Legion Post 450 in Sewickley once again at risk for sheriff's sale

Bobby Cherry
| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

A longtime haven for social life and entertainment for black people in the Sewickley Valley is on the verge of a sheriff's sale for the second time in 14 months.

The Walter Robinson American Legion Post 450 at 20 Chadwick St. is scheduled for sale Monday through the Allegheny County Sheriff‘s Department.

In December 2011, the post filed for bankruptcy after years of declining membership and a down economy, organizers of the post told the Sewickley Herald at the time.

The post once was a local hot spot that attracted many prominent black musicians of the Big Band era, including Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Count Basie.

It also was widely used by black people for wedding receptions, programs, celebrations and proms during segregation.

The post organized in 1922 after black residents' failed attempts to join Post 4 in Sewickley.

The organization received the old Sewickley Railroad Station — built in 1887 — as a gift from the borough in 1944 after it was moved by railcar from its former location near the corner of what now is Broad Street and Route 65 to its current Chadwick Street location.

The former train station was designated a historic landmark in 1993 by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.

Organizers had planned fundraisers throughout 2012 to help offset costs needed to emerge from bankruptcy.

In January 2012, organizers said $125,000 was needed.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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