project leader
Tom Barr & Kelsey Sheridan
242 51st St
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the project

Spirit’s Rooftop Garden is designed to inspire environmental responsibility, build community partnerships, and promote sustainability within Pittsburgh’s hospitality industry.  It is the natural next step for our unique business at Spirit. The Spirit Rooftop Garden will span 5,000 square feet and includes: 2,000 square ft of Solar Panels for on-site renewable power generation, 1,000 sq ft of Green Space to grow food for Spirit and our neighbors, a 50-person Event Space that doubles as an educational area, and 5,000 sq ft of Insulated Roofing for better energy efficiency and to help dampen noise levels for our Lawrenceville neighbors!

With space for garden beds, hoop houses, a small apiary for bees, and rainwater catchment systems that will help decrease local stormwater runoff and pollution, the roof will be transformed into a lush, green microcosm that embodies restaurant sustainability. Solar panels will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by over 20 metric tons annually--that's equivalent to 51,000 miles, or driving around the earth’s circumference twice! By partnering with local builders, organizations, and farms, we aim to increase access to urban agriculture in Pittsburgh and become engaged in sustainability through local food systems with our friends and neighbors.

In order to get this exciting project off the ground, we need a boost-literally! Help us complete Phase 1 of Spirit’s Rooftop Garden and get us up on that roof! Your backing will provide the very foundation for this project: rebuilding the roof’s insulation (which also helps curb noise), building stairs for future gardeners, and welding structural supports to the building.  From there, we can begin working towards Phase 2: planter beds and hoop houses to grow salad greens, veggies, and herbs (for your pizza!), a rainwater catchment & water irrigation system, and bring in the bees. Spirit’s community of loyal supporters is vital to move this project forward and we thank you!

Please Note: The tax deductibility of your contribution may be affected by goods or services received. Please contact your financial advisor with questions regarding your donation.

the steps

Phase I ($50,000): Up on the Roof! (Begins April 2020)

  • Weld building joists to make the roof completely structurally-sound
  • Rip up & install 5,000 sq ft of New Roof Material to more efficiently insulate the building and dampen noise
  • Build 2 Sets of Stairs to access the roof for our future builders & gardeners
  • Create Long-Term Plan & Budget to make the project sustainable and successful
  • Install Solar Panels for renewable power generation (pending sponsorship)

Phase II: Get Growing (Begins June 2020)

  • Install Planter Boxes for growing fresh veggies, flowers & herbs
  • Install Hoop Houses to extend our growing season
  • Hire Gardener, establish a Management Plan, and develop Programming
  • Bring in an Apiary and Queen Bee for hyper-local honey production
  • Install Rainwater Catchment & Irrigation Systems  
  • Create safe walkways with rubber pavers

Phase III:  Event Patio

  • Install temporary Shade Tent for events and educational programming
  • Build Tables and Chairs for farm-to-table dinners and events
  • Pretty up the Patio with local builders & artists
  • Winterization and Cover Cropping Plan to make the garden more productive all year round!


why we're doing it

We strive to be leaders for positive change within the hospitality industry. Since Spirit’s inception, positive change has been a driving force in how our business operates and engages with the community. Our current community garden in the adjacent city-owned lot has given neighborhood businesses a space to grow food, for community to gather, for local musicians to perform, for couples to wed, and for fresh herbs to grow. But, since the lot is owned by the City of Pittsburgh, we would like to create a more permanent garden space for the Spirit community that offers a healthier environment to work, live, and play. The Spirit Rooftop Garden is a giant leap that will strengthen our business’ commitments to our local community and planet.

Here’s why we're doing it:

  • A green roof improves the local environment and with it, the local community.​

  • Solar panels reduce our need for reliance on fossil fuels and reduce ghastly emissions that threaten our environment.​

  • Rainwater capture and irrigation systems for the fruits, veggies, and herbs help us to conserve one of nature’s most precious resources.  Not to mention growing more of our own food year-round for your delicious pizzas, salads, and weekend brunches is better for you, us, and the earth.​

  • Supporting a sustainable local food system is paramount and we have many passionate organizations doing some fantastic work throughout our region.  So, we’ve decided to dedicate a portion of this rooftop space for sustainable and food-based educational programming as well as an incubator for partner sustainability projects.  

  • Our roof boasts a spectacular view of the city and is the perfect setting for weddings, private events, and a unique place to showcase local farms and guest chefs with farm-to-table dinners.

By transforming Spirit’s roof into an innovative green space, we help reduce the negative impacts of urban development while providing numerous environmental, social, and economic benefits and long-term sustainability. We believe that Spirit’s community of steadfast supporters is our greatest asset to helping us become stronger environmental stewards and better neighbors.  We couldn’t have gotten where we are without you and we thank you for your continued loyalty in this next chapter.



$6000 towards around 80 Planter Boxes, which includes freight and some liners which are being ordered on Tuesday and should be delivered by the 20th of the month, hopefully. 
The remaining $7,6741 towards the $7,872 owed to Vegely Welding for the reinforcement of Roof's Bar Joists to help make the roof structurally sound for the project. This work is actually happening right now as I type.  

TOTAL RAISED = $14,133.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $423.99

Original budget:

Phase I: $50,000

Stairs to Roof

Roof Support

Roof Sealing

Solar Panel Installation

Project Subtotal =  $50,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $1,500
Total to raise on ioby = $51,535

Phase II, future: 

Planter Boxes

Hoop Houses




Phase III, future: 

Patio Seating

Patio Shade/Tenting

Farm Table and Chairs


Garden Upkeep



Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Nathan S.
  • Paula Leslie
  • Anonymous
  • Gayle and Bill Simpson
  • Anonymous
  • mike szymarek
  • A Rooftop Garden Benefit Dinner (Vault)
  • Anonymous
  • Joseph B.
  • Leah G
  • Kellee Maize & Joey Rahimi
  • Nick DePersis
  • Ginny Sciulli
  • JIm Denova
  • Patrick Martins
  • William Reed
  • Thomas B.
  • Tommy
  • Anonymous
  • B Tron
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  • Farra
  • The Angs
  • John and Maureen Yock
  • Jim NIed
  • Molly Loughney
  • Natasha Price
  • Sarah Lolley
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  • W
  • Alexandra Korshin
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  • Caroline
  • Leigh Y.
  • Anonymous
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  • Tom