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$500,000 rehab revives Edgewood’s landmark rail depot

By Melanie Donahoo
Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sidney Davis/Tribune-Review

The Port Authority of Allegheny County will lease the turn-of-the-century Edgewood Train Station to the borough of Edgewood for the nominal fee of $1 per year.

Nearly $500,000 in renovations have been made to the architectural landmark, as part of a cooperation agreement between the borough and the transit agency, authority spokesman David Whipkey said.

The station, which sits along the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway Extension, got a new roof, water and sewer lines, electrical services, exterior lighting and doors. The woodwork was rehabilitated. Port Authority began the work in November 2006 with money from a federal grant, Whipkey said.

The borough plans to rent the station once all renovations are complete. The building still needs rest rooms, insulation and aesthetic repairs to the interior, said borough Manager Kurt Ferguson.

“This is just a small piece of a much larger project that’s going to develop that whole corridor,” Ferguson said. “So I think it’s an important step in making the rest of those things happen.”

The borough plans to update the Edgewood Avenue corridor and improve its infrastructure and connection to Swissvale. Edgewood is working with Port Authority to find additional money to complete the 1,500-square foot train station. One possibility is offering the tenants a reduced rent in exchange for making the final repairs.

“We will put together an outline for a request-for-proposal and examine what possibilities exist,” Ferguson said. “There are certain limitations with the building that would probably make it more conducive to some sort of office use than it would a retail space.”

Built in 1903 and designed by noted architect Frank Furness, the train station was declared a landmark by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation in 1998. The station once was a stop for trains on the old Penn Central Railroad main line and is believed to be the last existing building in Allegheny County designed by Furness.

Considered the founder of the Philadelphia school of architecture, Furness designed more than 400 buildings during his career, including many railway stations for the Pennsylvania and Baltimore & Ohio railroads.

Because the money is not yet in hand, there is no time frame for completion of the station’s renovations, Ferguson said.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633