AIA Pittsburgh Design Award

Second Harvest Community Thrift Store

Social Impact in Design Award, 2022

In the wake of a great loss for Sharpsburg, neighbors came together to respond to the closing of the community’s beloved thrift store. The former thrift store was not only an essential access point to affordable goods for the community’s residents, but it was also a place where locals frequented to meet one another. Concerned community members responded by forming a new organization, purchasing a property, and undertaking a major renovation to transform the existing building into a site that ensured dignity in the second-hand goods retail experience. The pandemic struck but it only deepened the community’s commitment to bringing a welcoming space that served the essential needs of all Sharpsburg’s residents. The resulting place is a signal of a regenerating community building the ground work for a sustainable vision and vibrant hopeful future.

The jury commented:

  • We really appreciate the precedent this project sets – that there can be so much life given back to a type of functional building we see all over the country. We also appreciated the resonance of showing pride in reuse as an ethos of the thrift store, but also an ethos of the building. This is an example of how design provides dignity and community.
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