Renovation of former eyesore on North Side continues with sign
The removal of a sign atop the former Garden Theater on Saturday is yet another step forward in the development of a former eyesore in the North Side.
Crews used a crane to gently lower the weatherbeaten “Garden” theater sign from the front of the two-story building, which is undergoing major renovations to include a restaurant.
“I like more of a neighborhood feel. I just like the idea of taking something old, maintaining its integrity and making it into something new and inviting,” said Domenick Branduzzi, who expects to open the ARDE restaurant in the fall.
The city bought the Garden Theater on West North Avenue in 2007 after a decade-long legal battle with its owner and sold the property to developers Wayne Zukin and Craig Totino.
Zukin of Philadelphia and Totino of Pittsburgh said last year they planned to spend $7 million to renovate the Garden Theater and the adjoining Masonic Temple building.
Branduzzi owns Piccolo Forno in Lawrenceville and will operate both Italian restaurants simultaneously, moving into the nearly century-old theater space. He said design changes have slowed down construction, but he hopes crews can begin work on the restaurant space by the end of the month.
The Garden Theater sign will be renovated and put back on the building, Branduzzi said. The marquee will use most of the letters from the word Garden to reflect the restaurant name, which means “glow” or “blaze” in Italian.
City of Asylum, a North Side nonprofit that provides sanctuary to exiled or politically oppressed writers, plans to open Alphabet City, a restaurant, bar, performance space, literary center and bookstore, in the temple building. The upper floors will become apartments.
Deborah Thomas, a North Side native, questioned whether a restaurant was the best use of the space. She said she would have liked to have seen the theater turned into a community center.
“There are a lot of kids around here who need something to do,” Thomas said.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621.
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.
- Memories of mice with ‘amnesia’ restored by light
- Former Pittsburgh police chief released from prison
- Point Park graduate’s ‘mugshot’ photos hit nerve on racism
- Pittsburgh’s HealthyRide system begins launch Sunday
- Medical examiner: Dormont man found near incline died of multiple injuries
- Penn Hills votes to sell, lease vacant school space
- Inmate assaults Westmoreland County sheriff’s deputy at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital
- With space to spare, Pittsburgh International draws corporate jet carrier
- Bethel Park teacher’s profane tweet raises eyebrows
- Homicide by vehicle trial of Munhall man Brezicky closes; verdict Monday
- Allegheny Intermediate Unit to distribute $530,000 in STEAM grants to 28 school districts