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Fineview incline gateway project moves up the hill

Although the city has only two remaining inclines, the Fineview Citizens Council is in the process of preserving and celebrating what remains of that neighborhood’s former funicular.  But the neighborhood group won’t be restoring transit service up the hill.  Instead, they plan to use the remains of the Nunnery Hill Incline’s retaining wall and base station as a well-marked gateway to the hilltop community.   

The Henderson Street Gateway Project will work to preserve the incline’s remnants, improve the entry point into Fineview, and create a unified streetscape, as well as provide improvements to the historic iron fencing on the street’s south side.

Ed Lewis, program manager of the FCC, says the council wanted to have a consistent plan and strategy for improving the entire street.

“This is the first impression people get of [Fineview], and it will be more a welcoming and inviting entryway into the neighborhood,” Lewis says.

Henderson Street intersects the Central Northside at the $15 million Federal Hill housing development, a project which is adding 60 new townhomes to the neighborhood.  Lewis says his organization is hoping to built on the momentum of the Federal/North corridor, which is now redeveloping after many years of planning.

Last year, the incline plane was designated a city historic site.   The Nunnery Hill Incline was one of only a few that meandered up a hillside with a curving route, rather than shooting straight up

The design work is being led by Klavon Design Associates, and the project scope will start at the intersection of Federal Street and Henderson Street, and run approximately 2,000 feet, ascending the hill into the neighborhood.

A portion of the study’s funds were provided by the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, as well as the Rivers Casino partnership with the Northside Leadership Conference, and a community development block grant from City Council members Darlene Harris and Daniel Lavelle.

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Ed Lewis
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