PNC funds Greensburg train station revival
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For a century, most people called it simply "the train station."
But now the landmark has an official new name: PNC Station at Greensburg.
The sprawling red brick structure at Harrison Avenue and Ehalt Street is picking up the moniker as a component of the PNC Foundation's $300,000 grant to the Westmoreland Cultural Trust, which owns the building.
"Having them validate our mission with their partnership has been going over great in the local community," said Michael Langer, cultural trust president.
The funding is a component of Grow Up Great, a $350 million initiative PNC began in 2004. A portion of the grant, which was announced in September, will support arts programming for more than 1,000 Westmoreland County preschoolers.
Such programs are part of the trust's mission to promote cultural education throughout the county.
"The alliance with companies [such as] PNC is critical because the philanthropic portion of our fundraising is what allows us to stay in business," Mr. Langer said. "When somebody endorses your mission, it is critical to the survival of a nonprofit organization."
The railroad station, built in 1912, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 but had fallen into a severe state of disrepair by the early 1990s.
"It was an absolute eyesore. The city was looking at tearing it down," Mr. Langer said.
The trust acquired the station to help fulfill another part of its mission, historic preservation. A subsequent multimillion-dollar overhaul restored the building as closely as possible to its appearance when it opened.
"Look at a picture from opening day, and you'll see that it's identical," Mr. Langer said.
The station now houses a restaurant, the Supper Club, and several professional offices.
"People say we have the most beautiful law office in town. It's wide open, with a lot of high ceilings and light coming in," said attorney Abby DeBlassio, who has been a tenant for 10 years after moving from nearby Main Street.
Other tenants include two medical offices and the local headquarters of state Rep. Tim Krieger, R-Delmont.
"We have a nice little community here," Ms. DeBlassio said. "We can walk to the courthouse -- and there are lots of restaurants and shops nearby."
The station also continues to fulfill its original purpose: It serves as a stop for Amtrak's Pennsylvanian, the train that connects New York City and Pittsburgh.
First Published January 17, 2013 6:22 am