For years the northwest corner of the Market Street and Pennsylvania Ave. intersection was home to an eyesore. The once proud Sitler House had fallen into disrepair and finally abandoned to the ravages of nature.
Thanks to its neighbor to the west, Jets Properties, the building was razed, and one of the most prominently seen intersections in the city was an embarrassment no more.
At the time the demolition was discussed, then City Manager Jim Nelles said, "I would hate to see that corner used as one big parking lot." Since the building came down and the basement void filled, that's exactly what it has been.
The idea of a park on the property appealed to the owners then, and they approached the city for financial help in taking down the hulk. Alas, no significant financial help was forthcoming, and a parking lot resulted.
Now, the Warren Rotary Club has stepped up and offered to landscape the perimeter of the lot as a park. There will still be parking behind the buffer, but the view from the street would be improved immensely.
The Rotary is also following through on an idea hatched when the lot was cleared. The WestPa.net building next door, is being considered for a mural on the blank east face of that building. We believe the blank brick wall in the downtown would make a great canvas for artwork that greets visitors and displays some of the attributes of the city and the area.
It has been nearly three years since the dust settled on the lot, but a nicely landscaped green space and an attractive mural would be well worth the wait.