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Developer to raze former Workingman’s Savings Bank & Trust Co.

Pittsburgh Tribune ReviewBy Craig Smith
Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pittsburgh developer Lou Lamanna plans to raze a former North Side alcohol-recovery center to construct a new building for retail use.

Lamanna’s company, Bentley Commercial Inc., was the successful bidder Monday at a sheriff’s sale of the Alcohol Recovery Center House at 800 East Ohio St. The sale was requested by Fidelity Bank to recover $266,637.97 in mortgage payments owed to the bank, court records show.

Plans for the $5 million project are preliminary, and the structure could include multiple tenants or a single tenant, said Lamanna, 40, of Shadyside. He would not identify possible tenants.

“Within the next 4 to 6 months, we’ll level the building,” he said. That work could take longer depending upon the permitting process and because of traffic on East Ohio Street.

Bentley Commercial has constructed stores at Pittsburgh Mills in Frazer and Center Pointe and Stone Quarry Commons, both in Center Township, Beaver County.
Lamanna said he is seeking to acquire several buildings and lots on East Ohio and Madison avenues that were not part of the sale.

Community leaders had hoped the ARC building could be preserved.

“We’re disappointed to hear that. We would certainly hope to convince him otherwise,” said Mark Fatla, executive director of the North Side Leadership Conference.

The ARC building was built in 1901 to house the Workingman’s Savings Bank & Trust Co., according to the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. Mellon Bank operated a branch office there until selling the building to the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, according to documents at Carnegie Library.

The diocese sold the brick building to Charles Cain for $1 in 1987. Cain operated the alcohol recovery program that at one point housed more than 100 inmates on work release.

In its heyday, the ARC House held about 150 prisoners who were assigned to work release by county judges.

Craig Smith can be reached at or 412-380-5646.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

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Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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