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Allegheny Foundation boosts effort to turn old Beaver train station into cultural center

Tony Raap
| Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 12:24 a.m.

An effort to transform a century-old Beaver train station into a cultural and events center is getting a financial boost from a foundation created by the Trib's late publisher.

The Beaver Area Heritage Foundation on Monday received $500,000 from the Allegheny Foundation to complete the Beaver Station.

“We're really happy about this,” said David O'Leary, chair of the Beaver Station Operating Committee.

“We've been working on this project for over four years. We've gotten broad support from the community. Now we can finish the building.”

The committee has raised almost $2.5 million to renovate the 118-year-old former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad station on East End Avenue.

The station's 2,500-square-foot upper level will host wedding receptions, family reunions and civic and corporate events, O'Leary said.

Its 6,000-square-foot basement, which housed Beaver County's 911 Center for decades, will become a cultural center.

The Beaver County Genealogical and History Center and the Beaver Area Heritage Museum's Collections & Research Center will use space in the renovated basement along with the Sewickley-based Sweetwater Center for the Arts, which is seeking additional classroom space.

The refurbished station will open over Labor Day weekend, O'Leary said.

Dick Scaife, the Trib's late publisher, created The Allegheny Foundation in 1953. Its charity work focuses on historic preservation, civic development and education.

Its board approved $2.1 million in grants in 2013, according to the foundation's most recent financial report.

Tony Raap is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7827 or traap@tribweb.com.

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