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PHLF offers to save Market Square Buildings

August 31, 2005

On Monday, August 29, 2005, we received a telephone call suggesting that an emergency meeting be held with the City’s Building Inspection Department to review the situation at 439 Market Street, a handsome Victorian building that once housed the restaurant Alexander’s Graham Bell. Some years ago it was fire damaged; the City took possession of the property and steady deterioration took place until the roof fell in through three floors to the basement. The walls are intact as is a mezzanine that is just above the front entrance.

We learned that the City had a bid of $30,000 to put on a new roof, make remedial repairs, and clean up the debris.

The next morning, Landmarks submitted a letter offer to Deputy Mayor Tom Cox and URA Director Jerry Dettore offering a loan from PHLF for up to $33,000 for the roof repairs and clean up, and the City would give Landmarks design approval rights for the exterior of this building and two buildings to the east. The loan offer is at no interest and for two years.

The City accepted the offer on August 31, 2005 and negotiations on details have begun.

We will report on progress as it occurs.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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