Celebrations and ground breakings | Q1 & Q2 2022

Q 1 & Q2 Events 2023

We kicked this year off with a great charitable event, our annual clothing drive! We partnered with NCJW Thriftique to collect clothing in all of our offices from January to February. NCJW operates a retail store that provides a platform for member volunteerism, community service projects, internships, and employment opportunities for at-risk women moving towards self-sufficiency and young adults with special needs. The rest of our spring events kicked off in March and they had us blooming with excitement.

This is our first spring with all of our construction completely done we're kicking it off with some amazing community events to keep your mind off of the fact that it's snowing in March. #PittsburghProbs

We welcomed our friends from Bell’s School of Irish Dance to the Conservatory for our St. Patrick’s Day events. At the Bell School, Irish dancing is their passion and they are very serious about it. They foster an environment that is positive, encouraging, and welcoming to all regardless of age or skill level. They performed some incredible dancing and taught us about Irish culture and the history of step & St. Patrick’s day. After the event, we hosted a tie-dye party and everyone was able to tie-dye their own green shirts!
storie like me
Of course, we continued our themed Trivia weekly at Galley- Bakery Square & have pop-up music all the time at the Conservatory! We also had the wonderful opportunity to partner with our friends at Stories Like Me. Stories Like Me provides comprehensive and accessible resources for diverse and empowering children’s literature. They strive to promote equality, equity, and inclusion, both in literature and in life! 

The cold weather kept us indoors for all of the first part of the year, but we were itching to put our courtyard to good use- and we did!

This month we were so lucky to get some nice weather so we could hold some great events! We started with egg decorating in the Conservatory for Spring! It was a great opportunity to welcome the season with the community and get creative. From there, we got to celebrate one of our all-time favorite holidays, Earth Day! Welcoming the incredibly talented Chalking Dad to BKSQ, we had a custom piece of art made right on our sidewalk! We also had StyleForGood and others on site to show us how to reuse and recycle everyday elements. StyleForGood helps their clients develop sustainable habits of style that support their mental health and the world. We also began some wonderful workshops and classes with &flowers in the Conservatory.

You can’t celebrate April without celebrating 412 Day. In 2018 Former Mayor Peduto announced April 12th (4/12) is officially 412 Day, celebrating all things black and gold. We welcomed local small businesses into our Conservatory and had Pittsburgh-themed trivia!
May was a little crazy, as we were lucky enough to play host to one of the locations of the Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books. This free, day-long event celebrated Pittsburgh’s love of literature. We began the day with Mayor Gainey as he delivered a Mayoral proclamation to kick off the ceremonies. After that, the day was filled with poets, authors, and other dreamers sharing their stories. Among the authors was Pittsburgh’s own Malajsha Mollett who was the youngest published author there at the age of 10 years old. Malajsha read an excerpt from her book The Football Girl, written about her love of sports and the adversity she faced when trying out for the football team. Along with the vendors in our Conservatory, in our poetry tent, we had the distinct honor of hosting a reading by Toi Derricotte, professor emerita in writing at the University of Pittsburgh as well as a 2019 National Book Awards Finalist. Her incredibly powerful poems speak of gender, race, and fertility and we were so lucky to have her on-site.

Check out some media mentions below: Pittsburgh Magazine | CBS News | CBS News 2 | News JournalKilgoren News Herald | Wesa | Pitt Edu- Utimes

Other May events kicked off with a bang, as we hosted May the 4th day at the Square! We streamed the Star Wars movies all day on the big screen, celebrated at the bar at Galley- Bakery Square with some themed cocktails, and had Star Wars-themed trivia later that evening!

Spring also brought a peculiar wind from the East that blew in Mary Poppins & Bert for our first annual Spring Tea Party! Tea, pastries, music, and magic. This was our best event to date and one of our personal favorites.
Wapping up this Springs events, we played host two of our biggest events of the year. June we unveiled our latest Public Art Installation. i see YOU was created by Pittsburgh native Curtis Reaves, a nationally renowned artist known primarily for his poetic abstract work that utilizes photography, recycled materials, and technology. Reaves worked with 80 local 4th and 5th-grade students from Lincoln Elementary and Urban Academy to conceptualize and create his piece. Curtis’ work will be exhibited until June 2023.

Most developments lose sight of what and whom they’re developing for. Not Walnut Capital and its co-founders Gregg Perelman and Todd Reidbord. For them, the people and communities are the reason for development. And this significant milestone of breaking down barriers at Dahlem Place in Bakery Square proves that once again.

The train tracks separating the communities of Larimer and Homewood were not only just a symbolic separator, they were a physical barrier too. This latest project will physically connect Dahlem Place in Bakery Square to McPherson Boulevard and Fifth Avenue making transit between the communities significantly easier. This undertaking will take an abandoned 1.5 mile long railroad and will transform it into a tree-and-garden-lined road that is inviting to cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles. The street will be designed to be traffic-calming and will also reduce traffic congestion along Penn Avenue, helping to combat climate change.

The features of this new road way will feature an 8-foot-wide protected two way bicycle lane, a 6-foot-wide pedestrian sidewalk, a rain garden for sustainable on-site stormwater management, and a landscape meadow and planting buffer along the full length to create a green zone.

Executive director of the Larimer Consensus Group, Donna Jackson, said “It is a city for all. We must be for the city. In order for all of us to be for the city, we need these connection places, right? We need these places to celebrate all of us where we can get to.”

Mayor Ed Gainey was there for this groundbreaking, praising Walnut Capital for their dedication to improving the area he once represented. “You didn’t talk about it, you actually did it, everything that we discussed in regards to really working to improve this area, you’ve always kept your word.”  

This historic project will be rolled out in two phases. Phase one is a five month long project that cost $2.5 million dollars and is fully funded. The second phase is yet to be funded but with the overwhelming community support they are confident they will secure the funding. “Residents of the Larimer community, where most of Bakery Square sits, have told us loud and clear that it’s about time to connect one side of the tracks with the other,” said co-founder Greg Perelman. “Indeed, all residents deserve the dignity to be connected.”

Media Mentions:

Media Mentions:
Project to better connect Pittsburgh's Larimer neighborhood to Bakery Square | Bakery Square road will ease congestion, eventually, connect with Homewood and Larimer, leaders say

In addition to all of these large events, we continued our awesome summer series of signature events. We held outdoor yoga every Saturday morning (when it wasn’t raining!), outdoor music every weekend, and weekly cornhole. Bakery Square was made to be enjoyed by the community and you could really see that this Spring and Summer.