Downtown Buildng Will Probably Come Down
The Terminal Building at the corner of South Avenue and Chautauqua Place is beyond repair and will probably be demolished, according to city officials.
During a work session prior to Tuesday’s City Council meeting Erin Hammerstedt of Preservation Pennsylvania talked about the update of the inventory she’s doing of the Downtown Historic District to get it recertified. This work includes deciding what should be kept in and out of the district.
The discussion led to the Terminal Building, and Office of Economic and Community Development Executive Director Sara Andrews agreed with Hammerstedt that it should be kept out of the district.
“It’s probably likely to be demolished at some point in time, the condition is so poor,” Andrews said.
“It’s terminal,” quipped Mayor Tom Riel. “Water ran through it all winter.”
There are no plans yet to tear down the building, which is still privately owned.
Discussion later turned to the other end of Main Street, where McDonald’s will have to go through HARB for any renovations. City officials say they’ve heard that McDonald’s plans to renovate but they haven’t seen any plans yet.
Hammerstedt said HARB isn’t trying to make renovation difficult, or take away the restaurant’s identity. They just want it to be compatible but distinguishable.
“You’re not trying to make a fake historic McDonald’s,” she said. “You just want it to not be obtrusive.”
Andrews said certain franchises have designs that fit the communities they’re in, and pointed out Williamsburg, Virginia, as an example.
During the regular council meeting council authorized the execution of a $500,000 Home Program grant for the city’s Second Ward Neighborhood improvement project.
This will go toward renovations for qualified owner occupied homes, and about 30 applicants are on the waiting list for the money.
With this grant, about $2.4 million has been put into the neighborhood renovation project so far and, Andrews said, they are still looking for more grant money.