East Liberty: Pittsburgh’s Shining Star

Have you heard the news?

TIME Magazine has just listed East Liberty as the #1 coolest neighborhood (shared with Lawrenceville) in America right now! Read the article here.

We’re thrilled that the rest of the country is seeing what we’ve known for 50 years. Straddling Shadyside and East Liberty, Franklin West, Inc. has always been a active participant in the neighborhoods we call home. In fact, Frank West was a founding member and avid supporter in the Shadyside Action Coalition and the East Liberty Quarter Chamber of Commerce.

Believing strongly in the importance of preservation of history, architecture, and the character of a community as being a force for positive economic development from within, Frank West was also a founder of the East Liberty Valley Historical Society.

Speaking of The Historical Society, tonight (October 6th at 7:30 pm) marks the second lecture of The Society’s Fall 2017 series. Kenneth Kobus, photographer and author of Steel and Railroad History, will present Allegheny Valley: Its Industries and Railroads.

These enlightening First Friday lectures are free and open to the public, and aim to enrich the lives of the community. Make sure to follow The Society’s Facebook page to stay up-to-date with local events and educational articles published.

To this day, we strongly support these local grassroots organizations. Their continued efforts are a big reason why others are seeing what we already know. We think it’s really cool, too!

We urge all those who live, work, and play in any of Pittsburgh’s many cool neighborhoods to take pride in being a part of the preservation of local charm!

219 Carron Street || Apartment Tour & Open House

It’s a celebration!

We’re inviting everyone to an open house this Sunday, October 1st, for a tour of our latest residences at 219 Carron Street. Join us from 11am to 3pm for a tour of these stunning apartments, accompanied by cookies, cider, and coffee! All are welcome.

Perfectly situated in the heart of Shadyside’s East End, this new building is just a hop, skip, and jump from S. Highland Ave. Residents will have a quick walk to the neighborhood’s favorite restaurants, retail shops, and cafes, such as Mad Mex, Noodlehead, Casbah, Adda Coffee & Teahouse, Penhollows, and Urban Tap, and more! Not to mention, being a short distance from Whole Foods, Market District, and Trader Joe’s.

Each one of the one-bedroom and loft-style apartments features hardwood floors, high ceilings, large windows, and an open kitchen with a stainless steel refrigerator, range, microwave and dishwasher. In the loft-style apartments, bedrooms are innovatively partitioned with a charming windowed wall and an adjustable, contemporary screen. A private washer and dryer are also among these apartments’ convenient features. Check out photos of the spacious (and naturally-sunlit) rooms here!  

The building also stars the internationally-acclaimed work of local great, Romare Bearden, providing tenants with a unique touch of personality and culture.

Come by between 11am and 3pm on Sunday, October 1st to see all this building has to offer! 

Meet us at the building below. Hope to see you there!

Shadyside Art Festival

For 21 years now, Shadyside has been home to the annual “Art Festival on Walnut Street”, a celebration of local artists, crafters, and much more. On Saturday, August 29th from 10am to 7pm and Sunday, August 30th, from 10am to 5pm, you can experience one of the top art shows in Pennsylvania — free to the public!

Organized by Howard Alan Events and the American Craft Endeavor, the festival of fine art hosts 140 artists, all of whom create their own, hand-made artwork. Now is your chance to speak to them, exploring their inspiration and passions.

After leaving his career as a chiropractor, Howard Alan began working in retail, featuring 40-50 artists and crafters on consignment in his store. To gain more foot traffic, Howard positioned a large, lovable gorilla statue outside of the store, adding some humor with a sign stating that gorilla was running for Mayor. Let’s just say, the current Mayor was not pleased and Howard got into a bit of trouble… But, nothing is without a lesson learned, and from this, Howard realized that he had a real knack for advertising and public relations. Thus, Howard Alan Events was born — a public relations and advertising agency specializing in art show promotions.

Fast forward to today, where Howard runs 40 annual juried art shows and annual craft shows across the country, from Pittsburgh to Aspen. These popular outdoor festivals, like the one in Shadyside this weekend, are considered some of the top art shows in the country. All the more reason to add the The Art Festival on Walnut to your must-see list of summer fun!

A wide array of artwork will be present, from paintings, pottery, and photography to jewelry, woodworking, and sculpture. Franklin West Inc. is an avid supporter of the arts in its many forms, and are delighted that such an event is held so close to many of our apartments. For more information, and to see some of the wondrous art that will be on display, visit the event site here.

We hope to see you there!

Embark on a Porter Brewery Tour!

Looking for a break from your normal weekend go-tos? Love a good libation with friends? Not not just any ol’ drink, but an effervescent brew? Then come celebrate Pittsburgh’s local craft beer culture with the Porter Brewery tours! You’ll get a new taste of the city by sampling pints at 3 amazing local breweries over a course of 3 hours. Breweries include, Dancing Gnome, Grist House, East End, and more!

Porter Brewery offers tours every Saturday and Sunday, stopping at 3 different renowned breweries. The price of your tour ticket includes about a pint of beer at each stop, though each guest is welcome to purchase additional beer by the pint or the growler. Three stops, three pints, three hours — looks like 3 is the magic number!

Tours also include water and popcorn on the bus, so you can munch between breweries and stay hydrated. But, if you’re still feeling hungry after you exit the disembark the beer bus, you’re in the luck — you’ll be dropped off right outside either the Ace Hotel, home to the Whitfield, or James Street Gastropub.

Interested in a weekend brewery tour? Here’s some important information to know:

Saturday tour agenda is:
– Dancing Gnome in Sharpsburg
– Couch Brewery in Larimer
– Full Pint in Lawrenceville
Pick-up and drop-off point is James Street Gastropub

Sunday tour agenda is:
– Dancing Gnome in Sharpsburg
– Grist House in Millvale
– East End in Larimer
Pick-up and drop-off point is Ace Hotel

Some important notes from Porter Brewery tours:
– Arrive at the bus 10 minutes early to check in, find a seat, and get ready for great beer.
– Cancellations or changes must be made 24 hours before the tour.
– Bring your ID!
– There is plenty of beer, but please remember that this is a celebration of local craft beer and not a party bus.
– Breweries may change at the last minute due to availability, Pittsburgh sporting events, and other scheduling conflicts.

For more information or to purchase tour tickets, visit their site, here


Announcing Our Newest Luxury Apartments — NOW Available!

We are absolutely thrilled to be announcing our newest apartments in the heart of Pittsburgh’s East End!

A chic, contemporary exterior welcomes twelve one-bedroom and loft-style apartments, all of which are ready to say “Welcome home!” to new residents. That’s right, this stunning building is ready for immediate occupancy!

Each unit is unique, and each stars some of the best features you can find in Shadyside. Hickory hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances gleam in the midday sun that shines through floor-to-ceiling windows. Spacious layouts, walk-in closets, balconies, and high ceilings ensure that this urban dwelling is anything but small. (Photographed below!)

Located near University of Pittsburgh Medical Center area hospitals, and only a few blocks from Shadyside’s popular retail shops and restaurants, these residencies are at the center of Pittsburgh’s very best. Convenient access and quick, walkable routes to such top-rated locales are an urban-lovers’ dream. But the tree-lined streets and sidewalks of this historic area lend a cozy, suburban feel to the otherwise effervescent neighborhood.

No matter where you turn, there is something to see or do in Shadyside, and we always want to reflect this personality and love for life in our apartments. This newest building is certainly no exception. Bike storage, garage parking, and washers and dryer in each unit are just a few ways we work to benefit our residents’ active lifestyles.

For more information, please visit our website here or call our Shadyside website at 412-661-1151 for current apartment availability and rental rates.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Beats n’ Eats: A Penn Avenue Lunch Break

When you’re craving something more than just a tasty lunch at BRGR, there’s more fun ti be had this Thursday, July 20th! What can be better than lunch and your favorite spot, you might ask? Why, a whole new experience at Beats n’ Eats on Penn Avenue! While you’re taking a break from your workday, join the “easy-going midday East-End community lunch break!”

Taking place from 12pm to 2pm outside the Kelly Strayhorn theater, you’ll hear live music from local artists and dine on delicious fare from one of the food trucks stationed outside the theater. If you’re new the neighborhood, this is an excellent opportunity to meet and mingle with your neighbors. Chat with residents, creatives, and artists, and add a uniqueness to your day only offered in the East Side!

Not familiar with the Kelly Strayhorn Theater? Perhaps you’ve seen its intriguing, neon-blue sign, strikingly ablaze against the old, ornate facade. The theater’s name comes from two of Pittsburgh’s most celebrated talents — famed dancer Gene Kelly, raised in East Liberty, and Homewood-bred jazz composer, Billy Strayhorn. To enter the theater, or even to stand in its doorway, is to be in the presence of these artists, whose talent and passions provide inspiration for the community. Their energy — and the theater’s cultural significance as a whole — continues to radiate through the East End community, contributing to the quality of life and development of the neighborhood and the city. This, no doubt, makes a lunch break at Beats n’ Eats all the more meaningful and inspiring.

To learn more about the theater’s charismatic history and how it contributions through inclusive and educational activities, visit their site here.

Now, go out there and enjoy your neighborhood — no matter the time, no matter the day!

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

Rev up those engines because the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is here for its 34th year! Yesterday, the PVGP officially cruised into town, starting off the ten days of exciting events and eye-popping vehicles. This is a unique experience that sends a jolt to various locations in the city. Not only that, but since 1983, the PVGP has donated $4.75 million to the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School.

And what luck — the PVGP is coming right to our neighborhood! Just a few blocks away on Walnut Street, you can catch the “Walnut Street Invitational Car Show” on Monday, July 10, from 5pm to 9pm. Shadyside makes for a sublime backdrop for such a show, welcoming 125 rare, classic, and exotic cars to the streets of this intimate, thriving neighborhood. You’re guaranteed to see some of the region’s most unique vehicles and, because the cars are selected by invitation only, this show includes cars rarely seen at other car shows. An excellent reason to get up-close and personal!

The “Walnut Street Invitational Car Show” is the perfect preview to the PVGP International Car Show occurring five days later, but, before that, there’s another, can’t-miss event in the East Side! On Friday, July 14, catch a thunderous display of 75 to 100 race cars zip through Squirrel Hill. Named “Forbes Avenue of Speed Car Parade and Car Show”, this event is free and open to the public from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, and held in conjunction with the annual Squirrel Hill Sidewalk Sale! Bring the family for an evening of food, fun, and, of course, fast cars.

The following weekend brings the final and most-anticipated events of the PVGP — Saturday’s International Car Show and Sunday’s Schenley Park Race Day! On July 15, from 11am to 4pm, Schenley Park will be home to the nation’s largest vintage race event and the only one run on actual city streets. The International Car Show is a combined show of 20 different displays featuring 2,500 cars. Check out the list of car shows here. While exploring the various displays, you can also watch the 150 vintage racers compete on the track all day to qualify for Sunday’s race. As if it couldn’t get any more thrilling, this course is considered to be one of the most challenging courses worldwide!

Whether you’re a passionate fan, vintage car collector yourself, or simply looking to enjoy the outdoors with your family, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is truly a rare treat.

Happy Fourth of July!

Red, white, and “wooh!” As the 4th of July approaches, we’re simply giddy thinking about all of Pittsburgh’s firecrackin’ festivities.

Let’s get started! If you’re new to Pittsburgh, the Red, White, & Blue Bus Tours are a unique and fun way to acclimate yourself with the area. These double decker buses run daily from 9 AM to 7 PM, with plenty of opportunities to hop on and off, so you can explore the city at your own pace. Never droll or dull, these tours are packed with personality, Pittsburgh spirit, and interesting historical facts. Better yet? The tour will be running on the 4th, so you can enjoy the best tour before the best fireworks!

If a bus tour isn’t your speed, you can head down to Point State Park, hours before the renowned firework display, and celebrate all day! Thanks to the EQT Three Rivers Regatta, food, drinks, and entertainment are featured as an inclusive and exciting way to bring people together to “Celebrate America the Pittsburgh way!” Free and open to the public, you will find plenty of delightful, family-friendly activities. Visit the official site, celebrateamericapgh.com, for more information.

Searching for more sports now that the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup? On the 4th, catch Pittsburgh’s soccer team, the Riverhounds, face off against the Charlotte Independence at Highmark Stadium in Station Square. If you’re not familiar, Highmark Stadium is right across the river from Point State Park, making it one of the best seats in the house for fireworks viewing! Come for the soccer, stay for the sights. Sound like a match made in heaven? Purchase your tickets here!

Speaking of the Pens, we hear the fireworks this year will be honoring the team’s big win.

Whether you’re headed to Station Square, catching a tour bus, or traveling to Point State Park, you can do it all without the hassle of traffic and parking. Hop a city bus and get goin’ — Downtown is just a short ride from Shadyside via the East Busway! To check all holiday bus schedules in advance, click here.

Wherever your day leads you, we hope you get to witness the excitement and extravagance of Pittsburgh’s 4th of July fireworks, Flashes of Freedom. Considered one of the best displays in the country, this event is not one to be missed!

Happy 4th of July, friends!


Summer Fridays at the Frick

The Frick is giving T.G.I.F a whole new meaning with Summer Fridays at the Frick! Starting today, June 23rd, and continuing until September 8th, you and your family can enjoy this outdoor-focused series every Friday from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. Located in Point Breeze and just a short distance from many Franklin West apartments, Fridays at the Frick ensure there’s always something to do on the start of every weekend – perfect for those warm nights you just can’t bear to stay inside!

Entertaining performances are featured every week, held at the North Lawn of the Frick grounds. Unfortunately, due to this Friday’s oh-so Pittsburgh weather, all outdoor activities have been cancelled. For the full schedule of upcoming events, visit here. Let’s home next week is sunnier!

 While you’d otherwise be enjoying the lush green surroundings, family-friendly activities, and exciting performances, you can also treat yourself to the remarkable dining options and wine bar – it is Friday after all! The Cafe at the Frick is open 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Featuring locally-sourced and a seasonal menu, The Cafe at the Frick always offers a unique dining experience. Reservations are recommended. Check out the cafe’s lunch and high tea times, too! Looking for something a bit more casual? Food trucks will be parked at Frick every Friday, so you can enjoy a picnic on the beautifully-landscaped grounds.

But, hey, even gloomy, rainy days can’t stop the fun! Explore the elegant, first-floor interior of the Frick’s family mansion, Clayton (pictured above) – free to public from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The Clayton shines as one of the most intact Gilded Age homes and a stunning look into American and regional architecture of the time.

Continue your cultural and historical journey at the art museum, The Frick Pittsburgh, open until 9:00 PM on summer Fridays! Built in 1969 by Helen Clay Frick, the daughter of Henry Frick, the museum is home to the Frick’s permanent collection of painting, sculpture, and decorative arts.

World-class temporary exhibitions also make it to the art museum. Currently, you can experience the compelling and intimate photographs by iconic American photographer, Irving Penn. With a career spanning seven decades, 140 outstanding photographs are on display – a captivating retrospective that simply cannot be missed.

The perfect solution to a rainy Friday evening? We think so! 

Anywhere you look on Frick’s 5-acre site, you’ll be met with verdant lawns, vibrant gardens, rich history, and smiling faces. If that doesn’t sound like an ideal Friday night, we don’t know what does. Happy summer, friends!  

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.