Friends of Albright Updates · News

Speak Out to Save Albright – Virtual Community Meeting on Wed., June 30 @ 6 pm

Dear Albright Supporters, 

With all that has gone on during the past year, let’s first say hello and wish that everyone and their families are doing well.

Many of you have inquired about the situation with Albright, and even more of you have asked how you can help. Those offers have meant a lot, and are ever so timely now…

The Bloomfield Development Corporation is the Community Development Corporation (CDC) that helps guide the Bloomfield neighborhood in which our beloved and historic Albright sits. In their capacity as CDC, they have received an early stage development proposal for the Albright Church building which includes its near total demolition.

As we have said consistently, we ARE NOT against development. WE SUPPORT preservation of the historic Albright church building and WE SUPPORT a re-use of the building that connects and involves the community.  We remain steadfast in our belief that a plan can be created that achieves these points.

June 30 – Virtual Community Meeting 

The Bloomfield Development Corporation is hosting a virtual community meeting about the proposed plan for the Albright site on Wednesday, June 30 at 6 pm. 

Today, we ask you to attend the June 30th community meeting to voice your support for a plan that puts the preservation of Albright at its center.

Your support over the years has been essential in spreading our message that the Albright church should be preserved and repurposed. We now ask for your help in spreading this message in this important community forum.

Please let us know of any questions you have about the community meeting. 

Thank you for all of your support,

Friends of Albright 


Community Meeting Details

(note this is a virtual meeting that will be accessible via Zoom & Facebook live)

  • Wednesday, June 30, 2021
  • 6 pm
  • RSVP here: https://bit.ly/2SiHZSH. You can also RSVP for the meeting by emailing Sam Spearing at sam@bloomfieldpgh.org or calling 412.681.8800.
Events · Friends of Albright Updates

Join us on Friday, June 7 to learn more about the past present and future of the church building

Join us on Friday, June 7 to learn more about the past present and future of the church building.

Friends of Albright will be presenting this Friday at the East Liberty Valley Historic Society Lecture series.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Albright United Methodist Church:

A Historical Past, Present, and Future

 

Members of Friends of Albright, a group formed to save the Bloomfield church from demolition, will present an illustrated talk about the history of the congregation and its distinctive 1906 Richardsonian Romanesque stone building, the campaign to protect it through historic designation, and what the future may hold. The church, designed by Pittsburgh architect Chancey W. Hodgdon and now closed, is located at 486 S. Graham St. It is owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, which intends to sell it to a developer with plans to demolish.

Facebook event

Friends of Albright Updates

We’ve Moved Another Step Forward in the Fight to Save Albright!

 

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We wanted to post a quick followup to the Zoning Board hearing that was held on January 8, 2019.

Judge James recently issued his ruling in the developer’s appeal of the City Zoning Board of Adjustment’s (“ZBA”) decision denying his request for a special exception to put in a drive-through.  Judge James upheld the ZBA’s denial. Thank you for your support!

Ross Development Company is the developer seeking to redevelop the Albright Church property.  On August 20, 2015, it appeared before the ZBA to request permission to include a drive-through pattern on the property for their proposed development. On October 30, 2015, the ZBA denied Ross’s requests. Ross appealed the ZBA’s decision, and on January 8, 2019, Judge James heard oral arguments on Ross’s appeal.

Citing in part concerns raised by the community about placing a drive-through at the location, Judge James’s upheld the ZBA’s ruling to deny Ross’s request for one.

We received many letters of support and a dozen community members came in person to the January 8, 2019 hearing.  Your voices and support for the building were heard!

An extra thank you to Attorney David Toal for his work on this matter and the generous donors who have helped us continue the fight.

Thank you for standing with us!

 

Friends of Albright

Friends of Albright Updates

Urgent – Please attend the hearing in support of Albright on Jan. 8

UPDATE: Hearing is has been moved to 9:30 am. 

albright9-30am

 

On Tuesday, January 8, 2019, there will be a hearing on the Zoning Appeal regarding the Albright Church building.

Ross Development Company is the developer who is seeking to redevelop the Albright Church property. Ross went before Pittsburgh’s Zoning Board to request approval to make changes to the property site, specifically, to be permitted to include a drive-through pattern. The Zoning Board denied Ross’s requests. Ross appealed the Zoning Board’s decision.

This hearing is the oral argument on Ross’s appeal, where lawyers representing Ross and lawyers representing members of the community that objected to Ross’s zoning requests will assert their positions in the case.

Supporters are asked to attend the hearing to demonstrate to Judge James the community’s strong support for the preservation of the Albright Church building and opposition to its demolition and replacement with a drive-through restaurant and retail space.

Hearing on the Zoning Appeal
regarding the Albright Church building

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
10 am  Please note the updated hearing time of 9:30 am 
Courtroom 707 (Judge James), City-County Building,
414 Grant St., Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Details available on Facebook here.

Send a letter of support

If you cannot attend the hearing but would like to send a letter of support. Please address the letter to “City of Pittsburgh” and email your letter to friends@AlbrightPGH.com. We will print all of the letters and have the attorney bring to court.

Please note that this hearing is specific to zoning issues.

Support our legal effort!

If you would like to make a contribution to support the legal costs incurred. Please make a donation to Friends of Albright through our fiscal sponsor, New Sun Rising. Donations can be made online here.

Friends of Albright Updates

City Council Hearing on Historic Designation for Albright Scheduled for Mon. July 25

Albright-take-action (1)Pittsburgh City Council has scheduled a public hearing on the historic designation of the Albright Church building for Monday, July 25, 2016 at 2pm in City Council Chambers.

This is the LAST opportunity for the public to speak out in support of a historic designation for the building.

Here is how you can help:

1. Attend the Public Hearing & Speak in FAVOR of the historic designation

The public hearing in front of City Council is the last step in the historic designation process. We have had a great turn out for the past hearings and need to fill every seat in the room with Albright supporters.

  • IMPORTANT: If you are able to attend and you are willing to speak – please call the City Clerk at  412-255-2138 and ask to be listed as a speaker in FAVOR of historic designation.
  • Let us know you will attend and request a t-shirt here.

2. Contact your City Council Representative

Take a moment to send an email to your City Council representative and ask them to support the historic designation for the Albright Church Building. Please cc: Friends@AlbrightPGH.com so we can print a copy to bring to the hearing.

  • Bruce Kraus, Council President – bruce.kraus@pittsburghpa.gov
  • Reverend Ricky Burgess – reverend.burgess@pittsburghpa. gov
  • Daniel Gilman – daniel.gilman@pittsburghpa.gov
  • Natalia Rudiak – natalia.rudiak@pittsburghpa. gov
  • Darlene Harris – Darlene.Harris@pittsburghpa. gov
  • Deborah Gross – deborah.gross@pittsburghpa.gov
  • Daniel Lavelle – daniel.lavelle@pittsburghpa. gov
  • Theresa Kail-Smith – Theresa.Kail-Smith@ pittsburghpa.gov
  • Corey O’Connor – corey.oconnor@pittsburghpa.gov

3. Sign & Share Our Petition

If you have not yet signed the petition supporting Historic Designation for Albright, please sign the petition and share it with your friends. Click here to sign the petition!

4. Donate!

You can help support our efforts by making  a contribution to Friends of Albright through our fiscal sponsor, New Sun Rising. Funds will be used for t-shirt printing and legal costs associated with preserving the building.

Friends of Albright Updates · historic preservation

Tell the Planning Commission You Support Historic Designation for Albright

albright-mail-clipartIf you cannot attend the public hearing on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 (time, date & hearing location details are available here), you can send a letter supporting historic designation for the Albright Church building.

Over 40 letters of support in addition to 800 petition signatures were submitted to the Historic Review Commission for the March hearing. It is incredibly important to have the public support for historic designation documented.

Address letters to: Christine Mondor, Chair City of Pittsburgh Planning Commission

Submit by email: dolores.hanna@pittsburghpa.gov (Please cc City Councilwoman Deb Gross deborah.gross@pittsburghpa.gov & Friends@AlbrightPGH.com on your emails.)

Send by mail: 200 Ross Street, Suite 309, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.  Continue reading “Tell the Planning Commission You Support Historic Designation for Albright”

Friends of Albright Updates · In the News

Post-Gazette: “Historic review panel OKs designation for church”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thursday, March 3, 2016
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thursday, March 3, 2016

On Wednesday afternoon, we attended the public hearing on the historic designation for the Albright church building with

  • 43 letters of support
  • 820 petition signatures
  • 30 people who showed up to show their support for historic preservation of this beautiful building.

It was incredible to see the broad base of community support from all across the city, country and even from Pittsburghers who are currently living in Prague.
The Historic Review Commission voted 5-0 that Albright Church be designated a Pittsburgh City Landmark!

This is not the end of the historic designation process, but an important step forward for Albright.

The next step is for the recommendation to be reviewed by the city of Pittsburgh planning commission and then it goes to City Council. Dates for those meetings are TBD.

Thank you again for your continued support of this process. Stay tuned for updates.

Friends of Albright Updates

Support Historic Designation for Albright

UPDATE (2/4/2016): On Wednesday, February 3, 2016 the City of Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission voted to move the historic nomination forward. There will be a public hearing for the historic designation at the next Historic Review Commission Meeting on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

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Post-Gazette article on the HRC’s decision at the February meeting: “Preservation fight begins for Albright United Methodist Church in Bloomfield

You can support Albright for historic designation…

  1. Attend the Public Hearing on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 and voicing your support for historic designation. RSVP & share the Facebook event for the hearing.
  2. Send the Historic Review Commission a letter of support (sample letters and detail are below).
  3. Sign the petition & share with your friends! http://bit.ly/AlbrightPetition.
  4. Tweet your support – use the #SaveAlbright and please cc @BillPeduto & @DebGrossPGH.

 

Albright-support-FB-banner

On Wednesday, February 3, 2016 the City of Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission will review the historic nomination of the Albright United Methodist Church building which is located at 486 S. Graham Street (the corner of Centre Ave & S. Graham).

Here are the ways that you can show your support for the historic designation, the most important way to show your support is to attend the HRC meeting on Wednesday, February 3. If you are not available please follow the instructions below to send a letter of support and sign our petition.

1. Attend the Historic Review Commission Meeting

There will be time for the public to voice their support of the historic designation. If you are able to attend the HRC meeting, it would be helpful to have as many people as possible speak in favor of the historic designation. If you are planning to attend, please RSVP on Facebook or email friends@albrightpgh.com.

  • Date: The Historic Review Commission will be held on Wed, February 3, 2016. The meeting agenda is available online here.
  • Location: 200 Ross Street, 1st floor hearing room.  (Enter the building, and the hearing room is located to the right).
  • Time: The meeting starts at 12:30pm, Albright’s nomination is later on the agenda, and will likely not start until after 1:45pm.

2. Send a Letter to the Historic Review Commission Supporting Historic Designation

Please take a moment to send a letter to the Historic Review Commission expressing your support of historic designation for Albright.

Letters should be addressed to:

  • Ernie Hogan, Acting Chair, City of Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission

Send your email to:

  • City of Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission via Sarah Quinn sarah.quinn@pittsburghpa.gov

Please CC:

  • Mayor Bill Peduto bill.peduto@pittsburghpa.gov
  • Councilwoman Deb Gross deborah.gross@pittsburghpa.gov
  • Friends of Albright friends@AlbrightPGH.com

Sample Letter:

To: Ernie Hogan, Acting Chair, City of Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission

Dear Mr. Hogan,

I support the historic designation of the Albright United Methodist Church building located at 486 S Graham St, Pittsburgh, PA 15232.

[Optional: add your own comments about why historic designation is important]

Sincerely,

Your Name

3. Sign the Petition

Add your name to the petition supporting Historic Designation for the Albright Church building –> http://bit.ly/AlbrightPetition

Friends of Albright Updates

Friends of Albright 2015 Highlights

Thank you for all of your support in helping to make sure that Albright continues to be a bright spot in the community! Not only were we able to help the congregation of Albright United Methodist Church continue their weekly Sunday services (a huge thank you to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary for helping to coordinate a weekly preacher), 2015 was filled with opportunities to engage the community in the future of Albright. Here are a few of the highlights!

July 26, 2015 – Albright Community Block Party

  • We hosted our first annual community block party with music, food trucks and over 150 friends and neighbors who stopped by to share ideas on how the space can better serve the community. Thank you to Pgh Taco Truck and Caustelot Creamery for bringing the food truck. And to Sister Friend, Thrival, Preservation Pittsburgh, East Liberty Valley Historic Society, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse and Pittsburgh City Council woman Deb Gross for helping us to make this a successful event! Click here to see more photos from the event.

August 20, 2015 – Tribune Review: Pittsburgh Zoning Board considers church demolition in Shadyside

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September 1, 2015 – The Bulletin: Community organizes to save local church from demolition

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September 26, 2015 – Tribune Review: Old churches historically, socially important to communities

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October 27 2015 – Albright Named to the YPA’s 2015 Top 10 Preservation Opportunities List

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Albright is #4 on the annual list compiled by the Pittsburgh Young Preservationists of buildings to preserve. The Top 10 event was held at the Union Project in Highland Park and was a great way to celebrate Albright and to see how one church has been transformed into a vibrant community space. You can see more photos from the YPA Top Ten event here.

October 30, 2015 – Post-Gazette: Congregation fights to save old Albright church in Bloomfield from demolition

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November 2015 – Friends of Albright accepted as a project of New Sun Rising

Albright-2015-newsunFriends of Albright was accepted as a project of New Sun Rising, a n organization that exists to support and catalize project that create social impact. You can make a tax deductible contribution to Friends of Albright through New Sun Rising here.

November 26, 2015 – 41st Annual Albright Community Thanksgiving Dinner

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  • 150 Volunteers from all over the city of Pittsburgh and Western PA came together to cook a homemade Thanksgiving Dinner. 
  • Prepared 500 meals that were served to the community and delivered to seniors in Wilkinsburg
  • Watch a timelapse video of the Albright Thanksgiving dinner here.
  • SAVE THE DATE! The 42 Annual Albright Thanksgiving-Eve Dinner will be held on Wednesday, November 23, 2016.

December 17, 2015 – Friends of Albright receives Mary J. Paradise Award from Preservation Pittsburgh

We are honored to have our efforts to preserve and reuse the Albright Church building recognized by Preservation Pittsburgh. We are delighted that so many members of the community have come together to ensure that Albright remains a bright spot in the Bloomfield neighborhood.

 

Events · Friends of Albright Updates

Friends of Albright to Receive the Mary J. Paradise Community Preservation Award

FOA-award

preservation-pittsburgh-awardFriends of Albright is honored to learn that we have been selected to receive the Mary J. Paradise Community Preservation Award from Preservation Pittsburgh. The award will be presented on Thursday, December 16, 2015 at the Preservation Pittsburgh Holiday Party.

From the Preservation Pittsburgh board:

It is my pleasure to notify you that Preservation Pittsburgh‘s Board has selected you to receive this year’s Mary J. Paradise Community Preservation Award.  This award recognizes a community group who worked to further historic preservation as a public good within the City of Pittsburgh.

Specifically, that Board wishes to acknowledge the significant contributions surrounding the once and future Albright United Methodist Church.  We also would like to recognize your community advocacy in educating the public about the building’s history and the role it plays as an aesthetically integral part of Bloomfield.

We are honored to have our efforts to preserve and reuse the Albright Church building recognized by Preservation Pittsburgh. We are delighted that so many members of the community have come together to ensure that Albright remains a bright spot in the Bloomfield neighborhood.

Please celebrate with us and support long odds Preservation Pittsburgh at their annual holiday party.

Preservation Pittsburgh Holiday Party
Thursday, December 17, 2015
6-9pm
Arnold’s Tea, 502 E Ohio St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
More information about the event is available here.

About Mary J. Paradise

Mary J. Paradise founded Preservation Pittsburgh in 1999. Her records from the organization are available in the archives at the University of Pittsburgh.