Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto was unaware of the Ewalt controversy but said all information should be included and evaluated in the nomination process.
“It’s not whether or not a person was a slave owner -- Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner,” Peduto said. “We know this and we know it’s part of the tragic history of our country. However, it needs to be placed in the context of the total history either of the property or the individual.”
City Councilman Ricky Burgess has raised questions about the historical designation process in the past and said he plans to introduce legislation requiring the city to pay up for designations.
The City Planning Commission is expected to vote on the nomination for the Ewalt House next month. City council must give final approval.