Historical Building Reuse Workshop

Historical Building Reuse Workshop

Date(s) - December 11, 2018
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Heritage Discovery Center
201 6th Ave
Johnstown, PA 15906

Two Vision2025 capture teams have announced plans for a “cafeteria style” public workshop, designed to assist historical building owners with the challenges and opportunities of reusing their buildings. “Historical Building Reuse Workshop #2” will take place from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 11, at the Johnstown Heritage Discovery Center at Broad Street and Sixth Avenue in Cambria City.

“This will be an excellent opportunity for historical-building developers to meet with code experts and public officials,” said Rick Truscello, who chairs the Historical Buildings and Codes Capture Team. “The workshop is designed to provide developers and owners with one-on-one contact with these experts.”

Among the experts in attendance will be representatives of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, several architects and Johnstown’s Building Code Officer. Also represented will be the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, the Johnstown Planning Commission, the city’s Zoning Hearing Board and the Building Code Appeals Board.

Stations will be organized to provide guidance on:
• Building Code Overview, including information on the different types of codes, the role of the Uniform Construction Code Appeals Board and how to request exceptions based upon historic building designation.
• Zoning Overview, covering the basics of the City Zoning Ordinance and Map, planning and project services, and the role of the Zoning Hearing Board, City Council and city staff.
• Floodplain Regulations Overview, which will review the highlights of the city’s Floodplain Ordinance and Map, explain what activities will trigger major improvements and compliance requirements, describe the flexibilities provided for historical structures and explore the appeal process through the Zoning Hearing Board.
Workshop participants will be able to pick and choose among the stations and spend as much time as needed at those stations, addressing their individual questions and concerns.

“The Central Park Square Capture Team envisions that the growth and resurgence of downtown Johnstown is inexorably tied to residents living downtown and enjoying the benefits of community,” said Don Hall of the Central Park Square Capture Team. “We endorse and encourage the exploration of this component of the revitalization of downtown.”

Because the focus areas for the Central Park Square Capture Team and the Historical Buildings and Codes Capture Team overlap when it comes to the reuse of historical commercial properties, members of the two capture teams have been collaborating on this particular Vision2025 effort for months. An initial workshop, exploring the myths and realities of code requirements for historical buildings was held in September.

Two other workshops will be scheduled in the near future:
• Workshop #3 will look at a specific building as a case study in how multiple uses can be included within a single historical building.
• Workshop #4 will present opportunities to potential developers and investors.

Funding to underwrite the costs of the workshops has been provided through a PITTchFEST ’18 award and grants through Vision2025.