Demolition begins on former St. Nicholas church along Route 28
Demolition of the controversial former St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church along Route 28 in Troy Hill began Tuesday despite a last-ditch effort by Pittsburgh to save the landmark building.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority offered to buy the church, but St. Nicholas Parish in Millvale, which owns the building, turned the offer down, said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. Lengwin said doing so was “in the interest of the safety and welfare of the community and the stability of the (Millvale) parish.”
The diocese said the parish spent $360,000 to maintain and insure the building the past eight years as it sat empty. The monthly expense of $1,800 represents 17 percent of the 225-member parish's income, the diocese said.
The North Side Leadership Conference and the Preserve Croatian Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit consisting of former church members, worked for years to turn the building into a national immigrant museum but never could reach agreement with the diocese to buy it.
“It would have been a real showplace for Pittsburgh and for the diocese. This is a sad day,” said Bill Vergot, 79, of North Strabane, who helped start the foundation.
The city law department in October withdrew an appeal seeking to overturn an Allegheny County Common Pleas Court decision that gave the diocese permission to demolish the building.
URA Chairman Yarone Zober, who is chief of staff to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, said the URA subsequently offered to buy the church with the intention of turning it over to the North Side Leadership Conference and foundation.
“The URA and city of Pittsburgh attempted on multiple occasions to work with the diocese to acquire the building,” he said.
Lengwin said crews began the demolition by removing the church's bells.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Pirates can’t waste McCutchen’s prime
- East Huntingdon man dies following police chase
- Giants, Bumgarner shut out Pirates in wild-card game
- Steelers pressing to create opportunities to get to quarterback
- Pirates’ Martin calls crowd chant ‘petty special’
- Highmark to increase premiums, limit access to health care in new plans
- Consol Energy cutting retiree health benefits, phasing out pension
- Woman dies in fall at McConnells Mill State Park
- Dense fog slows Western Pa. morning rush hour
- WPIAL football coaches use unique awards to motivate their players
- Police: Westmoreland woman forged painkiller prescriptions