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Zoning chief influenced landmark development

| Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Regis Doubet Murrin of Point Breeze, chairman of Pittsburgh’s zoning board from 1993 to 2006, died Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. He was 82.

Regis Murrin loved to travel and in 1974 loaded his family into the station wagon and set off on a six-week trip across the country.

“We stayed in Motel 6s and drank Tang ... saw some of the national parks,” said his daughter, Mary Murrin of Point Breeze. “When we got to San Francisco, we got to stay in a fancy hotel.”

Regis Doubet Murrin of Point Breeze, chairman of Pittsburgh's zoning board from 1993 to 2006, died Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. He was 82.

Raised in Butler, Mr. Murrin was the great-great-grandson of Revolutionary War veteran Hugh Murrin. His great-grandfather, John, built St. Alphonsus Church in Murrinsville in Butler County, in 1841.

A Butler High School alumnus, Mr. Murrin was a 1952 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and was admitted to Harvard Law School. Instead of entering right away, he enlisted in the Navy, serving during the Korean War and with some of the first U.S. personnel in Vietnam.

He was a loyal fan of the Fighting Irish, and this season was the first he didn't see at least one home game in 78 years, his daughter said.

“There was little he liked more than Notre Dame football,” said Ron Hartman, who was Mr. Murrin's neighbor in Point Breeze.

“He leaves a long trail of great memories. ... There aren't many like Rege,” Hartman said.

Murrin joined the Baskin law firm in 1964 and became a partner, specializing in corporate real estate development and finance. He moved to Reed Smith in 1984.

A 1959 graduate of Harvard Law, Mr. Murrin worked for the Kennedy administration's Philadelphia office of HHFA, the precursor of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Named head of Reed Smith's real estate department in 1984, Mr. Murrin was active during Pittsburgh's Renaissance II and played a significant role in the planning and development of several key properties: PPG Place, Liberty Place, One Mellon Bank and others. Former Mayor Tom Murphy appointed him to chair the zoning board.

“He was just one of those people, always had a smile, worked hard, very creative, very talented,” Hartman said.

In addition to his daughter Mary, Mr. Murrin is survived by his wife of 53 years, Evelyn; daughters Cathe Hargenraderc of Oak Hill, Va., Elizabeth Talotta of Arlington, Va., and Becky Lamanna of Wexford; and 12 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Bede Church. Internment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Butler. John A. Freyvogel Sons in Shadyside handled the arrangements.

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or csmith@tribweb.com.

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