Garden Theater sign to be restored, reinstalled

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The Garden Theater’s vertical “GARDEN” sign that was taken down over a year ago will be restored and reinstalled as the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Allegheny City Central Association begin to acquire funds.

By Justin Criado

The Urban Redevelopment Authority approved a motion to apply for a Buhl Foundation grant March 12 as it works with the Allegheny Center Central Association to restore the Garden Theater’s vertical “GARDEN” sign, which was taken down over a year ago and put in to storage during the building’s façade restoration.

The Buhl grant will be for up to $25,000 as the URA would match the grant amount, up to $100,000, from tax increment financing funds, according to reports.

The total cost of the restoration and reinstallation could cost upwards of $130,000, according to ACCA president Andrew Wickesburg.

Development of the Garden Theater on West North Avenue in Central Northside came to a stand-still last year when Domenic Branduzzi, chef-owner of Piccolo Forno in Lawrenceville, pulled out after intending to open a new Italian restaurant.

There is currently no tenant, while plans for the building itself are unclear, but Wickesburg explained that he thinks the sign restoration will help restore faith in the project.

“That sign is symbolic for the whole Northside,” Wickesburg said. “I think it will restore hope in the Garden Theater block.”

A timeline was not immediately available, but Wickesburg said it could take at least a year as proper funds are acquired before implementation can start.

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