The Greensburg community may have noticed some changes on the corner of S. Pennsylvania Ave and W. Pittsburgh St. The facade of the strip of retail business in that location is getting a facelift.
Owners, Greg Moore, Esq. and Larry Becker Esq. hired Lee Calisti, of lee CALISTI architecture+design for the project last year. Together they came up with a modern urban retail center design that stands apart from the rest of the structures on the street but still fits in. They’re hoping the new facade will highlight the diversity in eras represented on the block by the current buildings. It will serve as a gateway simply from its location as it always has but will lead people to explore a block of buildings, shops and the new energy starting to emerge on S. PA Ave.
The new design isn’t a subtle, which is what was intended. The focus was on making the building more evident and bringing greater visibility to the retail tenants. The daring gestures to the corners are directly intended to compete for visibility to the building as one drives East on West Pittsburgh Street or South on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“We were not trying to be subtle, but we realized early that some of our other concepts would not be readily visible because they required more distance from the building to see them,” said Calisti. “We needed a solution at a pedestrian’s scale as the width of this street is quite narrower than say, Main Street.”
Demolition and construction started in the middle of March on the current strip. The primary project, which is the canopy should be completed in mid-May with the storefront glass and doors and sidewalk being finished up by early summer.
With many other cities and towns going through a revitalization or on the cusp of redevelopment Greensburg has a great chance at it. There are many projects going on in the City, with many that have not been released yet. Calisti has quite a few of the projects but knows there’s many more. Not only that, but him and his team have designed others in Greensburg including but not limited to the Wellness on the Point building at 212 E. Pittsburgh St. and the Beeghly and Company Jewelers addition, which is currently under construction.
“I would love to believe as people see our work, they will understand the care, craft, and depth of thought that go into our solutions,” said Calisti. “Each one is intended to respond directly to the site, the street, the client’s business, and the overall context of the City of Greensburg. With each adaptive reuse project we take on, we learn new lessons, yet believe we have come to understand the issues well.”
Calisti is hoping that the new development encourages the city to be open later and throughout the weekend. Being able to eat, shop or run errands without having to drive far or at all makes more attractive to residents. With the development in the works, a more livable downtown that facilitates more small businesses and community development is coming.
“Let’s be one community. There are many critics; we need more people to understand the process, invest and appreciate what we have,” Calisti said. “More good things are happening. Please be patient and believe in Greensburg.”