense of style.
"As you walk
along Walnut Street, notice the numerous signs and sandwich boards
that push out onto the sidewalks," suggests Ed D'Alessandro of
Stylegate, who also serves as executive director of the annual
Shadyside Arts and Jazz Festival. "They reinforce our village
feeling. Shadyside is always the litmus test for newly developed
or renovated areas in the city."
fashion is available at Shadyside Ski, which specializes in everything
skiers need before they hit the slopes. Further down the street,
Orr's Flowers offers floral arrangements, potted plants and more.
A variety of fine writing papers is available at Margie Allon
and pillows at Feathers.
Set Up Shop
has always been friendly to and represented by small business.
Many of the stores, galleries, and dining establishments that
line the streets of Shadyside are independently owned and operated.
Then, in the 1980s, a new trend began. Upscale clothing chains
began to discover the charm and allure of Walnut Street and the
opportunity to serve a clientele that was somewhat different and
perhaps more discriminating that those found in suburban shopping
was one of the first chains to move in, setting up its only Pittsburgh
area shop at the site of the old Razzberry Rhinoceros. With its
vast array of khaki safari clothing, a rustic, jungle-like ambience,
and piped-in World War II era music, the store was an instant
hit. Classic women's fashions followed from Ann Taylor and the
Limited, as well as casual men's and women's clothing from The
Gap. Non-clothing chains include General Nutrition Center.
At the same
time, independent establishments continue to come to Shadyside.
One boutique for women is e.b. pepper, whose namesake owner calls
Shadyside, "the most unique experience in shopping that Pittsburgh
has to offer. Within a few blocks you can find the finest assortment
of wares available and get the finest personalized service you
can ask for."
dining establishments that are newer in the neighborhood, the
Pittsburgh Deli Company on Copeland Street is a lot like the Carnegie
Deli and others like it in New York, only more comfortable in
atmosphere and lower in price.
of us grew up in the Shadyside community and always wanted to
open a business in the area," said Gregg Caliguiri, who co-founded
the eatery with Marc Hourvitz and Craig Blank. "Becoming part
of one of the most charming business districts in the city is
a dream come true. Shadyside has such unique, quality-oriented
retailers and fantastic restaurants, we feel privileged to have
succeeded for almost two years. We hope to always have a positive
influence in Shadyside and in the Pittsburgh area in the years
restaurants include China Palace and Sushi Too, soon to be joined
by BW Wings and Valentino's.
a word to describe Stampassion, a "rubber art" shop on Filbert
Street. The store sells an enormous variety of rubber stamps and
related products, including stamp pads available in 24 colors.
Classes are offered to teach the art of stamping on many different
types of materials.
Corner offers a full range of sheets, pillowcases, and other linen-related
Are Represented Too
is the site of several businesses and organizations that offer
services like health care and banking. At Shadyside Hospital,
just moments away from Walnut Street, a wide range of primary
care and specialty care services are available.
founded in 1866, provides general medical care to the immediate
community through its Family Health Center, Shea Medical Center,
and numerous physician offices. The specialties of cardiology,
oncology, orthopedics, geriatrics, home care, long-term care,
subacute care, obstetrics, /gynecology, vascular medicine, sports
medicine, rehabilitation, and others are provided to patients
from across southwestern Pennsylvania.
offering health and human services are the Ronald McDonald House
and the Children's Home of Pittsburgh.
is one of the most prestigious areas of the city, according to
Gloria S. Gelb of Ruth Young. "It enjoys a reputation for being
a melange of spirited people who enjoy the choice of wonderful
shops that ranges from exquisite boutiques, fruits, and vegetables
to exotic restaurants and art.
provides its residents and visitors with a number of celebrations
throughout the year, from the Arts and Jazz Festival to Halloween
parties for the area's children; from Christmas Light-Up Night
to the annual Shadyside House Tour.
D'Alessandro says, "Shadyside continues to be stable, individual,
personal, and, most of all, civilized."
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Copyright © 2003 by John Fries, Pittsburgh, PA.
Please direct all correspondence to JohnFries@aol.com.