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This week in City Paper History

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It seems strange to go back just one year for an item to not only include, but feature in our history section. But April 22, 2015, marked a first for City Paper. The main feature was on kids’ rock camps, and the plan was to recreate an iconic album cover using kids. Not satisfied with one cover, art director Lisa Cunningham pushed for multiples, and two were initially approved. However, after the four possible cover shots came in from photographers Sarah Wilson, John Colombo, Renee Rosensteel and Heather Mull, we made a last-minute push, just a few days before the paper was printed, to include all of them. While it was a bit of a logistical nightmare for our circulation manager and drivers, the end result was one for the ages.

Your Dream Man and Gown … Can You Have Both? (April 22, 1992)

This was an actual headline in 1992’s Spring Fashion Issue. All we can do with this is apologize for the sins of our CP ancestors. We are really, really, really sorry.

Another First for Pittsburgh (April 26, 1995)

In 1995, a company going on the internet was a big deal, right up there with landing on the moon. A piece in this week’s CP brags about the voyage into cyberspace by concert promoter DiCesare-Engler. “While you’re zooming down the information highway, be sure and stop in at the DiCesare-Engler Storefront to see if one of your favorite bands is coming to town.” D-E was the first concert promoter in the country to be online. “This means that concertgoers can not only purchase tickets through the Net, but choose the actual seat they want. Imagine not having to argue with the person behind the counter when you get bad seats.” This moment probably went down as the most important day in internet history; at least until the first video of a cat falling off a windowsill came out.

You can’t Have Pittsburgh History Without Heinz (March 25, 1996)

Writer Heather Baran offers readers a glimpse inside the brand-new, seven-story, packed-to-the-brim Heinz History Center. The city’s newest museum took several years and $36 million to build. Writes Baran: “Consider it a time capsule containing the history of Western Pennsylvania, ready to share the memories, ideas and traditions which have made this region what it is today.”

The East Liberty of Tomorrow, Today! (April 24, 1997)

While it seems in some ways like the renewal of East Liberty popped up overnight (and while some, meaning us, might call it gentrification), the plans that brought us Target, Home Depot and Bakery Square go back quite a ways. In an article entitled “The ’Slibberty Slope,” Bill O’Driscoll looked at the work being done by several task forces set up by East Liberty Development Inc. to suggest how to bring recovery to the area. And although much of the redevelopment was still more than a decade away, the writing about the change was on the walls of the Penn Circle Apartments, which then straddled Penn Avenue. Remarked one developer: “It’s the biggest ‘Keep Out’ sign that could ever be erected. If it could ever be removed, it could make such a statement that East Liberty could come back.” Twelve years later, the apartments were imploded, and redevelopment followed, along with the neighborhood’s shortage of affordable housing.

You can’t get more Pittsburgh than this (May 6, 1998)

Everyone in the tri-state area knows The Jaggerz, the local Donnie Iris-fronted band that had a big hit in 1970 with “The Rapper.” The group broke up in 1985, and reunited with Iris in 1989. This week, however, CP reported that the band was back with its first new record in 23 years (still Iris-less) and was celebrating with an outdoor show at the most Pittsburgh venue possible — The Moon Township Giant Eagle.

Early Warnings (April 24, 2008)

Everyone is familiar with the fallout and protests from last year’s Pittsburgh Pride events. Several groups and scores of individuals took the Delta Foundation to task for putting on a festival that wasn’t inclusive of the entire community. The year 2008 marked the first year that the Delta Foundation took over the organization of Pride events and even back then, not everyone was happy. Writer Melissa Meinzer wrote about the organizers of the annual Dyke March and their unhappiness over being forced to buy an ad in the Pride magazine if they wanted to be an official part of Pride. The group also took issue with some of the event sponsorships saying: “Pride is corporate enough.”


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