An abandoned building in Hollidaysburg that used to be a church will receive a makeover.
A company with the building’s revitalization project received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the commonwealth to give new life to the downtown.
Douglas Braff spoke to one of the state lawmakers behind this funding and has more.
This building has gone by many names over the years. But folks simply call it the Green Church because of its defining bricks.
Until the early 1980s it housed first United Methodist Church. After that it was occupied by OK Stuckey and Sons Printing. Since OK Stuckey left years ago, the Green Church has been
Governor Tom Wolf announced last month that the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation will receive a 500,000 dollar grant to turn the Green Church into a mixed use commercial
building. This is part of the Keystone Communities program, which will see six million dollars go to projects in 21 other counties.
The ABCD’s director of business expansion told me in a statement, quote:
“We are excited to be a part of this project and our role in facilitating the keystone communities grant to loan program to support the redevelopment of this anchor building in
historic downtown Hollidaysburg,” said Matthew Fox, ABCD’s director of business expansion.
The Keller family owns the property and is spearheading the project.
It was state Rep Jim Gregory and State Senator Judy Ward who wrote to the Governor asking him to direct money to the project.
“You must’ve driven past this building many times, I imagine.” “Walked past it, ridden my bike past it, driven past it.
“There have been many different business entities in there over the years. You know not just church, but a printing company as well.”
And revamping the Green Church will take a lot of time and energy.
“When I look at it, and I think of the amount of work that’s gonna have to go into this, and the amount of commitment, and even some sleepless nights when you take on a project like this Man, you got to just admire the willingness of the Keller family to take this on.”
Gregory tells me that one day Joseph Keller showed him some ideas for the revitalization.
“And to be able to see it makes it very exciting because I think the community is going to be equally excited to see what they have in store, and I’m just excited to watch it take place before my very eyes, two doors away [from my office].”
The lawmaker from Hollidaysburg says he wants more revitalization projects like this in the future. Citing the positive impacts other projects in the area have had on communities.
“This will create more opportunity in downtown Hollidaysburg. And it will make it a destination for people to wanna come here and really take it all in, because we are blessed to have
what we have here in our architecture.”