Judge: Former St. Nicholas Church can be demolished
July 23, 2012 6:45 PM
John Heller /Post-Gazette file
Exterior of St. Nicholas Church along Rt 28.
By Diana Nelson Jones Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Colville has reversed a Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission decision issued last fall, opening the way for St. Nicholas Parish to demolish its former church on Route 28.
The parish had applied for economic hardship, a last-ditch effort to demolish an historic property, and the commission had denied it in favor of a preservation plan.
Citing previous case law, the ruling describes the church's historic designation in 2001 as, in effect, "a taking" that left the church hobbled by historic code demands.
It also questioned the legal standing of many people who testified and offered opinions about the building's viability.
The Northside Leadership Conference and a Croatian preservation organization had hoped to acquire the property, pending a geologic study of the land, to establish a national immigration museum.