The Homewood Children’s Village (HCV) team organized the Tour of Homewood as a highlight of some of the public art, landmarks, “must sees” places in Homewood. The route was a 3.3 mile loop around the neighborhood. The route was basically flat with little elevation change. The route was on-street, with the last bit on a bumpy brick alley (to view the most recent mural). There is significant infrastructure work occurring in Homewood, which leads to road closures, however, all roads were clear for our ride. This is a safe, easy ride, and we would recommend it for beginners, even with few bike lanes in Homewood. There are three Healthy Ride stations in Homewood, and the ride can done from any station.
We began at the station outside of the Everyday Cafe in Homewood (N. Homewood Ave at Finance St.). We started the ride checking out the murals on the walls of the East Busway overpass.
We then made our way towards the Helen S. Faison Arts Academy, named after the Pittsurgh education pioneer. Dr. Faison was one of the first African American teachers in Pittsburgh Public Schools, and the first female and first African American to be principal and deputy superintendent.
Next we rode past The Dream BBQ, one of two great BBQ restaurants in Homewood. After turning onto Hamilton Avenue, we came to Art House, the brainchild of renowned artist, Vanessa German. Art House is a space for community members to create all manner of art.
Around the corner we passed the immense, Seasons of Hope mural on the side of the old Homewood Coliseum. If you didn’t grab ribs and chicken at The Dream BBQ, you can stop at Shuman’s Homewood, a one stop shop with an expansive menu (try the Fancy Hibachi).
Prior to looping around to see historic Westinghouse High School, be sure to check out the mural on the home at Idlewild St. and N. Homewood Avenue. Once you get to N. Murtland Street, you will see “The House”, home to many distinguished alumni (see the historical marker for Billy Strayhorn).
After leaving Westinghouse the ride turns right onto Frankstown Avenue. There is a slight decline here which will give you momentum towards the second BBQ joint on this ride, Showcase BBQ. Many restaurants claim awards, but not many can lay claim to an Emmy Award. Owner Drew Allen was included in Rick Sebak’s Emmy winning special, Meat Pittsburgh.
After leaving Showcase BBQ, the ride turns left onto Hamilton Avenue again. Here we see the Wheel Mill. This old industrial building has been turned into an 80,000 square foot cycling park, with ramps and trails of all kinds. The park is open to all ages and all skill levels, and features multiple mountain bike rooms and trails, as well as a park room complete with foam pit to practice skills.
Just around the corner from the Wheel Mill is The Shop, a community event space/art studio/barbershop. Local artist, Camo Nesbit, has pieces on the outside and inside of this space. Stop inside to check out the art of Ashley Cecil, or jump in the chair of multi-talented, Dj Nate the Barber.
A short ride down Kelly Street, with a quick turn on N. Lang Ave brings you to Formosa Way. This alley is a bit bumpy as it’s a brick alleyway, however the payoff is worth it when you come to the Nipsey Hussle memorial mural. Also featured in this piece are John Higgins and Bunchy Carter. This mural is on the rear of the Community Empowerment Association building. On the side of the building is another massive mural dedicated to Black History, depicting scenes and figures from the past and today.
From here we turned right onto N. Homewood Avenue and ended our ride back at the Healthy Ride station outside the Everyday Cafe. If you haven’t had your fill as of yet, be sure to stop in and grab a coffee or smoothie (try the new Peach-Banana smoothie).
While there were specific murals identified for this ride, there are several other pieces along the ride that were not officially part of the ride, but worth checking out as well. Many of the murals on this ride were completed as part of the Moving the Lives of Kids (MLK) project that linked professional artists with youth from the community. It’s really cool to think that some of the art featured on this ride is actually created by the community.
Homewood Children’s Village Ambassador team