Public Hearing Before the Planning Commission of the City of Pittsburgh on the Workingman’s Savings Bank City Historic Structure Nomination
PREPARED TESTIMONY OF
ANNE E. NELSON, ESQ.
PITTSBURGH HISTORY & LANDMARKS FOUNDATION
BEFORE THE PLANNING COMMISSION, CITY OF PITTSBURGH
ON THE WORKINGMAN’S SAVINGS BANK
CITY HISTORIC STRUCTURE NOMINATION
FEBRUARY 26, 2008
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation urges the Planning Commission to recommend to the City Council the designation of the Workingman’s Savings Bank as a City Historic Structure.
The Workingman’s Savings Bank is the anchor building on the west corner of E. Ohio Street; the historic Teutonia Mannerchor serves as the east anchor. Removing an anchor building, one of the original elements remaining on that side of East Deutschtown, will have a detrimental impact on the neighborhood. Designating the property to City Historic Structure status will not only ensure its preservation, it will encourage the future development of the area to be consistent with the size, scale, design and character of the surrounding neighborhood. This designation will have a positive impact on the adjacent properties and the surrounding neighborhood by promoting the proper redevelopment of the area.
Furthermore, the incorporation of the building into a larger development is a viable option that may benefit the owner through the use of federal historic preservation tax incentives. The Workingman’s Savings Bank was determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places on February 24, 1986. Buildings listed on or eligible for the National Register may qualify for a 20% historic rehabilitation tax credit. A property owner may also donate a preservation easement to a qualified organization to receive a charitable contribution deduction. The combination of these two historic preservation tax incentives has successfully been used on developments in Pittsburgh including the Heinz Lofts and the Armstrong Cork Factory. Our organization would be interested in receiving one. If not eligible for the National Register, a 10% tax credit is also available for substantial rehabilitation costs since the building was constructed prior to 1936.
Finally, I would like to present a letter dated February 11, 2008 from Christopher Ponticello, Legal Counsel for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, that states the Diocese has received no payment from the successful purchaser of the building in exchange for the Diocese to relinquish its rights to the property. The Diocese’s attorney should be contacted for more information.
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation supports the nomination of the Workingman’s Savings Bank to a City Historic Structure.