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City of Asylum: A refuge for writers, catalyst for North Side revitalization

City of Asylum is highlighted by The New Yorker as a leader in the North Side's renewal.

"In 1980, when [City of Asylum founder Ralph Henry] Reese bought his house, the North Side was a blighted district, in a city whose name stood for deindustrialization and urban decay. It was a strange place for the owner of a successful telemarketing firm to live--but Reese, who wears a bow tie and unkempt hair, is an unusual man," the New Yorker post by George Packer reads. "Three decades later, Pittsburgh has stabilized its decline (attention should be paid by Detroit, Cleveland, and other urban apocalypses), and the North Side is enjoying a modest renewal, thanks in part to Reese and his wife, Diane Samuels, an artist, who bought four other row houses on their block of Sampsonia Way."

The homes in which the organization's persecuted international writers find refuge are marked by unique facades that brighten Sampsonia Way with Chinese calligraphy, Burmese script and a cityscape mural.

Click here to read the complete New Yorker article.

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