Six months ago, Bill Gandy, a lifelong Northsider, posted an old photo of the Northside on a neighborhood group on Facebook. It was the photo that launched a thousand ships. Or likes. Gandy searched online for more and kept them coming. The photos rekindled memories, sparked reunions and fostered neighborhood pride. Soon, people were sending Gandy photos from their personal collections.
The photos got the attention of Councilwoman Darlene Harris. Harris asked Gandy if he would like to work on a gallery on the Northside that would house these photos along with other historic neighborhood artifacts. Gandy agreed and The Allegheny City Historic Gallery was born.
With only $12,000 to work with ($5,000 from the City and $7,000 from the Urban Redevelopment Authority) Gandy and his wife, Kim—a photo restorer—got things rolling. On February 2015, the gallery is set to open its doors.
Located in the historic East Ohio Street business district, the gallery will be free to the public and will house photos and memorabilia, and will also host events. One of the first events slated is a book signing by Steelers owner Dan Rooney and house historian Carol Peterson, authors of the book, Allegheny City. The launch will also include a family event featuring Northside landmarks reconstructed using only Legos.
“We would like to see the gallery not only as a place that chronicles the rich history of the Northside but a place for Northsiders to reconnect with friends and family,” Gandy says.
The gallery is raising more funds to help cover its operations. As of press time, the gallery has raised $2,140 of its $5,000 goal with only five days to go. You can donate to their campaign here.