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June 7: Carnegie Mellon Students and Faculty Partner With Several Community Organizations To Build Café 524 in Homewood


Eric Sloss                 

Carnegie Mellon Students and Faculty Partner With Several
Community Organizations To Build Café 524 in Homewood

cafePITTSBURGH—Café 524, a project of Carnegie Mellon University's Urban Design Build Studio (UDBS), will be a new community center for Homewood, a distressed Pittsburgh neighborhood. The café was conceived in partnership with UDBS and local community organizations to fill the need for a community space for Homewood residents. Carnegie Mellon students will spend the summer in Homewood working with community partners and PJ Dick, Inc. to help build Café 524.  
Café 524 is slated to serve as a net zero energy model that will showcase a geothermal energy system as an energy source for others to study and re-create. Carnegie Mellon students and community partners hope that the café will help spur the rebirth of the Homewood business district and serve as a catalyst to create a sustainable, active community for the people of Homewood.
Café 524 is focused on the social development, the business and economic development and the community development of Homewood. The first floor of the building will be used as a café and the second floor will be a business area with office space and conference rooms that can be used by community members. Café 524 will be a gathering space, an arts and culture destination and a place where residents could discuss various community issues.
The UDBS is a group of interdisciplinary students from the Urban Lab Studio in Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture, who over the course of a year design and realize a project for a local Pittsburgh neighborhood. The mission of the UDBS is to develop regionally specific, climate appropriate building technologies for neighborhoods of Allegheny County.
Steve Lee, head of the School of Architecture, and John Folan, the T. David Fitz-Gibbon Professor of Architecture and director of the UDBS, are leaders in the design and construction of Café 524 and are accompanied in the process by 11 Carnegie Mellon students. Several partnering organizations make up Café 524 stakeholders, including the Homewood Children's Village, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the National Black MBA Association. The Black MBA Association Pittsburgh Chapter, which will become the owner of the café when construction is complete, will use the space as a business incubator to help engage entrepreneurs and strengthen local businesses.


Pictured above is Café 524, a project of Carnegie Mellon's Urban Design Build Studio.