As a way to stay connected with each other – and to Pittsburgh – sister duo Hope Perri and Annie Perri Cole launched Houses of Pittsburgh on Instagram in 2015.
At the time, Hope was preparing to move to Chicago. Fast forward to 2019 and the Instagram channel has since taken off – now boasting over 13,000 followers and a regular stream of curated photos featuring homes all over Pittsburgh.
The sisters were inspired by accounts like @housesofldn and believed that Pittsburgh’s unique identity as a city made up of 92 neighborhoods would be compelling to followers. They always give a shoutout to the neighborhood where each house is located. This creates a sort of digital archive and visual map of the city –“ by sharing a simple façade view, we like to think we preserve them a little bit longer.”
Annie and Hope grew up in Brentwood, a notably walkable community. They walked to school every morning from elementary through high school. This daily routine encouraged them to engage with their neighborhood and notice what most people just drive past.
“I like to imagine what my neighbors’ daily lives are like – do they have a garage? How close is the nearest bus stop?”
They started by posting their own content (and still do). And have sometimes featured account takeovers with well known Pittsburghers: Bellevue Mayor Emily Marburger, news anchor David Highfield (Note: Annie works in media for KDKA AND The Penguins). But the majority of their posts are crowdsourced from Instagram users who post photos using the hashtag #HousesOfPGH.
Share your photos using the #HousesOfPGH Hashtag
“If you tag us, we’ll post it.”
They don’t curate by the quality of the image and they never edit out houses to show an idealized version of Pittsburgh. The posts are not limited by the style of architecture, size or condition. Annie and Hope see that each one is special and all have equal value, as they are someone’s home.
But it is aspirational too. Both sisters are currently renters, living in Point Breeze and Brighton Heights, and wish to one day own a home too.
Houses Of Pittsburgh Walking Tours
Houses of Pittsburgh has begun organizing and hosting meetups in the form of neighborhood walking tours. They team up with local businesses, architects and community organizations to give context and contribute to the conversation. Partnering with Young Architects Forum, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks, and Young Preservationists’ Association, the neighborhood walking tours focus on history, architecture, and active dialogue surrounding affordable housing and inclusive revitalization efforts.
They frequently post on their Instagram feed and in their stories when and where they are having a future meetup. Past neighborhoods have included Regent Square and Southside.
“We feel that each person that lives in the city is important, and has a right to affordable housing in their neighborhood. Seeing the city grow and change is amazing; at the same time, taking care of all Pittsburghers should always be at the heart of the city’s goals. “
Other Instagram Accounts to Follow
We asked the Houses of Pittsburgh sisters for their pro tips on OTHER local Instagram accounts to follow.
Here are three of their favorites: