We began our tour of Bon Air having recently walked its geographic and alphabetical neighbor, Beltzhoover. This tour was a study in contrasts. The neighborhood of Bon Air is a pocket of land in the south end, with few entrances or exits by road, and consequently, there is a very apparent distinction at the threshhold of the neighborhood, rather than the usual gradual change that we’ve seen at the borders of other neighborhoods.
We started at the intersection of Camfield Street and Bon Air Avenue, heading south down Camfield.
While we’ve already criss-crossed the span of this city, we’ve yet to venture outside the amorphous boundaries of the vast Steelers nation.
The day was sunny, and the lawns were green. Most of the homes along these roads had sizeable yards and individual driveways. We were on the lookout for white picket fences.
The slight hills provided a view of St. Joseph’s cemetery in Carrick.
There were a lot of children out enjoying the nice weather, including some kids playing hockey in the driveway. Making a right on Drycove Street, we thought that if you lived here, you might forget that you lived in the borders of a mid-sized city.
Apparently, we weren’t the only ones picking up on Bon Air’s picket fence vibe. Next, we came upon this manifestation of Tom Murphy’s Project Picket Fence.
This led to a paved trail that traversed the wooded hillside at the south end of the neighborhood.
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was visible from the trail, along with the T tracks that run through the neighborhood.
We backtracked along the trail and continued onto Conniston Street, where we came upon the Bon Air Parklet.
We continued through the parklet, past a war memorial, and came upon the now-closed Bon Air Elementary School on Fordyce Street. The school evaded closure several times, with strong neighborhood support, but was finally closed in 2006. The school had been a poster child for under-utilized facilities with under 100 students, but walking through the neighborhood, it was apparent why it would be so important to the people in this community. With no other businesses or public meeting spaces, the school served as perhaps the only public building in the neighborhood. The Bon Air Early Childhood Center, housed in the same building, remains open.
Fordyce Street was home to these two love birds.
Bon Air showed a lot of Penguin Pride, with the team about to start making its way through the playoffs.
To our right, at Caperton and Fordyce, a set of sidewalk stairs ran up a residential street. One teenaged Bon Air rebel, clad in fishnets, sat on her roof and took pictures of the neighborhood.
We turned left on Caperton Street and continued to loop around Roseton Avenue, onto Bon Air Avenue. At the wood’s edge, we looked out into McKinley Park, with Beltzhoover in the distance.
On this view, we ended our tour of Bon Air.
Distance: 1.7 miles
Time: 1 1/2 hrs, at a leisurely pace