The ocreations story
Founded in 2007, ocreations, LLC is a boutique agency and classic design studio with an award-winning team of creative experts. We help our clients build their business and their brand with timeless and transformative design.
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.
The building’s previous owners, Marco and Paula Cardamorve, sold it to Shawn and Emilia, but not without several warnings since the building needed a complete renovation and extensive repairs. The Cardamorve’s owned the building since 1988. “For some reason, that didn’t matter to me. I was so drawn to the building. It called to me, just like it had done so for Marco many years ago,” explained Shawn.
Records indicate that Lydia Appleton commissioned construction of 19 and 20 Bedford Square, a residential building, in 1838. 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. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the historic Bedford Square was a thriving residential area and business hub, with a grocer and dry goods merchant, two shoe makers, a tavern, cabinet maker, tailor, hatter, doctor, feed store, millinery store and a confectioner.
Members of the Appleton family owned the building until 1859, until they sold it to Dr. Paul Liscomb, who lived and practiced medicine at 20 Bedford Square during the Civil War. In 1893, Liscomb sold the building to Valentine Ganter, who immediately converted the double house into a saloon and hotel, which he operated until 1911. This conversion to commercial use included the addition of the ornate pressed metals walls and ceilings of the first floor.
In the early 1930s, the building at 19-20 Bedford Square was converted to its longtime use as fresh poultry store. Customers selected a live chicken and watched as it was slaughtered onsite. For nearly half a century, three generations of family members owned and operated Seebacher’s Poultry until the business closed in 1986, hence the building’s nickname, the “Chicken Shack.”
The building was then vacant for 30 years until ocreations purchased it in 2016. However, during the late 1980s, 19 Bedford Square was 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 the building and Bedford Square as a backdrop in select scenes. And in 2016, Jesse Mader, vice president of ocreations, used the interior of the building for a music video and for his cinematic wedding video.
Today, the historic Bedford Square is still a happening place. We’re proud to share the neighborhood with the following businesses: Club Café, Howard Hanna, Bloom’s Cigar Shop, Attwood Goldsmiths, Hair on Bedford Square, The Market House, WYEP/WESA and several others.
Since its earliest days, 19 and 20 Bedford Square have clearly been a gathering place for people in the community to connect, a place to do business and a place for the arts. Now it’s a perfect fit and the new home for ocreations, and the best destination for timeless and transformative design.