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Historic Saint Andrew’s Church Roof Restoration

Saint Andrew’s Church Roof Restoration Project

By Highland Park Community Council (HPCC) Newsletter Editor

Neighbors who live near St. Andrew’s may have noticed some work happening on the building and a sign on the corner of Hampton and Euclid from the Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation. We caught up with Matt Walsh, the junior warden with the church, to find out more about what’s going on.

Passing by the front of the church on Hampton St., you may have stopped to read the plaque noting that the building was constructed around 115 years ago. Since the bulk of the homes in the neighborhood were built in that time frame, many of you will know the challenges with living in an old building – now multiply that several times to imagine maintaining the church.

The two side roofs that are currently being repaired have been leaking for some time and were just getting worse, moving their repair to the top of the to-do list, Walsh said. No one affiliated with the church knows for sure if the roofs were original but long-time church members believe they’d been in place at least 50 years, maybe more.

For now, the new roofs are shiny copper but over time they’ll oxidize and patina to a similar green hue that we’re used to seeing. “We deliberated whether to use shingles because it’s more cost effective in the short term to use shingles, but we decided to go with copper to preserve the character of the structure. The more aesthetic modifications we make, the harder it is to maintain historic designation,” Walsh said.

The building currently doesn’t have an official historic designation. But church leaders are considering pursuing one so that they can qualify for certain grants that are restricted to historic structures.

That will be key for two major projects that are now at the top of the to-do list: replacing the rest of the roof and maintaining and preserving the organ, both of which will require significant funding.

The current replacement of the two smaller roofs was funded through a variety of sources including the Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation, the Rust Foundation and private donations from members of the church.

St. Andrew’s invited a few different companies to consider completing the project and settled on Rick John which Walsh said is well known for work on historic buildings.

Walsh noted that while the church is where the congregation gathers to worship, “we aspire for the campus and facility to be something that all of Highland Park can use.”

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