ISDA Building Panels Taken Off
Under Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s Downtown Preservation Program, managed by PHLF in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, the first restoration action has begun: those orange metal panels that covered the upper-floors of the Italian Sons and Daughters of America Building at Forbes Avenue and Wood Street have been removed.
Now people can see the fine stone façade of the original 1929 Germania Savings Bank Building that we knew was there, but we did not know its condition. We entered into a contract with Young Restoration to remove sample panels, beginning on March 13, so that we could take a look, and we were so pleased with the quality of the original façade that we had all the panels removed by March 31.
Passers-by spontaneously applauded our work and the Mayor pointed out that this effect of renewal through restoration of our prized historic buildings would bring new shops and new shoppers to downtown Pittsburgh. 419 Wood Street was erected for the Germania Savings Bank in 1929, in a restrained Art Moderne style. The first floor has housed several restaurants. From 1931 through the 1960s Stouffer’s was the tenant; more recently McDonald’s occupied the space.
The Mayor announced that work would begin within the next several weeks on restoring six more building facades on Wood Street and on Market Street with the Thompson Building. People will see a dramatic difference in the area. PHLF is advocating for the development of women’s retail in the Wood Street corridor, similar to what we have been able to accomplish on Fifth Avenue with Heinz Healey’s Gentlemen’s Apparel and Nettleton Shoes at Market at Fifth.