Allegheny County Courthouse plans renovations
By Bobby Kerlik
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 10:15 p.m.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said Wednesday he is planning to renovate the 125-year-old historic courthouse but has few details on the extent of the renovations, the cost or how the county will pay for it.
Fitzgerald introduced a committee of current and former county officials, including former Executives Dan Onorato and Jim Roddey, who will study potential renovation projects at the Grant Street edifice.
“I don't think it will be from the county budget. We're looking for private foundation money, state and corporate donations,” Fitzgerald said. “We're going to do the renovations as quickly as we can; as quickly as we can pay for it. There might be some capital money (from the county).”
He estimated renovations would cost “tens of millions of dollars.”
Fitzgerald didn't lay out any specific projects but mentioned problems with a leaky roof, old windows and the heating and ventilation system.
“The first things are the roof and the HVAC system,” said Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning, a member of the committee. “I've been in this courtroom 20 years, and that pillar right outside the door has been rehabbed four to five times because of the leaking roof.”
The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation has worked with the county to restore the building, including first-floor murals, benches and light fixtures.
Fitzgerald's spokeswoman, Amie Downs, said the county is paying 50 percent of the costs to fix the ornate cornice on the City-County Building, across Forbes Avenue. Downs said that money had been allocated and won't affect courthouse renovations. City officials said last year it would cost $4 million to fix the crumbling cornice.
The courthouse, designed by famous architect Henry Hobson Richardson, was completed in April 1888, though Richardson had died. The rounded arches and open-air courtyard showcase a maze of windows and ornate stairwells and is considered Richardson's defining building. It was built for $2.34 million to replace the courthouse destroyed by fire in 1882.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Job cuts at AGH part of ‘strategic’ process
- Redistricting spurs faceoff for Democratic state Reps. Molchany, Readshaw
- Federal Air Marshal Service to close Pittsburgh office
- Allegheny County Democrats endorse several incumbents in primary
- Qualifications of Peduto nominee for building inspection chief come up short
- Suspect in East Liberty slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- Photo gallery: Swing for a Cure
- Assessment appeals draw Mt. Lebanon residents’ ire
- Upper St. Clair woman’s death at Drexel probed as possible meningitis