Polish Hill Remembered
Preserving a Slice of Urban History
Polish Hill Remembered is a remarkable student-generated book project that celebrates the proud heritage of Pittsburgh’s Polish community. Polish Hill Remembered offers a rare look into a period of recent history that is nearly lost, except for the recollections of those who lived through it.
Hampton High School English Teacher Mary Louise Ellena and her students from the After School Writer’s Club decided in 2006 to try to capture memories of Polish Hill, one of Pittsburgh’s most venerated ethnic neighborhoods. The project involved a series of field trips to Pittsburgh’s Polish Hill neighborhood, numerous interviews with longtime residents, many after school meetings and several Saturday morning working sessions. Through it all the students and their teacher developed keen insights into what it was like growing up in an ethnic enclave like Polish Hill.
“The book became a labor of love—tinged at times with frustration—for many members of the Hampton family, said Teacher, Mary Lou Ellena. “Although some of the participants had a few drops of Polish blood coursing through their veins, most did not. They joined the project to preserve a part of Pittsburgh’s history and left with a new respect for the culture and contributions of the people of Polish Hill, and with new skills in collaboration and cooperative learning.”
Long-time residents of Pittsburgh’s Polish Hill community will readily recognize the portrait that is presented of their old neighborhood. Paulowna Street, Herron Avenue, Brereton Street, Cargill Street, Dobson Street, Pulaski Way, and Flavan Way are remnants of a rich culture and heritage that thrived for decades a few miles from the heart of the City of Pittsburgh. That heritage today would be in danger of being forgotten if not for efforts like those of Ellena and her students.
Polish Hill Remembered, while not a detailed history of Pittsburgh’s Polish Hill neighborhood, is something much more rare. It’s a volume that preserves a set of remembrances and recollections from the past … a fleeting glimpse into an era and a lifestyle that soon may be lost forever.
Order Now and Receive a Complimentary Companion DVD
As the book project began to gain momentum, more students at Hampton High School became excited about the project. Several students from the school’s Video Club began to accompany the book team on their field trips to Polish Hill to make a video record of the project. The result is a companion two-hour DVD, called Polish Hill Revisited that includes interviews with Polish Hill residents, a tour of the streets, and several extras.
The cost of Polish Hill Remembered is $20.00 (plus $3.50 for shipping, handling and tax). All proceeds from the sale of the book will be used to benefit the After School Writers Club, the Technology Club, and other student organizations at Hampton High School. The purchase price includes a complimentary copy of Polish Hill Revisited, the companion DVD that was created by the school’s Video Club.
home. images. shop. press. contact.
Go To Top.
Created By Nathan Radebaugh
2007 Polish Hill Remembered