Improvements planned for Gilfillan Park, homestead
By Vince Guerrieri
Tuesday, April 30, 2002
Upper St. Clair officials are working with the historical society to draw more people to Gilfillan Park and soon, Gilfillan House.
Commissioners approved a resolution outlining a cooperative relationship with the Upper St. Clair Historical Society to address parking and traffic concerns at Gilfillan House as well as build a visitors’ center in Gilfillan Park.
Margaret Gilfillan died last year at age 100, and had lived at the Gilfillan home at the corner of Washington and Orr roads for 98 of those years. She willed the home and the 15 acres it sits on to the historical society with the idea of turning it into a historical site.
The house is already recognized by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation as an important building in Allegheny County history. Previously, the Gilfillans gave about 60 acres to the municipality, which became known as Gilfillan Park.
Municipal Manager Doug Watkins said the township will develop a site plan for the home and its outbuildings, as well as the park and a proposed visitors’ center at the park.
“I think we have some pretty focused visions that we’d like to see,” Watkins said.
The historical society has been working to renovate the home, but President Jean Brown said that unexpected obstacles have come up, giving the example of a bathroom restoration that led to floor repair. She said restoration was going on, but slowly.
Of course, visitors will not be allowed in the home until a parking lot is made and some traffic problems are addressed. Municipal officials are looking into expanded turning lanes and a left turn signal.
“We can’t open until we get the parking,” Brown said.
For the full story, read Wednesday’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Vince Guerrieri can be reached at email@example.com or (412) 380-5607.