Another recent addition to Penn Ave. is Workshop PGH, a DIY craft and maker space. Owner Kelly Malone just moved to the neighborhood from San Francisco. She says the vibe in Garfield reminded her of San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood, where she opened her first business, Workshop SF. Classes run about $40 a pop and range in subject from sewing to screenprinting to soy candle making.
Penn Avenue is also home to a large number of community organizations, many of which serve the residents of Garfield and the surrounding communities. The Thomas Merton Center has been fighting for peace and social justice in Pittsburgh since 1972. They run the adjacent East End Community Thrift, one of the most affordable thrift stores in Pittsburgh.
The Merton Center also serves as home for Pittsburghers for Public Transit, which fights for affordable, equitable public transit in the city. Most recently, the group successfully organized with over 400 members of the local community to petition the Port Authority to restore weekend service to the 89 line, which serves Garfield’s hilltop residents.
Garfield is home to two of the city’s most celebrated nonprofits, The Sprout Fund and Pittsburgh Glass Center. Sprout may be best known for their public arts projects (which could help explain all the beautiful murals in Garfield) but they also provide micro grants to kickstart a variety of local projects, from digital literacy to civic engagement. At the one-of-a-kind Glass Center, both first-timers and world-renowned artists come to create and learn more about glass art.
Other nonprofits based in Garfield and along Penn include Neighborhood Learning Alliance, PULSE, Garfield Jubilee, The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and the Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center.
Garfield is surprisingly verdant for an urban community, and the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation is working hard to implement a green zone to beautify the neighborhood and transform some of the hundreds of vacant lots in the neighborhood into a community asset. Healcrest Urban Farm is situated in the heart of Garfield, as is Garfield Community Farm.
Finally, no mention of Garfield would be complete without mentioning Kraynick’s Bike Shop, which has been a neighborhood institution since the ’70s.