ShareThis Page
News

Proposal would dust off Wilkinsburg train station

| Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007

There's a proposal to bring new life to the Wilkinsburg train station, which has been vacant since the 1970s.

The board of the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County last month approved a request from the county's Department of Economic Development to apply for a $15,000 grant from the state Historical & Museum Commission.

"The funds will be used to hire a professional to evaluate what renovations are needed, and their costs, to restore the station," said Cassandra Collinge, assistant manager of the department's housing division.

That person also will be asked to do an environmental survey of the property and provide suggestions for re-use of the station, she said.

The station is located at Hay Street and Ross Avenue, on a site behind the CVS Pharmacy on Penn Avenue.

This is not the first attempt to renovate the station.

In 2004, a team of students from Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management received a $10,000 grant from an anonymous contributor to conduct research regarding the station, including obtaining public suggestions for its use.

The students hoped to discover how the station could be used in a way that would benefit the community and boost the economy. Suggestions included a jazz museum, restaurant and cafe.

In 2005, architect Sylvester Damianos asked permission from the Wilkinsburg Municipal Authority/Wilkinsburg Borough Industrial and Commercial Development Authority to purchase the station.

Damianos said he could use the property for his offices, a community gallery and for a woodworking shop in the basement.

"We were definitely interested in doing the project, but found there were too many legal problems, because of a variety of ownerships, and we decided to drop out," he said.

However, several groups continued to express interest in having the station preserved and reused.

Among them are Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

"We have been interested in the station for 30 years, and am happy the county has allocated funds for an architectural/engineering study to determine its current condition and how to stabilize the building," said Arthur Ziegler, the foundation's executive director.

"Once that is achieved, perhaps we can market the building."

The Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh has listed the station as an historic site and offered assistance to any developer interested in restoring it.

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.

click me