The Monessen Savings and Trust Co.
In 1902, the Monessen Savings and Trust Co. decided to erect a large, ornate building on the corner of 5th Street and Donner Avenue, in mid-downtown Monessen. The building was designed by Pittsburgh-based architect Marius Rousseau, and was completed in 1905. At that time, Monessen was only 7 years old, and was one of the fastest growing cities in the region; mostly due to the tin, steel, and coke industries that were appearing, and the large number of immigrants coming to work in the factories.
The building was built in the Beaux Arts style of architecture. It is 3-stories tall, with a finished basement. It featured an auditorium, office space, and a first floor banking area. The building is framed in steel from Pittsburgh Steel, and covered in locally-sourced Loyalhanna Limestone.
In 1929, the bank caught fire, damaging the majority of the interior. Over the years, it was converted into retail space, serving as a grocery store and pharmacy, most recently as the Health Mart, in the late 1980's. Since then, the building has been vacant.
The building is currently in need of major restoration, including: lead and asbestos abatement, removal of pigeon droppings and carcasses, a new roof, windows, stone restoration, wiring, plumbing, HVAC, and the like. Essentially, the building is shell, waiting to be restored to its former glory.
Most recently, the building was named as #8 in the Young Preservationists of Pittsburgh's Top Ten Preservation Opportunities in the Pittsburgh Region. It was also given conditional historic status from the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.
Currently, Mr. Shorraw is seeking community support, and is working to acquire the building from the City of Monessen, so that restoration can begin.