Celebrating WQED

Picture it: driving through the ‘Burgh on a sunny day with the windows down, your favorite radio station playing something sweet and melodic – as it always does. Sometimes, it just feels better to unplug your phone and listen to something classic, something authentic, and something from — and by — the community. That’s the spirit of WQED, the only community-owned multimedia resource in this region.

In 1954,WQED became the nation’s first community-supported television station. Then, in 1973, Classical WQED-FM was founded as the region’s only 24-hour classical radio station. Today, consistent with its mission, WQED changes lives by creating and sharing outstanding public media that educates, entertains and inspires. WQED’s rich content reaches the community through five television programming streams and three radio streams. Learn more about the station’s vibrant history here.

With its station and headquarters on Fifth Avenue, WQED is an essential part of Pittsburgh’s East End, and to Pittsburgh as a whole. Like WQED, Franklin West, Inc. has its roots in Shadyside. Founded in 1964, Franklin West, Inc. is an active supporter and partner of WQED.  When you call Franklin West, Inc. (412-661-1151) you will always get a live person — no voicemail here! However, if you were ever to be put on a brief hold, you will get to listen to the ever-enchanting sounds of WQED 89.3 FM, “the voice of the arts in Western Pennsylvania.” Beyond classical music, WQED also highlights retrospectives, tributes, community events, and celebrations.

As a non-commercial public station, WQED thrives from the support of the community. If you love the station as much as we do, or simply would love to support Pittsburgh’s cultural keystone, you can become a member today! A minimum of $5 a month will help WQED continue its mission of educating and celebrating the community — and it will reward you with the WQED passport, which allows you to watch any PBS show streaming on demand.

There’s always something happening within the station and on the airwaves. See everything WQED offers here, and we hope your relationship with WQED flourishes just as it has with Franklin West, Inc.

Fire It Up at Pittsburgh Glass Center

We know the feeling all too well — when the weather warms and you’re just itching to make new plans, try new things, and go on new adventures. If you’re looking for an exciting activity that goes beyond the everyday, the Pittsburgh Glass Center should be your next stop. Just a mile away from many of the Franklin West apartments, the Glass Center is a perfect destination on weekday evenings and sunny weekends alike.

Check out the Glass Center’s calendar here to see what’s waiting to be explored — from beginner and advanced classes to dazzling exhibits displayed on the first floor. Now through July 30th, see Leana Quade’s unique art, which experiments with new ways to experience glass through light and fluidity.

The Pittsburgh Center is free and open to the public, but if you’re looking for a more hands-on experience, you can register for classes here. With a number of 2-hour beginner classes, like Marvelous Marbles and Glass Terrariums, your creativity will always have opportunities to flourish.

This is a summer for new adventures. Take advantage of all the neighborhood has to offer. Hey, and don’t forget to bring your best pals along! Maybe after you’ve made your first terrarium, you can celebrate your achievements with a refreshing brew at Primanti’s.

We’ll cheers to that!

Good Natured: Shadyside Farmer’s Market

Seasonal splendor is here! Warmer weather means welcoming one of the greatest treats to the neighborhood: farmer’s markets! Our arms are wide open for the fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and crafts sold by local farms and artisans. In some locations, you may even see flowers, handmade soaps, coffee, balloon animals, live music, and more. It’s more than just a trip to the farmer’s markets – it’s a fun family outing!

Starting as early as May 15th and extending into fall, you can find farmer’s markets in 7 different bustling locations on various days, Monday through Sunday. Specific addresses and dates are provided here – Don’t miss out on the farm-fresh goodness, right in your own backyard! The 2017 Shadyside Farmer’s Market will take place in the Liberty School Lot (corner of Ellsworth & Filbert Street) every Saturday June 3 – September 30 from 10am-2pm. For a list of vendors and events at the Shadyside Farmer’s Market, click here.

Are you ready to enjoy nature’s bounty?

In Memoriam: John Boering

In Memoriam: John Boering

It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we inform you of the sudden passing on Thursday, May 11th, of John Boering, our maintenance person.

John has been an employee of Franklin West, Inc. for 40 years. He was devoted to this company, and took much pride in the service he provided to our residents. John was a truly great human being, friend, mentor, and colleague to many of us. He always went above and beyond to help anyone in need.

We will all miss John terribly, but his legacy will live on in our continued passion and efforts to provide our residents with the service that sets us apart from the others. That service is what John has taught to every maintenance person hired over these past 40 years.

John’s obituary will be in the newspaper later this week. A memorial service will be held at Calvary Episcopal Church on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 11:00AM. A luncheon will follow at our office.

Thank you.


Holly Rubinoff
Property Manager

Franklin West, Inc.

Let’s Rock the Vote, Shadyside!

This Tuesday, May 16, 2017, is primary election day in Pittsburgh! Two former Franklin West residents are running for local office.

Dan Gilman is running for City Council, and was once a resident in one of our apartments on Walnut. Matt Wholey is running for District Magistrate, and was once a resident one of our apartments on Howe.

Former Franklin West residents Dan Gilman and Matt Wholey.

Here is the Voter’s Guide prepared by the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh (LWVGP). (Please note that this guide does not include information about district magistrate races.)

Along with all candidates for public office, we support their commitment and desire to serve the needs of their communities. Let’s get out there and rock the vote, Shadyside!

Highland Towers to Be Featured at Pittsburgh Filmmakers Art Show

Highland Towers is a national historic landmark that recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Located at 340-342 S. Highland Avenue, it contains 36 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

The towers are situated near University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) area hospitals and are just a few blocks from the retail shops and restaurants on Walnut Street, South Highland Avenue and Ellsworth Avenue. This residence allows quick, convenient access to the best that Pittsburgh has to offer.

Franklin West has been the steward of this architectural masterpiece for more than 40 years. Read more about its rich history and architectural design here.

The Towers’ stunning design has been featured over the years in many books and movies. Its latest spot in the limelight? At Pittsburgh Filmmaker’s upcoming art show!

Debuting at the Melwood Gallery on Friday, April 28th, this event will feature work by Pittsburgh Filmmakers members and students in photography programs, as well as a one-night screening of short films completed by students in The Filmmaking Intensives program.

Keep an eye out for photographs of the historic Highland Towers from Pittsburgh-artist Christianna Kreiss!

Summer in Shadyside: Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch

Are you as excited for summer in Shadyside as we are? We could simply burst thinking about sunny mornings, lazy afternoons, and endless activities indoors and out!

We’re very much looking forward to the start of Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch: a weekly summer series hosted by Citiparks that brings together two of our favorite things — dining al fresco and live music!

Spend your Sunday relaxing on the Mellon Park lawn while an ensemble plays the classics. Mellon Park is just a 1-to-2 block walk from the majority of our buildings, including 6315 Fifth Avenue6313 Kentucky and units on Denniston Avenue!

Admission is free. Simply bring your friends, your picnic blanket, and an appetite for marvelous melodies. A new band or orchestra plays each week, so there’s always reason to attend again.

Mark your calendars: Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch returns to Mellon Park on June 18th at 10:30am, and continues each Saturday through August 13th!

Millionaire’s Row: The History of 5945 Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue, now the main thoroughfare between Shadyside, Oakland, and Point Breeze, was once known by a different name: Millionaire’s Row. Home to Gilded Age Industrialists and synonymous with wealth, power, and social status, Fifth Avenue’s mansions were stunning reflections of their prestigious owners.

Today, only a precious few of Fifth Avenue’s historical homes remain. 5945 Fifth Avenue still stands today under the ownership of Franklin West.

The property’s original owner, J. M. Guffy, certainly fit in with his notable neighbors at the time. Guffy was a gas and oil tycoon with strong ties to Southwestern Pennsylvania. His company, J.M. Guffey Petroleum Co., eventually branched out to form Gulf Oil in 1907 — a millionaire, indeed.

While the original architect of 5945 Fifth Avenue is unknown, many original design elements are similar to the work of George S. Orth.

What began as an ornate, red brick Queen Anne Victorian mansion, stands today as a white stuccoed, Praire-style duplex. Franklin West selects and carefully restores buildings of historic value, ensuring their continued use as comfortable residences with architectural integrity.

While significantly altered, 5945 Fifth Avenue exists as one of the rare, few vestiges of Millionaire’s Row. This year marks its 134th birthday.

Research conducted by Frank Reichard, Wenfei Luo, and Justin Greenawalt for East Liberty Valley Historical Society, Inc.

Matched with University of Pittsburgh Medical School? Move to Shadyside.

Match Day 2017 kicked off just hours ago. Thousands of soon-to-be-graduates learned where they’ll be completing their medical residency. Are you one of the lucky ones chosen to begin your residency at the University of Pittsburgh?

If so: congratulations on your enormous success! Once you’ve finished celebrating, it’s best if you start looking for housing sooner, rather than later. After all, nothing could be more stressful than trying to tackle medical school in a new city while scrambling to find housing, right?

Shadyside has certainly become a popular place for grad students to live in Pittsburgh. What you may not know, however, is that Shadyside is the place to live for Pitt medical students. Here’s why.

Transportation is simple as can be.

Moving to a new city often means new modes of transportation. Maybe you won’t be bringing a car with you, or perhaps street parking’s not your thing. Whatever the case, you’ll find that getting to and from Shadyside is as easy as that chem 101 class you aced in undergrad.

Free campus shuttles run throughout Oakland, which is just a few streets away from the heart of Shadyside. With your Panther Card, you can also ride fare-free on all Port Authority buses. And, if you’re working late in the lab and you need a way home, SafeRider will pick you up and drive you to your doorstep.

It’s home to the best study spots in the ‘Burgh.

We’re almost positive you already know how to study smart. How else would you have been matched with one of the top 20 medical schools in the U.S.?

Even with polished studying skills, ideal learning environments are essential to your success. In Shadyside, you’ll find perfect study spots in spades. Want to escape into Gothic-inspired architecture and Harry Potter vibes while you cram for exams? Head to the Cathedral of Learning. Seeking ultra-quiet environments and cozy studying nooks? Beeline to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, located mere blocks away from Shadyside!

No matter your test-prep preferences, you’ll be surrounded by ideal learning locations year-round.

When it comes to nightlife, Shadyside’s got the best of both worlds.

You know better than anyone: now that you’re starting your medical residency, wild nights on the town will likely take the back burner. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have easy access to Pittsburgh’s best destinations, however!

Oakland, where University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center resides, is often bustling with undergraduate activity. (Think 21st-birthday-friendly bars, outdoor concerts, and house parties.) Not exactly conducive to early mornings at the hospital or USMLE exams, is it? Shadyside masters the delicate balance between quiet neighborhood respites and exciting entertainment.

Think of Shadyside as the crossroads of Pittsburgh’s East End. Living in a community nestled between Lawrenceville, East Liberty, Oakland, and Squirrel Hill, you’ll have access to the award-winning bars and restaurants that put Pittsburgh on the map. And, best of all? You’ll also have immediate access to Mellon Park, Schenley Plaza, Flagstaff Hill, Ellsworth Avenue, and more of the peaceful parks and neighborhoods that make Shadyside so serene.

Now, that’s what we call a win-win-win.