Welcome New Board Members

Congratulations and welcome to the newest members of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association Board of Directors:

  • Elizabeth Heidenreich
  • Blake McLaren
  • Donna Tarkett

Thank you to our departing members: Sarah Alessio Shea, Laura Officer, and Pavel Yakovlev. 


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Oakley Street Mosaic Steps


Through a crowdfunding campaign conducted primarily through social media, we raised more than $6,500, allowing us to hire an artist to design and lead the project. Dozens of community members tiled the 77 step risers in 2016.

Click here to see more details about the project: http://www.southsideslopes.org/oakley-street-mosaic-steps-public-art-project/

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This year StepTrek is partnering with Steppin Stanzas, a new performance arts project created to promote the use of Pittsburgh’s public steps and celebrate the city’s rich heritage, its diversity, and distinctive geography.


Steppin Stanzas co-founders and lead artists Paola Corso, a poet and literary activist, and Andrew Edwards, a poet and performance artist/translator will launch their project by creating original work inspired by city steps and performed along a StepTrek route this year.


“Along with its three rivers, Pittsburgh’s hills and the stairs that traverse them are one of the most unique, recognizable, and defining characteristics of our city, “says Corso. “Steppin Stanzas brings art to a new venue that few other cities could offer.”


“We intend to use art and spoken word performances to draw attention to city steps and challenge the audience to see them in a new way,” Edwards added.


Steppin Stanzas artists will perform poetry with music and movement at the registration area and during water breaks.


“The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association will provide the water. Steppin Stanzas will provide the words to help refuel trekkers as they finish the last leg of the two courses. They will already have climbed more than a thousand steps. We’ll cheer them on as they catch their breath and carry on,” Corso said.


Corso is the author of six books of fiction and poetry set in her native Pittsburgh, most recently The Laundress Catches Her Breath, winner of the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing from the Working Class Studies Association, and Edwards, who studied Spanish and creative writing at Ohio Wesleyan University with a focus in modern poetics, is the author of The Kobe Reality Series, a book of poetry based on his experience living in Japan.


Corso and Edwards will collaborate with guest artists Aaron LeFebvre, an acoustic finger-style guitarist combining traditional and folk with modern sounds, and movement artist Daniel Dongilli for their Steppin Stanzas launch, which was awarded a Sprout Fund grant.

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Pittsburgh StepTrek 2016


In its 16th year, the Pittsburgh StepTrek will begin Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at 11AM at South Side Park (Josephine & 21st Streets) on the South Side. The event has lasted this long due to the backing of individuals with a curiosity as to what lies at the top or bottom of the numerous public stairs in the neighborhood.

This year’s event will highlight:

  • Mosaic Steps Public Art Project on Oakley Street Steps
  • Newly signed Church Route
  • Trail through South Side Park connecting to Sterling Street
  • Knoxville Incline Greenway
  • Performances by Steppin Stanzas

The routes will take a tour of the hillsides and spectacular views that distinguish Pittsburgh. The family-friendly event combines photography, historic narrative and a sense of a neighborhood dependent upon steps. Each pre-registered trekker receives a map and a course narrative.

StepTrek is what the trekker makes it. Participants may choose to use this noncompetitive event as a test of fitness or a leisurely stroll. The benefits of a stirring walk through the Slopes have earned this event the heart-healthy rating of the American Heart Association. Special pricing makes the walk an attractive way to experience the city on an autumn afternoon.

The Trek itself is self-guided. The course narrative points out the landmarks and gives a history of the stairs and buildings, counts the steps and also provides instruction as to the route. Arrows along the course provide direction as well.

Proceeds from the StepTrek benefit the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA), an all volunteer organization committed to improving this unique neighborhood and providing a unified voice for slopes residents. Primary areas of focus are public safety, neighborhood development and beautification.

This event also helps to benefit The Brashear Association’s Food Pantry. Please remember to bring a canned food item to help stock the Brashear Association Food Pantry. Top items needed include: Peanut Butter & Jelly Spaghetti Sauce Tuna Cereal Baby Food


Tickets are $13 and available here: https://www.showclix.com/event/StepTrek

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WALKATOP – An Urban Hiking Adventure


The Thomas Brown Alton Foundation is pleased to announce their 2nd WALKATOP event.  The event, a hike through Mount Washington’s Emerald View Park, will be held on Sunday, September 11, 2016.  Last year’s inaugural WALKATOP was a tremendous success and they look forward to continuing our focus on promoting mental health and suicide prevention.

An Urban Hiking Adventure

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Interested in Joining the SSSNA Board?

The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) is looking for a few good men or women.

The Slopes Association will have open positions for three or four new Board of Directors members in the coming election. Board members are seeking to “pass the torch” on to new residents of the Slopes who are engaged in their neighborhood and who will help their community to stay clean, green, safe and neighborly.

The SSSNA is a 501 3c organization and the board members are volunteers. Residents of the Slopes who have attended at least two Slopes’ meetings from Oct 2015 to July 2016 are eligible.

Those who are interested are asked to contact the SSSNA Board President Brian Oswald at brian.oswald@southsideslopes.org

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Knoxville Incline Greenway

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From 1890 to 1960, the Knoxville Incline served as a connector between the South Side Flats and the hilltop. In 2011, a mural was added at the intersection of Brosville and East Warrington Avenue to remember the historic site. There is a foot trail accessible off of Brosville Street which leads to the Welsh Way stairs and Fritz Street – which both connect to the South Side Flats.

The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association worked with the Hilltop Alliance, Allentown CDC, and GTECH Strategies to revitalize this area and establish the Knoxville Incline Greenway on the site of the old incline.

The groups worked together to add signage, replace graffiti tagged jersey barriers with natural boulders, add benches, and plant wildflowers. From the benches, you can see a view of Oakland.

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Church Route Signage Installed


The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) is excited to announce the installation of signs marking the “Church Route” through the South Side Slopes. The Church Route is a walking tour that goes up and down our unique stairways providing beautiful views of the city, and featuring glimpses of the eccentric hillside architecture and historic churches. For 10 years this route was a part of the SSSNA’s annual StepTrek but the association decided to formalize the route into a permanently signed walk instead. Funding for the signage was provided by the SSSNA in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh, who manufactured and installed the wayfinding signs.

Adam Jette, a volunteer for the annual StepTrek event stated, “It will be nice to have a self-guided tour that residents of Pittsburgh and visitors to our city can use to explore the crazy hillsides of this city. StepTrek is only one day a year but these signs will be available every day.”

The signs are posted at intersections leading from the start of the route at 15th and E. Carson Streets. The Church Route travels up 15th Street eventually ascending many different stairways and adjacent to the historical church of the Slopes. St. Adalabert’s, St. Michael’s, St. Paul’s, and St. Josephat’s churches are highlights of the trip, along with several stunning views of the city and the streets made of stairways.

In keeping with the tradition of StepTrek, an annual tour of two different courses up and down the South Side Slopes, a narrative of the route is provided on the website here: http://www.southsideslopes.org/steptrek/church-route. A brochure with a map and helpful navigation information will be printed this summer, and will be available at the South Side Chamber of Commerce office on 11th and Carson Streets. In addition to a map, the brochure will provide historical anecdotes about the churches and community as well ongoing improvements and changes to the neighborhood.

Press Release: Church Route Signage Press Release

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Windom / McArdle Gateway Sign


The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) is pleased to announce the completion of a unique entrance marker reflecting the uniqueness of the neighborhoods it announces. The signage has been erected on PJ McArdle Roadway on the corner of Windom Street. A grant from the now-defunct South Side Local Development Company (SSLDC) made the project possible.

Peter Kreuthmeier of Loysen + Kreuthmeier Architects, the lead on this project stated, “similar to other ‘welcome to the neighborhood’ markers, the Windom/McArdle Gateway makes use of cor-ten steel as its primary material – paying tribute to the neighborhood’s rich steel history.”

The site is an entry point to both the South Side Flats and South Side Slopes, depending on the direction of travel. The words welcome drivers into each neighborhood – either the Flats or the Slopes. Mr. Kreuthmeier added, “Although the piece has no moving parts, when approaching the Flats, it reads ‘South Side,’ and from the other direction, it reads ‘South Side Slopes.’ For such a simple effect, there was quite a bit of study to get the angles just right.”

Loysen + Kreuthmeier interns, Jonathan Tomko and Mary Waelder played a huge role in seeing the idea become a reality. Credit also goes to the following: the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Works for removing a power pole and repositioning traffic signage; to the U.S. Postal Service for their promise to relocate the relay mailbox; and to Standard & Custom for their expert fabrication and installation services.

Press Release: Press Release_South Side Entry Signage 5-2016

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2016 Slopes Survey

Do you live in the South Side Slopes? If so, South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association wants to know what you think about our neighborhood! Please take 5-10 minutes to complete our online survey, and you can be entered to win a $50 gift card to Giant Eagle!

Click here to take the survey: http://www.southsideslopes.org/survey


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