The Lohr Building Project
History & Project Overview
The arched glass windows of the landmark Lohr Building have overlooked the intersection of Wood Street and South Avenue in Wilkinsburg since those roads were teeming with horse-and-buggy traffic. Built in 1893 by Alexander Lohr, this three-story red brick building has at various times in its life served as the first home of the Second United Methodist Church, a newspaper office, a sewing machine store, a law firm, and a bank.
In 2017, we launched a $2.5 million renovation project to transform the Lohr Building into a premier, mixed-use commercial building in the heart of Wilkinsburg’s business district.
When we started this project, the building was vacant with the exception of Nancy’s, a classic neighborhood diner that opened in 1974. Today the diner is under new ownership and rebranded as Nancy’s Revival which operates the diner as well as two mobile food trucks.
Since completing the renovation and reopening the building in Summer 2020, the first floor is now home to our offices and the Lohr Gallery, a community workshop and art space where we host Art All Over.
The remaining storefront space, 622 South Avenue, has been leased to Rising Tide Partners, a nonprofit that acquires real estate in order to preserve affordable housing and prevent displacement. Rising Tide currently has eight employees. Tenant build-out will take place in the space in 2023.
We are currently seeking a tenant for the upper level of the Lohr Building. If you’re interested in leasing this turnkey office space, check out our Property Listing.
Thanks to support from Bridgeway Capital, Richard King Mellon Foundation, McCune Foundation, and Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (PA DCED), the Lohr Building now demonstrates that Wilkinsburg can achieve quality commercial renovations that support market rents.
Following the completion of Rising Tide’s build-out, the Lohr Building will be home to several full-time employees with hundreds of customers, volunteers, workshop attendees, and art lovers visiting Wilkinsburg annually.