Hazelwood Project

Community project to commemorate and celebrate a neglected neighborhood and culture


Hazelwood is closely related to the historic roots of Pittsburgh, the steel city. Until 2001, Hazelwood flourished with booming population and culture, drawn in thanks to the near by steel mill. However, as the steel mill closed, population decreased and crime rate increased. Currently, Hazelwood is viewed on the media as a ghetto frequently filled with gun violence, drug abuse and various crimes. Furthermore as the adjacent lot from the closed steel mill is preparing to nest an upcoming futuristic neighborhood project, Alomono, Hazelwood residents prepare for gentrification.


Carnegie Mellon University Senior Design studio conducted community design research and created an exhibit celebrating the members of Hazelwood and commemorating the past history and lost loved ones.

We were inspired by the community spirit, resilient to struggles yet, open to new community members and friends. 


We wanted an accumulative community art wall, on which every member can express their presence in the community. The individual contributions become small pieces in a whole puzzle, together completing a bigger picture and a message.


The wall represents the present and the future of Hazelwood. Community members are empowered to build the future of their town by recognizing oneself as a significant contributor to the community. The the collection of their participation creates a beautiful picture revealing messages from community members.

Pictures of the Hazelwood Exhibit