On Monday, March 12 Allegheny City Central Association voted to support the demolition of 4, 6 and 8 West North Avenue on the Garden Theater Block.

By: Neil Strebig

The first phase of what is expected to be a long, public process was initiated on Monday night in Alphabet City.

As first reported by the Post-Gazette, Central Northside’s primary community group Allegheny City Central Association (ACCA) had a majority vote in favor of the demolition and removal of three buildings on the Garden Theater Block: 4, 6 and 8 W. North Avenue.

“The process has been going on for 10 years now. These buildings have not seen development and create eye sores for the rest of the block,” said ACCA president Patrick Dexter in a phone interview.

Currently, the buildings in question along with the city-owned Garden Theater are fenced off to pedestrian traffic. And according to Dexter, the buildings have structural damaged and two of the three have “gutted interiors.”

While Dexter admitted the ACCA voted in favor of demolition in order to “see faster movement on these buildings,” he was quick to address that the ACCA is just one part of the conversation. They act as a consulting party with the Urban Redevelopment Association (URA) and the City of Pittsburgh. And the majority vote is merely the start of a series of public forums in addressing potential outcomes for the block.

“This is not the end-all, be-all of this. We’re one part of this and [the] start of the public process,” said Dexter.

When asked about a recent change.org petition created after Monday’s voting in favor of preserving and restoring the buildings, Dexter acknowledged again that the vote isn’t a definitive decision it is just the first step in a long series of procedures; adding that the ACCA has supported preservation in the past citing their work and support to help restore the nearby Bradberry Building and Masonic Temple.