BEDFORD SQUARE: A HISTORICAL LANDMARK IN PITTSBURGH’S SOUTH SIDE
Ocreations’ one year anniversary settling in at 19 Bedford Square is just around the corner. Over the past ten years, ocreations has continued to grow and evolve. In 2016, Shawn and Emilia O’Mara formed oprop LLC, a property company, and purchased 19 Bedford Square, also known as South 12th Street in Pittsburgh’s historic South Side Flats neighborhood.
Records indicate that the building was built sometime between 1865 and 1880. It’s been vacant for nearly 30 years and its last known tenant was Seebacher’s Poultry, hence the building’s nickname, the “Chicken Shack.” Seebacher’s Poultry was established in 1952 by president, James J. Seebacher. It was a place that sold fresh poultry. Customers selected a live chicken and watched as it was slaughtered onsite.
19 Bedford Square was also the setting for the 1988 American movie, Dominick and Eugene, which starred: Ray Liotta, Tom Hulce and Jamie Lee Curtis. The building and the historic square were the perfect location to film the movie, a drama based in Pittsburgh about twin brothers with a complicated relationship. In 2006, the movie 10th and Wolf, a film about the Philadelphia Mafia, used Bedford Square and the building as a backdrop in select scenes. And in 2016, Jesse Mader, vice president of ocreations, used the interior of the building for two music videos, and for his cinematic wedding video.
Nestled just one block from East Carson Street, 19 Bedford Square is also adjacent to the historic South Side Market Building, which once served as a farmer’s market, butchery, store and bustling meeting place for the Polish, Ukrainians, Italians, Germans, Serbians, Croatians, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Russians, Irish and others who immigrated to Pittsburgh’s South Side.
Originally built in 1893, and then rebuilt in 1915 due to a fire, the South Side Market Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is one of the last two remaining 19th-century market houses in Pittsburgh. The building has had over a century of use, and currently stands as a recreational center for senior citizens.
Other neighbors in Bedford Square include barber shop Hair on Bedford Square, WESA Radio, Bloom Cigar Co., and Prizum Creative. All of these businesses respect and embrace the historic value of the location in which they conduct business.
Since its earliest days, Bedford Square has clearly been a gathering place for people in the community to connect, a place to do business and a place for the arts. It has been almost a year since the ocreations team moved in, and it is definitely the best destination for timeless and transformative design.