History center says 'no, thanks' to Wholey smiling fish sign
The Senator John Heinz History Center has tossed a big fish back in the water.
The history center won a popularity vote to become the repository of the iconic Wholey's smiling fish sign in the Strip District, officials announced on Saturday.
But the center isn't interested.
“It would be confusing to have a sign of a thriving business that's located a few blocks away,” said center CEO and President Andy Masich.
No worries, said Mayor Bill Peduto and company officials. They said they would talk to representatives of other locations picked in the poll. While the history center was the top vote-getter with 301 out of more than 1,000 votes cast, Mt. Washington came in second with 260; McKees Rocks, 188; on or near water or a bridge, 131; and the Bigelow Boulevardretaining wall, 40 votes. Another 59 people voted to keep the sign where it is.
Mt. Washington didn't seem eager to reel in the sign, either.
“I think we're always looking to make Mt. Washington as attractive to as many people as possible,” said Rick Belloli, interim executive director of the Mt. Washington Community Development Corp. “I'm not certain that's one at the top of the list.”
However, McKees Rocks was biting. Taris Vrcek, executive director of the McKees Rocks Community Development Corp., said on Saturday that his town wants the sign because Wholey founded the business there 100 years ago.
The 100-by-60-foot smiling fish sign is made of light bulbs and hangs on the former Federal Cold Storage Building, 1501 Penn Ave. The store is at1711 Penn Ave.
Sampson Morris Group, a Monroeville real estate firm that bought the former warehouse in 2007, plans to renovate it into apartments. The developer plans to remove the sign.
Peduto said the Robert Wholey & Co. has offered to pay to move it and to pay for the electricity wherever the sign ends up, although there still is a possibility the sign could remain on the building, though not in the same spot.
“We're successful because of all of the people,” company president Jim Wholey said. “We owe it to Pittsburgh.”
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- LaBar: Extreme Rules was entertaining and smart
- Traveling amateur organists entertain fellow seniors with oldies music
- Reports grim for Pennsylvania’s state-run veterans homes
- Forbes Avenue jeweler’s embedded sidewalk sign safely slides out to make way for Pittsburgh Playhouse project
- Westmoreland County municipalities push to clean up litter, dumps
- Senior at Pittsburgh’s CAPA school focuses spotlight on homeless students
- Coach Johnston trying to figure out why Penguins ‘fell off a cliff’
- Protest planned Monday at Plum Borough High School
- Route 217 bridge work about to start in Derry Borough
- Lawyers donate thousands of dollars to Pennsylvania Supreme Court race
- Injured Penguins optimistic about returning next season