Planning Commission approves linking plan for 2 historic Pittsburgh buildings

The Pittsburgh Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a plan to connect two historic buildings in the city’s central business district.

The plan is to connect the structure known as the Skinny Building on Forbes Avenue and the Roberts Building on Wood Street. Both buildings will undergo restoration work and a new five-story building will be constructed at 433 Wood Street, where an existing three-story building is scheduled to be demolished.

The Skinny Building’s ground floor will likely be used for food and beverage or retail space, according to DJ Bryant, architect at Pittsburgh-based AE7.

The upper floors of the narrow structure will be unoccupied. An art installation on the upper levels will be visible through the windows from the street.

The new structure planned to replace the building being demolished on Wood Street will house an elevator, restrooms and mechanical space. Plans for the site include a rooftop terrace, Bryant said, and the building could potentially be used as flexible office space.

Bryant said no specific tenants have yet been identified for the development.

The Skinny Building and the Roberts Building have never been connected before.

The Skinny Building – which originally housed a vegetable market – was built in 1926. The Roberts Building – which once served as a jewelry store and more recently was a 7-Eleven – was built in the 1860s.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the plans on Tuesday. Commissioners Christine Mondor, Jennifer Askey, Fred Brown and Sabina Deitrick were not present for the vote.

Julia Felton is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Julia by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Aurora J. William