Liberty Street's sidewalks will now be easier to navigate.
On Saturday, the particle boards and scaffolding were removed from the Liberty Street Commons building, revealing a new facade. It had been slated to host the Allegheny Center for the Arts, but those plans fell through and another tenant for the building has not yet been found.
Dr. Howard Ferguson, who serves on Warren City Council, provided the following list of people and organizations who contributed to the project:
Community Foundation of Warren County and Chairman John Hanna
Mayor Mark Phillips and council
Councilmen Maurice Cashman, Chris Park and Jim Zavinski
Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry and Warren County Development Association
Main Street Manager Board of Directors and President Dan Ristau
Allegheny Bean Company
Shawn Tutmaher of City of Warren Department of Public Works and DPW Director Michael Holtz
Warren Redevelopment Authority, President Chuck Hayes and Past President Tricia Durbin
Eriez Construction and President Jim Schreiber
Wills Construction Company
Sterling Glass Company
Cory Friedman, Russ Robison, Mike Rose and Andrew Ryan
WestPA.net, Elaine Bailey and Kevin Custer
According to Ristau, the project could not have moved forward without the help of Ferguson. He also credited the leadership provided by other council members.
Work remains to be done, Ferguson said, as one of the windows remains boarded up. There were issues with finding enough glass, he said, and getting it to fit.
Also, Ferguson said nobody can seem to find the front door for the building. The contractors believe it was constructed at one time specifically for the building.
"Now Main Street has a building," Ferguson said. "I'm sure they'll try to find a lessee."
While the goal was to improve the appearance of the downtown, Ferguson said he hopes it also makes the building more rentable. A lot of constituencies and individuals came together, he said, and found solutions.
In the future, Ristau said he looks forward to resolving any issues with council. He said he is also hopeful of announcing another step forward within a week or so.
"What made this mess was horrible, but what's fixing it is what's so good about this community," Ristau said. "People come together to resolve issues."