If there is one house you learn about from our month long series for historic preservation month, the The National Negro Opera Company House in Homewood is the house to remember. This house needs some love and unlike the other properties that I have posted about this month, I don’t know what the future holds for this place. I believe there is a huge opportunity for this building, but it is also a huge challenge.
The house, located at 7101 Apple Street in the Homewood Neighborhood, was built in 1908.
Three Reasons the National Negro Opera Company House is Important
- This building was home to the first African-American opera company in the United States.
- The house belonged to Woogie Harris, brother of photographer Teenie Harris.
- It is rumored that the Steelers franchise was won in a card game in the basement of the house.
Learn more about the National Negro Opera Company House
For an in depth look at the history of the National Negro Opera House, check out this post on Secret Pittsburgh. (Also, how interesting is it that Pitt offers a class called Secret Pittsburgh? Another fascinating thing I learned while writing about historic Pittsburgh places). The Curbed post from May 2016 offers some more information on efforts to save this building.
- Homewood: National Negro Opera Company, Secret Pittsburgh, April 19, 2016
- The Preservation Puzzle of Mystery Manor, an Oasis of Black Culture in Pittsburgh: The challenge of renovating one of the city’s most historic homes, Curbed, May 2016
- Preservationists hope plaque is first step toward rebirth of storied Homewood house, Post-Gazette, May 2, 2007
- National Negro Opera Company, OnQ, WQED