T hroughout the years, one thing that has remained constant is the care and concern that the Spring Hill Civic League gives the community. Some of the same issues that the current board addresses are the same issues that people cared about 35 years ago. The preservation of the community's integrity, the improvement of the community, providing annual events for neighbors to attend, all of these are goals to which the League aspires. As set forth in its Charter, "the Spring Hill Civic League exists to serve the people and businesses of the Spring Hill community and shall exist perpetually". May we be blessed with the perseverance and insight to continue the important work of being a community of neighbors caring for neighbors.
1951, a group of proactive neighbors gathered to incorporate as the Spring Hill Civic League. The purpose of the League was to concern itself with issues that affect the residents & businesses of Spring Hill. The group was incorporated on March 12, 1951. The Charter of the group was approved on April 19th of the same year, and the first by-laws were published in 1953. Albert Schmittlein initially led the League as its first President.
In the late 1950's until 1961, Albert Boehm served as President of the group. It was during this time that North View Heights housing project was built. According to older residents in the community, North View was originally planned to extend beyond its present boundaries to Rhine and Buente Sts. The neighbors of Spring Hill/City View opposed the eminent domain proceedings affecting 75 properties in the community.
Charlie Lieberth served the community as President from 1964 through 1967. Then, in 1968, the League fell into dormancy for six years as no one filled the vacancy of President. During this time, acting Treasurer Frank Witsch of Southside Ave. held the books of the League & administered accounts payable.
In 1974, there was renewed interest, and the League was activated again. Ed Preskar of Haslage Ave. was elected President and led the League until July 1980. During Ed's tenure, much of the current organizational structure was initiated. Blockworkers began their valuable work in 1974, the newsletter was first published in 1975, and the group acquired 501 (c) 4 status that same year. The Rockledge St. lot was purchased in September 1975 through the tremendous support of the community, and was fashioned into a parklet to satisfy tax exemption on the property. During these years, the City of Pittsburgh informed the community of the closing of Engine Company #53, which was located in the Homer St. firehouse. The neighbors were promised that the building would be given over for use as a Community Center for Spring Hill residents.
In July of 1980 until November of that year, Ray Mall served as President of the group, and in November of 1980, Ron Marak, formerly of Haslage Ave. was elected President of the League. He led neighbors in opposition to the building of the St Ambrose Manor on Yetta Ave. & Rhine St. During Ron's tenure, the group was granted permanent 501 (c) 3 status by IRS, the annual Halloween Parade was established, and the Blockwatch program was initiated.
Lorene Lofink served as President in 1984 & 1985, and Darlene Harris was elected to the position in 1986 until her resignation in 1995 to serve as a Director of the Pittsburgh School Board. During her tenure, the community was active in decision-making concerning the reopening of the Spring Hill School, which had been closed in the mid-1980's. In addition, she led neighbors in opposition to the erection of the Crown Communications tower in City View.
In November 1995, Diane Schmitt was elected to serve as President of the group. Initially, she led neighbors in opposition to a housing development planned for cliff-side property on Zang Way. During her tenure, the community has realized the acquisition of the 1st floor of the Homer St. firehouse for community use. In March of 2000, the community approved the usage of the firehouse for the Steel City Boxing Association, a physical training and guidance program for the youth of the community. Additionally, the community has partnered with the City of Pittsburgh, ESB Bank, formerly Spring Hill Bank, and Western PA. Conservancy to develop a colorful flower garden at the intersection of Homer & Walz.
In 2006 Diane Schmitt stepped down as President, ending 10 years of service at that position. Donna Allison was elected President and is currently advancing the Civic League's mission and maintaining the quality of life that each Spring Hill resident has come to enjoy.