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On Friday, May 10th, 2024, HDG Architects, held its annual company-wide Adopt-a-Landmark program at the National Opera House (NOH), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve the arts, culture, and music in underserved communities with the restoration of the historic home, located at 7101 Apple Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15206. Throughout the day, HDG employees completed exterior landscaping and cleanup of the surrounding grounds as well as boarding up windows, replacing temporary flooring, and minor carpentry tasks to help maintain the condition for continued restoration.

Ms. Jonnet Solomon, Executive Director of NOH, acquired the property in 2000 with homes to restore a piece of Pittsburgh History. The Queen Anne style mansion built in 1894 was the home of the longest running black opera company in America. Mary Cardwell Dawson, an opera singer, educator and innovator started the company to provide access to a mainstage to talented people of color. The house was owned by millionaire Mr. William “Woogie” Harris. Over the past 24 years, various organizations have volunteered their time to assist with various phases of the restoration.

HDG’s Adopt-a-Landmark program is focused on the important role that the architectural profession can play in honoring local historic landmarks to ensure their upkeep and maintenance. While there are a number of funding programs that focus on helping historical buildings, they are limited, so support from other organizations and local community members is becoming more and more necessary.  Without local help with funding and upkeep of these beautiful buildings, many of them may be in danger of falling into disrepair.

“One of HDG’s missions is to provide community service by hosting our Adopt-A-Landmark program each year.  By having all of our employees come together to volunteer their time and energy, we are hopeful that our efforts will assist in preserving our local landmarks so future generations can continue to enjoy the rich history and culture they provide,” stated HDG President, Mark Duane, AIA.







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