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In September, 1996 Cultural Heritage Research Services (CHRS, Inc.) of North Wales, Pennsylvania submitted a historic resource survey of a proposed project located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: the improvement of Pennsylvania Route 28. The report was titled Historic Resources Survey and Determination of Eligibility Report, S.R. 0028 Project, Pittsburgh and Millvale Borough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In May of 1997 I had an opportunity to read the report submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, District 11-0. The proposed project area lies within a part of Allegheny County in which I have been conducting intensive research into the development of a local economy based on the meat and meat byproducts industries. In reading the CHRS report, I identified several substantive errors in fact and methodology that seriously compromise the report's credibility. I wrote a detailed letter outlining the report's deficiencies to the Pennsylvania SHPO (Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Bureau for Historic Preservation) and to PennDOT. I never received a reply to my letter. On October 20, 1997 I detailed some of my observations regarding the report in an e-mail post to the American Cultural Resource Association discussion list, ACRA-L. Terrence Epperson, Ph.D., Vice President and Director of Research for CHRS, Inc. posted a reply to my continued criticism of the CHRS, Inc. report. Epperson wrote that the Pennsylvania SHPO had dismissed my review of the report as "a personally-motivated slur perpetuated by a disgruntled former employee who has a financial interest in bad-mouthing competition in his region." This is an issue that goes far beyond the cultural resource management community and begs the attention of all academic historians and public historians concerned with historic preservation and the growing body of literature created by CRM historians. What kind of permanent damage are we doing to other historic resources in later projects within the vicinity of Pennsylvania Route 28 because of inaccurate work? What about creating a body of literature produced by professional historians and archaeologists that by the virtue of our advanced degrees and voluminous reports, makes us look like experts, but in actuality is rife with errors in fact and errors in methodology. Yes, it's good CRM for the moment, but it is bad history for the future Below is a detailed critical review of the 1996 CHRS, Inc. report. Copies of the initial and subsequent e-mail posts to the ACRA-L discussion group may be accessed at the list's archive: < and are listed in the October 1997 (/9710) sub-directory. Resources: Rialto Street CHRS 1996: p. 9: The track of the Troy Hill incline became the modern Rialto Street, which offers motorists a brisk jaunt downhill at a 24 degree drop. Rialto Street, prior to the annexation of Allegheny City by Pittsburgh, was known as Ravine Street. The Troy Hill incline was in fact located several hundred feet south of the Ravine/Rialto Street corridor. On August 31, 1850 the Duquesne Borough Council appropriated $50 "for opening a road from the Butler Pike [S.R. 28] to Troy Hill . . . called Ravine Street" (Duquesne Borough Council Minutes August 31, 1850); three weeks later, an addition $25 was appropriated toward the construction of Ravine/Rialto Street (Duquesne Borough Council Minutes September 21, 1850). In 1885 a large stockyards facility (Pittsburgh and Allegheny Stockyards) opened on Herr's Island in the Allegheny River. The Pittsburgh and Allegheny Drove Yard Company was chartered Allegheny City tanner James Callery and six partners in April, 1884 (Allegheny County Charter Book 9:189) and in December of 1884 the first tracts of land on Herr's Island were purchased for the stockyards (Allegheny County Deed Book 497:535). By December 18, 1884, construction on the stockyards had commenced (Pittsburgh Post December 18, 1884). Between 1884 and 1891, the Pittsburgh and Allegheny Drove Yard Company acquired several more tracts on Herr's Island comprising most of the middle of the island (Allegheny County Deed Books 548:149, 697:301). While the principals of the stockyards company were building their stockyards, Allegheny City butcher and byproducts dealer Emil Winter, in 1887, bought the former site of the Pennsylvania Tube Works located south of the 31st Street Bridge on Herr's Island and built a substantial slaughterhouse locally known as "Emil Winter's Abattoir: (Allegheny County Deed Book 574:428; Sanborn Fire Insurance Company 1892). By the turn of the twentieth century, Herr's Island's entire 41 acres consisted of livestock yards, a slaughterhouse and soap making facility. Linked to the Pennsylvania and the Baltimore and Ohio railroads by the Pittsburgh Junction Railroad, the Herr's Island stockyards became a significant point of sale and resting place for livestock in transit between the Midwest (Chicago) and eastern markets (Philadelphia and New York City). Livestock sold at the stockyards was driven up Ravine/Rialto Street in midnight drives, through the Troy Hill community and into the Spring Garden valley to several large slaughterhouses. The midnight livestock drives up Ravine/Rialto Street defined the street's cultural landscape. Ravine/Rialto Street, along with steps constructed up the south face of Troy Hill were the only transportation corridors linking Herr's Island with Troy Hill and the Spring Garden valley. Local historian and journalist William Rimmel wrote: Long lines of workers could be seen every night climbing the steep steps leading from Herr's Island to Troy Hill after a 12-hour day in the stockyards. Others hiked up and down SpringHill and Troy Hill en route to and from the tanneries, packing houses, soap factories and the H.J. Heinz plant (Rimmel 1981:103). Walter Mall, 88, worked for the Northside Packing Company (located on Spring Garden Avenue) for sixty-seven years. He began his career on the packing house's shipping floor and worked his way up to credit manager. Part of his early responsibilities with the company was driving livestock from the stockyards on Herr's Island up Ravine/Rialto Street. "We went up from the stock yards up Ravine Street. We called it 'Pig Hill'. And that went down into Spring Garden Avenue. And we drove them up there at night," said Mall in a 1996 interview (Mall 1996). There is no available evidence for when Ravine/Rialto Street became known as "Pig Hill" or "Pig Alley," but they are the names used by local residents when referring to Ravine/Rialto Street. Livestock - pigs and cattle - drives through Ravine/Rialto Street were constant up until the stockyards on Herr's Island closed in the 1960s. Mickey Zeidler is a third-generation Croatian who grew up along East Ohio Street (Route 28) during the 1940s and 1950s. Most of his family were employed in the stockyards, meatpacking plants or soap factory. During an April 1997 interview Zeidler recalled [O]ur mother said that Ravine Street, on the end of the 31st Street Bridge, we know that as Pig Hill. They used to run cattle up the street at night because they didn't have the traffic or the trucks and they'd block off and they'd run them over to Walker's Bridge and up into the O & H Packing Company [Oswald and Hess] in Spring Garden" (Zeidler, et al. 1997). "They did the same with pigs. Sometimes they had to go back and look, see the ones that went in the sewer. Some would crawl into the sewer." added Zeidler. He also noted that some people who lived along the drive would take animals "lost" and then sell them back to the packers. The sounds and the smells from the animals on Herr's Island and driven through neighborhood streets defined much of the East Ohio Street community the Croatian residents called "Malo Jaska." The corridor leading from East Ohio Street (Route 28) to Troy Hill now known as Rialto Street is potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) as a historic transportation resource under Criterion A of 36 CFR 60.6. The corridor's steep grade and continued use, as well as its role in and associations with the locally and nationally significant livestock and meat industries, contribute toward is significance. Ravine/Rialto Street's position in the local cultural landscape further enhances the resource's viability as a significant historical resource. Croatian Community CHRS, Inc. 1996: p. 11 Often, they worked in the coal mines and steel mills. According to current and former residents of the East Street (Route 28) corridor, most of the Croatian community were employed in the livestock , meat and meat byproducts (leather, wool pulling, rendering, soap making) industries. In their somewhat uneven discussion of Pittsburgh soap factories, compilers of the multi-volume, multi-year sociological study of the Pittsburgh region known as the "Pittsburgh Survey" wrote that most of the employees of Walker's Soap factory on the northern end of Herr's Island were women, "Polish [Eastern European] from the lower North Side" who lived in "unsightly shacks on the hills along the River" (Butler 1909:270). Working conditions were comparable to the descriptions of similar facilities painfully presented in Upton Sinclair's classic 1906 study of Chicago's meat industry, The Jungle: The stench from the stockyards and the odor from the soap combine to daunt any but the most hardy seekers for employment. Unventilated and sometimes dirty rooms, a heterogeneous series of industrial processes, an atmosphere of nervous haste, low piece rates, high pressure, - such facts as these characterize a plant unique among Pittsburgh factories. (Butler 1909:269) Croatian labor, after the turn of the twentieth century, also came to dominate the declining leather industry within the Route 28 project area. Although precise figures currently are not available for Pittsburgh North Side (research is in progress), in 1914 the U.S. Immigration Commission reported to the U.S. Senate that labor in the tanning industry was dominated by Eastern European (Polish and Slovak) immigrants and their first generation descendants (U.S. Congress. Senate 1914). In Pennsylvania, at the time of the Immigration Commission report, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported that "foreigners" comprised 43 percent (5,510) of labors employed in Pennsylvania tanneries (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Department of Labor and Industry 1915:193). Although CHRS historians presented a lengthy discussion of the development of the Croatian community within the project area (pp. 11-12), the company's failure to account for the dominant local industries (livestock , meat and meat byproducts) that drew heavily upon the Croatians is a serious oversight. About the Herr's Island industries, Sam Santini, a Millvale resident who also grew up on East Ohio Street, said "I don't know of it ever being a nuisance because the majority of the old Hunkies, they all worked there to a point" (Zeidler, et al. 1997). Island Hotel (39) CHRS, in its NRHP significance statement determined that "The Island Hotel is not eligible for listing in the National Register. It is not associated with important historical events or significant individuals" (p. 75). According to CHRS, "The property consists of a historic hotel, recently used as a commercial property, 'Lambros Lounge' " (p. 74). Contrary to CHRS's determination that the Island Hotel is "not associated with important historical events or significant individuals," the resource was a prominent fixture among the Croatian residents of East Ohio Street (Route 28) and played a key social role in the community of workers employed in the Herr's Island livestock, meat and meat byproducts industry. According to Ronnie Zeidler, Mickey Zeidler's brother (see above), the Island Hotel was a common place to board for people who brought livestock to fairs held at the Herr's Island stockyards: [T]hey used to bring their prized hogs and steers and sheep and they'd have an auction over there. And they used to bring their prized hogs and steers and sheep and they'd have an auction and a show, called the 4-H club and we used to always run over there and get the free donuts. They had free donuts and coffee for the 4-h members. So to get a free donut, we'd get out of school and run right over there. A lot of them stayed over there, but they also stayed at Lambros' Hotel. (Zeidler, et al. 1997) The bar - Lambros Lounge - was one of the saloons around which "Croatian life centered," wrote CHRS historians (p. 11). Lambros Lounge, according to former East Ohio Street (Route 28) residents was the social focal point for Croatian workers employed on Herr's Island. Sam Santini, the Zeidler's cousin who also grew up on East Ohio Street recalled As far as Lambros', my grandfather would stop there in the morning and get a shot or something and he'd go to work. When he'd come back, he'd stop there and get a shot and a beer before he'd go down and eat. My grandmother would have lunch. Then he'd go back up there and stop there and have some more and go back over and then after work. (Zeidler, et al. 1997) Santini's cousin, Mickey Zeidler, noted that Lambros was an important part of the community. "All the guys that worked the night shift, they had an hour for lunch at Armour's and they ran across there and they was in there in their white coats for the whole hour" (Zeidler, et al. 1997). The bar also was a focal point for children too young to drink, as Ray Zeidler recalled about Halloween. "Lambros - the places, the businesses gave the best. Lambros gave some good stuff," he said. His brother Mickey added, "If Lambros didn't give it, I used to go in his cellar and take his cases of beer" (Zeidler, et al. 1997). Later, Sam Santini tied together Lambros Lounge, the Croatian community and the Herr's Island stockyards. "Our domain was East Ohio Street, stock yard," said Santini: We had Lambros, we knew everybody because we walked to school every morning. So, you know, walking from 1644 East Ohio Street down to St. Nicholas and then back, that was our domain. And then we - we'd only go to shows down North Side and that, but we didn't play or . . . . (Zeidler, et al. 1997) North Side Breweries Historic District CHRS, Inc. 1996: p. 75: Several resources within the study area, in particular, appear to be historically and architecturally related. Further historical research indicated the importance of this resource type within the study area and a brewery context was established to help place these resources within the cultural and historical milieu in which they existed. This context is based on previous work prepared by CHRS, Inc. for the Mon/Fayette Transportation Project in Allegheny, Fayette, and Washington counties, Pennsylvania. Perhaps the greatest flaw with this introductory statement relates to the distinct economic and social histories of the Monongahela River valley and the Allegheny River valley / Pittsburgh North Side. A historic context prepared for the Monongahela River valley should have no bearing on one prepared for Pittsburgh's North Side, especially the area within the proposed Route 28 project. Pittsburgh's North Side (the former Allegheny City) was home to Pittsburgh's first genuine ethnic neighborhood: a vibrant German community that brought with them traditional foodways and crafts, one of which was brewing (Faires 1981, 1983, 1989). Although CHRS did cite a Society for Industrial Archaeology convention booklet that discussed breweries within the project area, they failed to fully explore the ethnic history that contributed toward the development of a concentration of breweries during the nineteenth century as detailed by Faires and others (Holmberg 1981; Peiffer 1964). The American Brewing Company (40) CHRS, Inc. 1996: p. 88: Many of the buildings associated with the American Brewing Company survive. The transformation of the brewery into an industrial park has strengthened the viability of the complex . . . . The office, stock house, and brewing buildings are extant. Additionally, the brewery is banked up into a hill, where vaults were normally placed to store beer during the lagering. The brewery formerly known as the American Brewing Company occupied the site identified by CHRS historians as Historic Property 40 until August 29, 1921 when the property was sold to the Fried and Reineman Packing Company by the Independent Brewing Company of Pittsburgh for $250,000 (Allegheny County Deed Book 2069:320). The Fried and Reineman Packing Company consolidated its operations at the East Ohio Street site and in 1923 sold its Spring Garden facility to Oswald and Hess, another local meatpacking company (Allegheny County Deed Book 2146:208). The Fried and Reineman Packing Company remained in business at the East Ohio Street site until its sale in 1961 to Martin Fellman et al. (Allegheny County Deed Book 3927:537). The Fried and Reineman Packing Company was one of few Pittsburgh (and, indeed, US) meatpackers who remained independent of the Chicago meat oligopoly (Armour, Swift, et al.). The facility was banked into the hillside for two reasons: to drive cattle into upper story slaughtering floors and to store meat. The sharp topography of the hills surrounding the project area was adapted by the many traditional butchers as cold storage for slaughtered meats. The hillsides of the Allegheny River and Spring Garden valleys are scarred with such cold storage areas, some two or three rooms deep, where meat was hung on overhead rails until its sale. Although issues of significance for listing resources in the NRHP are debatable, CHRS was negligent in its assessment of Property 40 by not including it as a significant component in the local meat industry. References Butler, Elizabeth B. 1909 The Pittsburgh Survey : Findings in Six Volumes. Vol. I, Women and the Trades, Pittsburgh, 1907-1908. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Department of Labor and Industry 1915 Second Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor and Industry. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Faires, Nora 1981 Ethnicity in Evolution: The German Communities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, 1845-1881. Diss. University of Pittsburgh. 1983 Occupational Patterns of German-Americans in Nineteenth-Century Cities. Pp. 37-51 in German Workers in Industrial Chicago, 1850-1910: A Comparative Perspective. Edited by Hartmut Keil and John B. Jentz. DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press. 1989 Immigrants and Industry: Peopling the Iron City. Pp. 3-31 in City at the Point: Essays on the Social History of Pittsburgh. Edited by Samuel P. Hays. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press. Holmberg, James C. 1981 The Industrializing Community: Pittsburgh, 1850 - 1880. University of Pittsburgh. Mall, Walter 1996 Interview, December 17. Peiffer, Layne 1964 The German Upper Class in Pittsburgh, 1850-1920. Seminar Paper, University of Pittsburgh. Rimmel, William M. 1981 The Allegheny Story. Ph. D. Diss. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: The Guttendorf Press. U.S. Congress. Senate 1914 Immigrants in Industries. Senate Document No. 633. 61st Cong. 2d sess. Zeidler, Danny, Mickey Zeidler, Ray Zeidler and Sam Santini 1997 Interview, May 21, 1997. David S. Rotenstein, Ph.D. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------ WWW: http://www.city-net.com/~davidsr/crm.htm E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org