Braddock pops

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

braddockbookcardIt’s always nice to visit Braddock. It’s one of those used-to-be places with a future that’s happening now ... kind of. The progress is in fragments, but it’s on the national radar because of publicity owing to how unconventionally John Fetterman has set about his mayoral role.

I was assigned to cover an event there yesterday, which you can read about in today’s Post-Gazette if there was space for it. If you’ve got to work on a Saturday, it’s good to go somewhere that interests you.popevent

Braddock — the star and muse of Levi Strauss & Co.’s “Ready to Work” national ad campaign — is a place I try to imagine the way people remember it from the ‘50s and ‘60s when it had 16 pharmacies, 18 shoe stores, three movie theaters, 22 churches, four five-and-dime stores.

But the most magnificent thing about Braddock remains: the Carnegie Library, the first in the nation built with Andrew Carnegie’s money.

At the “Library Pop” event there yesterday, the whole place was open to the public -- the music hall with its magnificent seats, the third floor gym with its vaulted wood ceiling, a conference room with marble columns and a fire place.

Felicia Green was there with her kids. That’s Felicia in the photo with her 12-year old Vinasha. Vinasha and her siblings used stamps and crayons to make little personalized paperback books. The book card at the top is one I made on the letterpress, which Levi's Workshop, a charitable project of the jeans company, donated to the library.

For the first time this fall, the Andy Warhol Museum will take its Youth Publications project on the road, and the destination is the Braddock library, where six to eight 8th graders will learn design, digital art, letter press and silkscreening.

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