$15,000 Wilkinsuburg CDC: Vacant House Tour
PROJECT: Vacant House Tour
PROGRAM: 2015 Small & Simple Grants
GRANTEE: Wilkinsburg CDC
The Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour is a self-guided tour, showcasing abandoned and vacant properties, leading tour participants on a journey back in time through the narratives of these homes and buildings. Stories of the families and people who lived in, worked in, who cared for, and who were sheltered by these homes, are unearthed and revealed throughout the tour route. The memories of these homes map out, through physical markers, their historical impact in creating the communities and neighborhoods in which they exist. Residents from the neighborhood serve as Tour Guides, greeting participants at each stop and telling the forgotten stories of these properties. Tour participants are provided with a tour map that works hand-in-hand with the visual prompts along the tour route, additional background information on each of the properties, and information on resources available to aid participants to more positively engage vacant homes. At each stop, there are tools to help them visualize what the house once looked like in full vibrancy, and what the house might look like again in the near future. The event also includes a resource workshop for those interested in learning more about how they might be able to shape the future of these properties. The workshop includes a look at “next steps,” the process, tools available, and the risks, challenges, and rewards of such an endeavor.