Frank Mazza Pavilion - 1981
Here is a photo taken in July 1981 that shows the super-structure of the Brookline Terrace (Mazza Pavilion) senior citizens highrise and public parking garage. The building, located on the 900 block of Brookline Boulevard, was dedicated in March, 1982.
For many years, this section of Brookline Boulevard was the site of four individual storefronts, three of which had with second-floor apartments. These included the commercial establishments Brookline News Agency, Tryson's Shoes, Sesto's Barber Shop and Zitelli's Boulevard Gardens. A fire in 1973 completely destroyed the middle two buildings and did major damage to the others. The surviving buildings were repaired and eventually torn down in 1980.
Mazza Pavilion has been a wonderful place for Brookline retirees to spend their twilight years, and the public parking garage has been a useful benefit for both the residents and the many shoppers who frequent Brookline Boulevard merchants.
The New Mazza Pavilion
The story of Mazza Pavilion took a surreal turn of events in 2008. That year it was discovered that faulty building materials had led to an irreversible mold problem that threatened the very safety of the apartments and tenants.
The residents were forced to move out in September 2008. The fate of the building was in the balance for over a year while the housing authority searched for a solution.
In February 2010, $4.7 million was allocated by the Housing and Urban Development Authority for a complete renovation of the structure. By August 2010, the building was stripped to its steel frame and then rebuilt from the ground up.
* Photos provided by Marlene Curran and Clint Burton *
for Brookline Terrace Apartments
Officials Take Part In Ribbon-Cutting
Snow flurries didn't dampen the spirits of Mayor Richard S. Caligiuri, members of the Brookline Chamber of Commerce and city representatives of the Pittsburgh Parking and Housing Authorities at ribbon cutting ceremonies for Brookline Terrace March 26.
The Public Parking Authority's 49-space, off-street parking facility and the Housing Authority's 30-unit apartment building for the elderly is a product of 15 years of hard work and planning between the city and Brookline Merchants, according to Daniel A. Pietragallo, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh.
"This is a unique venture between the Parking Authority of Pittsburgh and the Housing Authority," Pietragallo said. "It was generated by the community and is unique in the fact that it contains both housing and parking."
The Public Parking Authority pumped $977,000 into the parking facility and the Housing Authority spent $1,572,000 on the apartment complex. This is the first off-street parking facility to be built by the authority in the Brookline area and is located on the south side of Brookline Boulevard between Stebbins and Queensboro streets. Entrance and exit will be on Brookline Boulevard and Trelona Way.
George Carlton, executive director of the Pittsburgh Public Parking Authority, stressed the importance of cooperation between city and community organizations during the construction.
"It is doubtful if this development, located in the heart of the Brookline business district, could have been realized without the excellent cooperation of the city, the Housing Authority, the Brookline Community and the Brookline Chamber of Commerce," he said.
"The Brookline Chamber of Commerce stands alone," Pietragallo said. "They have shown what cooperation and unity in a community can accomplish."
Linda Fazio, president of the Brookline Chamber of Commerce, took the podium next to address the group.
"I am honored and proud to take part in this dedication," she said. "Originally, 15 years ago the first attempt failed, but the Brookline Chamber of Commerce pursued it."
"Along with the Parking Authority, we made the initial attempt and the Housing Authority joined in," she added. "Although at times it was a struggle and an inconvenience, we're thrilled to see the completion of the building. We thank Mayor Caligiuri and the City Council for taking the first step in the modernization and development of the Brookline community."
Although pleased with the opening of the facility, Eugene DePasquale, president of Pittsburgh City Council, expressed concern for the future of the elderly population in Pittsburgh. Currently, only 10 percent of Pittsburgh's senior citizens' housing needs are being satisfied, according to DePasquale.
"It should be the number one goal in Pittsburgh to take care of the elderly and see that they have places to live in the city," he said. "I hope to see more of this type of groundbreaking in the future."
Mayor Caligiuri, keynote speaker, echoed DePasquale's thoughts on a committment to the elderly.
"It (Brookline Terrace), may be only 30 units but it is 30 people who will come in and continue life with integrity," he said. "This administration will endeavor to make a decent living environment in Pittsburgh."
Referring to a recent study that ranked Pittsburgh as the fourth most-livable city, after Atlanta, Washington and Winston, Caligiuri said, "We won't be satisfied until we're number one."
"This building is unique in that it serves two ends of the economy of Brookline: It allows people to utilize the business district and is an obvious benefit to senior citizens."
He added that housing the elderly was just the beginning of a campaign to clean up Pittsburgh and provide a better living environment.
Representatives from the Brookline Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburgh City Council, the Housing and Parking authorities and Brookline residents and residents of Brookline Terrace crowded into the Community Room of the building for dedication ceremonies.
Comments from Pietragallo followed the invocation, which was delivered by the Rev. Edward J. Naumann.
No stranger to public housing, Pietragallo is a member of the larger National Housing Council, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authority and serves with social service organizations such as the Red Cross, NAACP and Health Systems Organization.
"We're here to celebrate the opening of something very dear to the Housing Authority of Pittsburgh, and especially to me," he said. "This is the first building of any consequence that has been completed since my tenure with the city five years ago."
He added that he wished residents of Brookline Terrace "peace, health and tranquility for many years," and emphasized the importance of the community and city organizations who supported the project.
"Alone this could not be accomplished," he said. "It takes unity and hard work." He congratulated Jendoco Construction Corporation and Paul Charles Apostolou and Associates (architect) on their honesty and intregrity while constructing the complex.
Special mention was made to members of the Brookline Chamber of Commerce for their cooperation in making the project a success.
Following the benediction, which was delivered by the Rev. John McMahon of Resurrection Church, the audience was encouraged to tour the building and certain apartments in an open house.
Leo and Mary Kearn, residents of Brookline Terrace, expressed their pleasure with the housing complex.
"I love it here," Leo said. "I've lived in the Brookline area all my life and I love being close to the stores. This is what I wanted and I think it's great."
Other officials who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremonies included: State Representative Michael Dawida; State Representative Steve Seventy; Judge Zappala; Magistrate Wagner; President of the Brookline Area Community Council Elva McGibbeny; Vi Nolla; Ernest E. Miller, director of Development and Modernization; James Reich, vice chairman of the HACP Board of Directors; John E. Pisano; and John Wilson, of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization.
* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - April 8, 1982 *
<Brookline Boulevard> <> <Brookline History>