Sharpsburg officials: Chief Guyasuta statue not going anywhere
The statue of Chief Guyasuta that stands tall in the heart of Sharpsburg’s commercial district isn’t going anywhere, officials assured curious residents.
Council members have been fielding questions about the statue and its surrounding H.J. Heinz Plaza since orange construction cones popped up around its perimeter.
“Chief Guyasuta is not going anywhere,” Councilman Jon Jaso said. “Everyone is asking that question. We’re just getting a bigger plaza and some new benches so that visitors can sit and enjoy the area.”
The work is part of a $3 million project to upgrade the borough’s streetscape.
The business corridor is expected to transform over the next few years into a pedestrian-friendly area with safer sidewalks, lighting and benches.
The borough in 2018 received $500,000 through the Community Development Block Grant program and has applied for other state money to cover the cost of redoing the entire stretch of Main Street between Sixth and 13th streets, Manager Bill Rossey said.
The initial grant came through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was funneled through Allegheny County and the North Hills Council of Governments, he said.
Officials targeted Heinz Plaza as the first phase of work because it is the focal point of the Main Street shopping district.
It memorializes two of the borough’s most famous residents — Heinz, who started the ketchup empire from borough gardens, and Chief Guyasuta, a Seneca chief who sought peace while serving as a guide to George Washington.
Rossey said borough-wide, unsafe sidewalks will be replaced. Crosswalks and ramps will be improved and street lights, trees and trash cans will be replaced.
At the Heinz Plaza, crews are working to widen the space and install dedicated crosswalks for pedestrians on North Canal and Main streets, Jaso said.
“This is a beautification project to help with revitalization,” Jaso said. “It’s also being done to improve and control traffic and increase pedestrian safety.”
Across the borough, work will last several years, Rossey said.
Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .