commissioner’s column: Kelly Fraasch

I have had the pleasure of working with the board members of the Historical Society of Mount Lebanon for the past three years both as a volunteer and as the Commission liaison. Mt. Lebanon is one of the only communities in the South Hills region that does not have a permanent history center. I encourage anyone to view the exhibit Mt. Lebanon Historic Home Styles from Tudor to Ranch, which includes a section on the National Register district designation, our community’s recent achievement. Stop in and see how the historical society is making the best use of its very limited current space. The historical society could accomplish more of its mission, if given a more suitable space.

After many years of research, the historical society has decided it is time for a permanent home that is a fully accessible location which will provide ample exhibit space, educational programming, a research area, and storage of some of Mt. Lebanon’s priceless treasures.

Recently, the Commission agreed to allow the society to purchase the home on the corner of Washington Road and Lebanon Avenue where the historical society is currently located in the basement.

With the help of a local architect, the historical society has come up with a renovation and expansion plan that could meet the needs of the society and the community along with preserving this historic home next to our commercial district. The renovation plan includes:

  • Approximately 1,083 square feet of exhibit space for permanent and seasonal exhibits to tell the story of our community
  • Adequate exhibit space for traveling exhibits in collaboration with the Senator John Heinz History Center
  • A multi-purpose room/lecture hall (approximately 1,063 square feet) for educational programming in partnership with the Mt. Lebanon School District and various community organizations
  • Climate-controlled archive space (approximately 665 square feet)
  • A library of historical materials for research
  • Office space for volunteers and staff
  • Work space and research room
  • Restoration of stained glass windows and an atrium fountain
  • Handicapped-accessible space and facilities

As I think about all the things our past generations have done to get Mt. Lebanon to where we are today, which is a community that is cherished by many who live here and highly regarded by many who visit, I find the commitment to this history center is an important next step in the ongoing tradition of preserving who we are and what we are as a community.

In the coming year, the historical society will move forward with fundraising for this historic space and I hope many in the community will support this great initiative. Mt. Lebanon’s future generations await our commitment, leadership, and support of this project and will appreciate our forethought in preserving this special place.

Please learn more about this next step.