City Targets More Structures for Demolition

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements

Above: 1724 Butler St., McKeesport, via Google Maps.


More than 140 additional houses and commercial structures in McKeesport are facing condemnation proceedings and possible demolition.

City officials have advertised and will hold hearings at 1 p.m. Jan. 9 and 11 on 147 properties, located in practically every section of McKeesport.

But the list particularly targets blighted neighborhoods along Versailles Avenue, including 15 houses on Butler Street, 14 on Soles Street and eight on Jersey Street.


Three Victorian-era mansions which were once targeted for preservation on Shaw Avenue --- 541, 545 and 607 --- are on the condemnation list.

The houses were part of a block once referred to as "Millionaire's Row" because they were the homes of local executives and professionals during the early 20th century. But all three have been vacant for more than 10 years and are classified as "unsound" in Allegheny County property tax records.

Two are tax delinquent, while the third is owned by a McKeesport non-profit, First Step Recovery Homes.


Condemnation does not mean automatic demolition, as property owners who pledge to correct problems can ask their structures to be removed from the list.

The aggressive demolition program is part of Mayor Michael Cherepko's "McKeesport Rising" program, a project to address blight, public safety and infrastructure concerns across the city. Funding is coming from a mix of the city's general fund, federal Community Development Block Grant money, and the proceeds of the 2017 sale of the city's sewerage authority to Pennsylvania American Water Co.

Last year, city officials condemned and awarded demolition contracts for about 300 buildings across McKeesport. But progress on demolishing those buildings has slowed to a crawl because of new regulations governing lead paint and asbestos abatement, Cherepko and other city officials said last month.


Cherepko told city council that the contractor, Jadell Minniefield Construction Services of Pittsburgh's Hazelwood neighborhood, has worked to find new vendors to perform the required tests, and is committed to finishing in 2018 any demolition projects awarded in 2018.

Next week's hearings will be held in City Council Chambers at the public safety building, 201 Lysle Blvd. at Market Street, Downtown. The hearings are open to the public and all interested residents and neighbors are welcome to attend, along with people who may have ownership interests in the properties being condemned.

One house previously advertised for condemnation, located on Woodland Street, has been withdrawn, said a spokeswoman for Cherepko. The house was included in error.


Demolition hearings are scheduled for Jan. 9 and 11 on the following properties:

Archer Street: 306
Arctic Avenue: 304
Bailie Avenue: 1615, 1710
Beaver Street: 1618, 1704, 1706, 1712, 1714, 1911
Beech Street: 1719
Bellefonte Street: 920
Bowman Avenue: 2927
Bridge Avenue: 2028
Butler Street: 1724, 1728, 1810, 1811, 1813, 1814, 1817, 1820, 1829, 1831, 1832, 1834, 1837, 1914
Chester Street: 2823, 2823 ½
Cleveland Street: 2405
Colfax Street: 1607, 1617, 1621
Converse Street: 1804
Craig Street: 1912
Dinsmore Street: 2718
Duquesne Avenue: 1801
Eden Park Boulevard: 530
Enterprise Street: 811, 817
Evans Avenue: 1802
Federal Street: 1726, 1830, 1832
Fifth Avenue: 1017
Flagler Street: 1714
Freeland Street: 2926, 2928
Garbett Street: 3013, 3015, 3314, 3319, 3413
Gas Street: 2902
Grover Street: 2802, 2923, 3104, 3307
Harrison Street: 2200 (rear), 2607
Jersey Street: 2908, 2909, 2915, 2917, 3005, 3007, 3011, 3014
Lawndale Street: 1609, 1616, 1618 (rear)
Lee Street: 1614
Long Run Road: 324, 400
Manor Avenue: 1703, 1705, 1707, 1710, 1712
Maple Street: 1215
McCleary Street: 1121
Meadow Street: 1209, 1907, 1917, 1925
Merritt Street: 224
Oakland Street: 3315
Orchard Street: 3508
Packer Street: 1210, 1418, 1504, 1512, 1602
Palmgreen Avenue: 2822, 2824
Park Street: 815, 819, 1211
Pirl Street: 606
Ridge Street: 603, 715, 717, 719, 801, 900
Ripple Road: 2090
Riverview Street: 1813, 2011, 2015, 2815
Ross Street: 1316
Scott Street: 1218, 1810
Shaw Avenue: 541, 545, 607
Soles Street: 818, 901, 1015, 1710, 1712, 1717, 1728, 1730, 1800, 1802, 1803, 1805, 1810, 1813
Spring Street: 313
Stewart Street: 2504, 2812, 2822, 3010, 3106
26th Avenue: 429
Union Avenue: 814, 900
Versailles Avenue: 2708
Washington Street: 565
Willow Street: 1719, 1724, 1726, 1728, 1834


Jason Togyer is the editor of Tube City Almanac and the volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc. He may be reached at jtogyer@gmail.com.

Originally published January 02, 2019.

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