Squirrel Hill Historical Society presents program on Neill Log House restoration


On Tuesday, June 14th members from the Squirrel Hill Historical Society (SHHS) presented on the historic Neill Log House in Schenley Park. Tony Indovina, president of the Friends of Neill Log House (FONLH) and SHHS board member, reported on the progress being made on the stabilization and restoration of the Neill Log House, the oldest log house domestic structure in Pittsburgh. Mardi Isler, SHUC’s President, and Lori Fitzgerald, architect and head of FONLH’s Design/Build committee, also spoke at the program.

From left: Tony Indovina, Lori Fitzgerald, and Mardi Isler speak on the restoration progress of the Neill Log House.

While physical reconstruction work is still a ways out, a number of crucial developments have been made in the house’s restoration. A recent dendrochronology test performed by the College of Wooster Tree Ring Lab dates a log in the house back to 1795, although deeds and documents about the house have referenced even earlier dates. The discovery of this exact year allows FONLH to certify the Neill Log House as one of only a few existing building in Pittsburgh from the 18th century. FONLH has also started working with conservators to assess the condition of the house’s interior artifacts, and to eventually restore them. This will be an important part of future educational programming, so that FONLH is able to reopen the house looking like it would have in the 18th century. Finally, FONLH is working on an exciting event at the historic Henry Koerner house on Negley Ave to raise funds for the restoration efforts. The event will likely take place over the October 14th-16th weekend and will include a film screening, house tours, and conversations with Henry Koerner’s son, Joseph. Keep an eye out for more details on this event!

The Neill Log House was designated a Historic Structure by the City of Pittsburgh in 1977.

The Friends of Neill Log House (FONLH) was formed as a non-profit corporation to stabilize, reconstruct and open the Neill Log House to the public for educational programming. FONLH has an agreement with SHUC to be the fiduciary for fundraising. SHUC is excited to work with FONLH on this project! If you’d like to contribute to the fundraising campaign for restoring the house, please donate via this PayPal link.

Click here for more information about the Neill Log House. To learn more about the Squirrel Hill Historical Society and their monthly programs, click here.

about SHUC

Preserving, Improving, and Celebrating the Quality of Life in Squirrel Hill

For forty-nine years, the Coalition has been an active and important link in the community. It has served as a sounding board for new ideas, as well as a “watchdog” in the areas of public safety, education, residential quality, the business district, and parks and open space. With its focus on the quality of life in the 14th Ward, SHUC continues to monitor activities and future developments in the community through a range of standing committees.

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