A do-gooding small-town mayor and his wife set out to revitalize a “violent ghost town” to its former glory.
No, not the latest Netflix miniseries, but rather the the story of Braddock, Pennsylvania mayor John Fetterman and his wife, Gisele.
Their combined CVs will show that they are not the types to shy away from a difficult job: in addition to running a food and resource rescue for community members in need, the pair have facilitated the growth of businesses like urban farms, craft breweries and artists’ residencies in a place where such things had stagnated.
Also on their list of renovations: their gorgeous home, a massive loft in one of America’s first indoor car dealerships that they renovated from a state of disrepair into an industrial-modern daydream.
The original concrete and steel ramps of the 1920s Chevy dealership are preserved, as is the original concrete throughout the massive open floor plan.
It took eight months of planning and developing, but their home is filled with local treasures: a movie poster from a film made in Braddock, pictures of long-demolished neighborhood buildings and reclaimed materials from the community. Every piece has a story and reason for being used in the space.
The rooftop has greenhouses that will be used to grow food for Superior Motors, a forthcoming restaurant with its own heroic story set to open soon on the ground floor. The Fettermans donated the space to the restaurant, which also includes a locally operated theater (plays, not movies).
Images via Quelcy Kogel