Pittsburgh's Outdoor Murals and Public Art, discovered on bicycle around the Burgh bike


by Linda Wallen students residents

1500 Homer St (Homer St and Damas St)
Spring Hill, Pittsburgh PA 15212

Charm Bracelet Project

After the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh underwent an extensive remodeling and expansion effort, they sought to broaden their affect on the community. They approached this by linking up with other local organizations and venues to form a collaborative effort. They named this the Charm Bracelet Project, with the various organizations involved represented by individual charms, linked together for a purpose. Since it’s inception, the Charm Bracelet Project has tried to foster and strengthen the Northside community and to encourage creativity on every level. While it celebrates the individuality of the neighborhoods, it also brings them together with activities and a renewed sense of identity.

The bulk of the Charm Bracelet Projects and associated organizations are located in the heart of the old Allegheny City, but a few reach out into nearby neighborhoods. In Spring Hill, this mosaic mural was created as one of their programs.

The mural depicts the history of Spring Hill.

Artist Linda Wallen worked with local high school students in an after school program to create this. They interviewed residents of Spring Hill and researched the history of the area to come up with the design, then spent time at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild learning about tile and mosaic work.

Other residents also attended workshops and made their own tiles to be included in the border.

The mural is located in what was a vacant, overgrown lot. It will be the anchor now for a small community park being built there.

Spring Hill was named for having many natural springs in the area. One in particular was located near where the mural was installed. Unfortunately it is now covered over.

Initially home to mostly German immigrants, the mural includes the racing pigeons that they brought with them when they immigrated.

Agriculture was a big part of the history here, and Spring Hill is another of the Pittsburgh neighborhoods that depended on the steps for it’s early residents to go to and from the city below.

The mural and soon to be park are located across the street from the fire hall. We don’t know if this part of the design is a tribute to today’s firemen or yesterday’s, but it seems appropriate for the location.

There are lots of great details and whimsical touches in this mosaic.


TAGS mural, Spring Hill, tile, mosaic, history, agriculture, cattle, racing pigeons, natural springs, German immigrants, steps, community, neighborhood, Linda Wallen, students, residents, , Charm Bracelet Project


We strive for accuracy. If you can offer any updates or corrections, please email pghmurals@gmail.com



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06/17/2014 @ 08:25 The firemen with the red hats and big brass buttons were taken directly from an old photo depicting the men who drove the fire wagon and worked out of the firestation on Rhine Street. The date is something like 1910 I believe. Thanks for the great job of documenting this project!

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