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THE LANTERN BUILDING TO BECOME POLICE SUBSTATION
Trust to provide substation for Cultural District
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, announces the transformation of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust-owned Lantern Building into the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Cultural District Substation. Legislation was introduced to the Pittsburgh City Council Tuesday morning to authorize the lease of the Lantern Building, 600 Liberty Avenue.
In a release Monday, the City of Pittsburgh outlined the terms of the lease. The five-year lease will be for $1 per year, plus an upfront security deposit of $5,000. The City will also cover utility expenses of the building. The building, which operated as an art gallery until August 31, is in move-in condition, but requires security upgrades before Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers can occupy the station. The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has raised $100,000, half of which will fund the build out of the substation, with support from Highmark, PNC, UPMC, EQT, Cohen & Grigsby, Duquesne Light, Dollar Bank and Henderson Brothers. The City of Pittsburgh intends to have the substation fully operational and open by Light Up Night, Friday, November 17.
“Having a space in the downtown area will provide our public safety partners with the ability to better support the amazing large scale events taking place in the city such as Light-up Night, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, and the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. However, most importantly it allows the police officers to be closer to those they serve in the community and grow new relationships,” comments Kevin C. Wilkes, Chief Security Officer at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “Enhanced protection for our community, increased support for our downtown events, and the creation of new vibrant healthy relationships with our local officers is a perfect example of the success public-private partnerships can have when working together.”
The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police has partnered with the Trust Arts Education Department and Urban Pathways Charter School to develop a display of student artwork, which will preserve the spirit of the Lantern building as a gallery. The Trust is excited to partner with Emily McMahon, a teaching artist for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and PNC Grow Up Great Buzzword program, to curate a display of her students’ work. Urban Pathways consistently plays an active role in the Cultural Trust’s quarterly Gallery Crawl, and the substation exhibition will be a more permanent celebration of their presence and influence in the Cultural District. The artwork will promote the space as a communal, welcoming environment, as well as provide a continuation of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s creative placemaking and revitalization efforts throughout the Cultural District and downtown Pittsburgh.
PNC donated the Lantern Building to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust in 2015, an act which exemplified joint commitment to the arts and economic development of Downtown Pittsburgh. In striving to create a community that is safe and welcoming for all residents and guests, the use of this space for a police substation remains a reflection of the city’s values. Quality of life, security and stability are essential components of community, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust continues to invest in and instill these values in Downtown Pittsburgh; both through safety programs such as the “If You See Something, Say Something” Campaign, as well as through free and family-friendly programming that encourages arts accessibility for all ages and audiences.
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.