Monday, July 8, 2013

Wood Street facade restoration.,-80.000939&spn=0.003389,0.004823&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&safe=active&hnear=Pittsburgh,+Allegheny,+Pennsylvania&gl=us&t=m&z=18&layer=c&cbll=40.43996,-80.000886&panoid=82U6rPL5026Yh5Ho0jkVjw&cbp=12,147.78,,0,-26.63

The above link will take you to an archived street view in Google Maps to observe what Wood Street once looked like.  These three buildings a few doors down from the 18-story historic Bank Tower at the corner of Forth Avenue and Wood St.  These are all about to be unveiled after a restoration project.  Just across Forbes Avenue from these buildings, that row of 2-to-3-story buildings no longer stands. They are giving way to PNC's future headquarters as they build a new 33-story high rise.

In an earlier post, I mentioned how important it is to hold onto some of our older buildings. One poster from skyscraperpage basically stated that if you take away older buildings, you basically take away the soul of the neighborhood. In many cases, its architecture is what makes that certain part of town stand out.  If you take away too much of it, that aspect pretty much disappears. Wood Street is already lost a block of older structures in favor of modern development, but this development will add overall to the city's image. In my opinion, what Point Park University wants to bring to this corridor will not add much if anything in terms of historcially significant aesthetics in spite of providing a new use.

Previous project involving buildings of varying floor spacing: G.C. Murphy on Fifth Avenue

Initially, it was assumed that Point Park was going to reuse the existing structures for its playhouse.  Granted, each of the three buildings contains a different floor spacing from the next, which would pose a challenge to any renovation project.  However, one renovation project comes to mind when thinking of this, and that is the recent renovation of the former Five and Dime store, G.C. Murphy's on Fifth Avenue, which was transformed into loft apartments. City officials have tried to spur some interest among developers, but up until about 2005 or 2006, each said it was simply too difficult or not at all feasible given the different floor spacing throughout the structure.

Since Point Park is going to transform this space into a play house, I would think that the different floor spacing would create a rather interesting layout for a rec center. Recreation centers are supposed to be fun and interesting and contain numerous entertainment functions. Each floor could contain a different recreational activity.