Mayview Barn on Chopping Block
The Upper St. Clair commissioners may vote on whether to demolish the barn on Monday, Dec. 5.
The Upper St. Clair Board of Commissioners will likely determine the fate of the Mayview Barn at their next regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 5.
On Monday, Nov. 14, the Parks and Recreation committee—comprised of three commissioners—voted to demolish the barn, 2-1. Mark Hamilton and Daniel Paoly voted in favor of demolition. Preston Shimer voted against it. He argued that there was no rush to demolish the barn and that there may be better, more immediate uses for the township money.
Shimer is a member of the USC Citizens for Land Stewardship, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the conservation and stewardship of land within the township. The group has been working for about two years to save the barn. They believe the barn is an iconic Upper St. Clair structure full of history and has potential to be repurposed.
"It's hard to be at odds with people in your community," said Nancy Page, a member of the USC CLS. "To me it's so frustrating because I see such potential."
The organization held its annual meeting on Tuesday night. They received an update on the barn's status and listened to Lu Donnelly, an architectural historian, speak about barns across western Pennsylvania.
Some of the members' ideas include turning the barn into a day care center, an indoor playground with a climbing wall, an intimate theater, office space for township agencies, a library extension or a place for Upper St. Clair historical displays including the history of Mayview State Hospital.
Other officials, including some members on the Parks and Recreation Board, view the barn as an eyesore and in the way of possible future Community and Recreation Center expansion.
Another problem voiced, it will cost an estimated $5 million to stabilize the old structure, and no one person or organization has come forward with the money.
The township received a quote that it will cost about $125,000 to tear down the barn.
USC CLS encourages residents who wish to save the barn to contact their commissioner and attend the Dec. 5 meeting.
The Public Works Department is currently using Mayview Barn as a storage space.
Speak up! What do you think should happen to the Mayview Barn? Tell us in the comments.