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PHLF in 2010

This year, we had more than 10,000 people participate in creative educational classes, public tours, and special events offered by our staff, with the help of many dedicated volunteers. We had a splendid “Legends and Landmarks” evening at Oakmont Country Club, where Carol Semple Thompson was honored with our Living Landmark award for her contributions to golf and preservation. We also enjoyed an evening reception at the Lehn’s historic Fifth Avenue home, honoring those who have been members of PHLF for 25 years or more.

In 2010, we fully leased Market at Fifth and we have begun to assemble the funding for a creative reuse of our fourth building downtown— the Thompson Building. Renovation is scheduled to begin in the coming months. Work in Manchester continues with the Manchester Citizens Corporation, restoring seven historic houses with funding from PHLF and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

We also reached an agreement with the City of Pittsburgh for them not to demolish any more historic houses in Manchester until a plan is in place. We also continue to engage the City in further analysis of how to increase restoration and reuse of historic buildings in downtown.

As a result of over three years of effort by many parties, work began on the Crescent Apartment and Wilson House, for an affordable housing restoration project in Wilkinsburg.  We completed all of the negotiations and acquisitions for the next phase of restoring derelict houses and planting vacant lots, and we opened our Housing Resource Center to serve Southwestern Pennsylvania homeowners with educational programs.

Our Allegheny Together Main Street program with Allegheny County has created considerable investment in building restoration, in developing new businesses, and in upgrading existing ones.  The same is true for our Main Street programs in Vandergrift, Freeport, Leechburg, and Apollo.  In Pittsburgh, we continue to work with North Side residents and the cultural institutions there on opening some of the historic streets in Allegheny Center.

Our Historic Religious Properties Program of financial and technical assistance was reactivated, thanks to a generous challenge grant from two PHLF members and many matching gifts from members and friends. In 2010, we accepted an easement for the oldest office building downtown, the Burke Building (John Chislett, architect, 1836), resulting in the preservation of the building’s façade in perpetuity.

The Civic Arena presented enormously complicated problems. We talked with many groups: those who feel that it absolutely must be saved; those who feel it absolutely must be demolished; the Hill District residents; the Sports and Exhibition Authority (SEA); the Penguins; and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Ultimately, we articulated our position in the paper that we published in October 2010. We desire to see the Federal Statute called “Section 106” honored in order for SEA to see the process through to a sound solution.

All in all, I have tried to demonstrate how the foundations have been laid for a productive 2011. And, as the New Year begins, we are eager to hear from you as to your priorities for historic preservation in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Arthur Ziegler


Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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