In 1979, the East Liberty Quarter Chamber of Commerce formed the nonprofit East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI) to facilitate redevelopment efforts in the neighborhood and begin the process of reversing the effects of well intentioned but ultimately detrimental urban renewal efforts.
Our first projects in the early and mid-1980s focused on improving the center of the district. We worked to reopen Penn Avenue, Highland Avenue, and Broad Street to vehicular traffic and bought and redeveloped 100 Sheridan Square, which had been a residential hotel and was subsequently converted to offices. As the decade progressed, our neighborhood’s residential stability was low and the unemployment rate was high. East Liberty was perceived as unsafe, and many residents felt that the city had abandoned them.