Two parties interested in Observatory Hill church property
At least two parties are interested in purchasing the former Lamb of God Lion of Judah Christian Church property, located at 3936 Perrysville Ave. in Observatory Hill, The Chronicle has learned.
The information was revealed at the May board meeting of the community group for the neighborhood, Observatory Hill Inc. (OHI). One of the groups interested in the property, Queer Excellence, an organizer for LGBTQ+ events, was at the meeting seeking a support letter from the board in order to secure funding for the property.
Board President Jeremy Lawler explained to the representatives from Queer Excellence that there was another interested party which OHI was still “vetting.” Lawler did not reveal any specific information about the second party during the meeting, and an email sent to Lawler for further clarification was not returned by press deadline.
Aaron Sorenson, who was one of three people representing Queer Excellence at the meeting, explained that the group planned to turn the property into a for-profit community space, mentioning events such as movie nights and concerts as examples of what they might use the space for.
Queer Excellence is seeking funding for the project through Avenues of Hope, with Sorenson saying the group had already met with the Urban Redevelopment Authority — the agency managing Avenues of Hope funding — and was told their project was a “great fit” for the program. Sorenson said the deadline for the next wave of funding through Avenues of Hope was June 30.
“The kicker is that we need site control in order to submit that grant application,” Sorenson said. “So we are willing to do a community partnership with OHI to secure that grant funding, but would like some assurance that you’re selecting us or to let us know you’re not selecting us so that we know where we stand.”
Sorenson confirmed the group is looking to get a liquor license for the space, if they are able to purchase the property. Nicholas Capel, another Queer Excellence representative, said the group was also looking to put in low income housing at the property, but said that was a later phase goal.
OHI’s board did not take public action on whether to support Queer Excellence’s attempts to get funding at the meeting. OHI next meets on June 21, at 7 p.m. at 3605 Perrysville Ave.
Calvary United Methodist Church holding open house
The Allegheny Historic Preservation Society is teaming up with Calvary United Methodist Church for an open house on June 21, at 4 p.m., at the church, located at 971 Beech Ave.
The open house gives attendees the chance to appreciate the Tiffany Windows that adorn the church’s walls during the summer solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere of Earth is closest to the Sun.
The windows were created by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company of New York during the church’s construction, from 1893 to 1895. Calvary commissioned three large windows — two transepts and a rear nave window.
The north transept window is titled “The Resurrection Window,” while the south transept is called “The Ascension Window.” The rear nave window is titled “The Apocalypse Window.”
Allegheny Historic Preservation Society has raised funds for the restoration of these windows. The open house is free of charge, but donations are accepted to support the preservation efforts of the society.
Following the open house, the annual meeting and program of the Allegheny Historic Society will take place featuring the screening of the documentary “Restoration of a Tiffany Stained Glass Window,” which chronicles the work completed on Calvary’s “Ascension Window.”
Picnic with Police to be held June 3
Pittsburgh Police Zone 1 will hold a Picnic with Police event on June 3, from noon to 2 p.m. at the intersection of Brighton Road and West Ohio Street.
Commander Shawn Malloy will be present, as well as several other officers from the Zone 1 station. Food and refresh- ments will be provided.
For more information, call (412) 323-7201.
Riverlife secures funding for Northside park restoration
Riverlife, a nonprofit which promotes riverfronts in PIttsburgh, announced on May 10 that it has secured capital support to begin implementing its Completing the Loop vision plan.
The plan, according to a press release from the organization, will begin with the renovation of Allegheny Landing on the North Shore, as well as the restoration of Allegheny Riverfront Park in Downtown Pittsburgh.
The plan is called the Sister Bridges Experience, according to the release, and will “create an integrated, cross-river destination connecting the Cultural District, the Andy Warhol Museum’s Pop District and North Side [sic] attractions to and across Pittsburgh’s rivers via the three Sisters Bridges.”
Allegheny Landing is located between the Roberto Clemente and Andy Warhol bridges, and was dedicated in 1984. Early renovations at the park are already underway thanks to funding from the Waterfront Development Tax Credit programs.