PNC to donate Downtown building to Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
April 8, 2015 12:00 AM
The Lantern Building at 600 Liberty Avenue.
By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
This is one Liberty Avenue building the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust won’t have to clean up.
PNC Financial Services Group is donating the Lantern Building at 600 Liberty, which it renovated and then used for its Pittsburgh Legacy Project the last three years, to the trust.
A formal announcement will be made today.
“The Lantern Building is a unique facility that will add to the revitalization of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District and provide a first-class facility for the Trust’s future artistic endeavors,” said J. Kevin McMahon, the trust’s president and CEO.
The trust intends to use the gallery in the building to showcase and enhance artistic programming. Shaunda Miles, a trust spokeswoman, said all programmatic options are being explored.
PNC bought the corner building near Three PNC Plaza and the entrance to the posh Fairmont Hotel from the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority for $485,000 in 2011.
At the time it housed a travel agency and featured two large billboards atop its roof. PNC removed the billboards, added a green roof to naturally cool the building, and extensively renovated the structure to house its Pittsburgh Legacy Project, meeting space and offices.
With the building being donated to the cultural trust, the Legacy Project will move to the bank’s new headquarters on Wood Street, the $400 million Tower at PNC Plaza, which will be opening this fall.
The Legacy Project highlights Pittsburgh history and PNC’s contributions to the city.
The exhibit will include a historical timeline and two interactive panels that will display the Legacy Project website and “Pittsburgh Now and Then,” a portrait of the city.
While the cultural trust will take over control of the building, a small number of PNC realty services employees who work in the office space on the third floor will stay until the end of 2015.
The building the trust will be inheriting is a far cry from many of the others it has purchased over the last 30 years. The trust may be best known for transforming what used to be the city’s red light district on Liberty and Penn avenues into a world-class cultural district that includes theaters, galleries, restaurants and housing.
Mark Belko: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1262.
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