History Center Set to Reopen

A dropped ceiling once concealed these skylights. See the beautifully restored stained glass when Mt. Lebanon’s History Center reopens September 29.

HISTORY CENTER SET TO REOPEN The Historical Society of Mount Lebanon’s Washington Road headquarters, under renovation for the past three years, is set to unveil its new space at 9 a.m., Saturday, September 29.

The history center’s address is 200 Lebanon Avenue, but it fronts on Washington Road. The Spanish-style house for many years was headquarters for the Mt. Lebanon Tax Office and the South Hills Area Council of Governments (SHACOG), and before that was the home and office of Dr. Donald McMillan and his family. The society has been located in the building, which is owned by the municipality, since 2009, and in 2014 was given a 20-year lease on the property with an option to buy.

The renovation will expand the society’s space, which was just 450 square feet in the basement, to include a 1,000-square-foot exhibit space, a 1,000-square-foot multipurpose room, a climate-controlled archive space, a research library and study rooms, office space for staff and volunteers and ADA improvements.

The first exhibit planned for the center’s reopening is a look at the history of the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Following the reopening, the center will be host to We Can Do It!, a traveling exhibit from the Senator John Heinz History Center. We Can Do It! focuses on western Pennsylvania’s impact and contribution to the home, industrial and battle fronts during World War II. The exhibit, which will run from December 1, 2018, to January 29, 2019, requires at least 500 square feet of space, which would have been too much for the old building to handle.

Historical Society president Jim Wojcik has shepherded the renovation through all of its many phases and is excited to present the new space to the public.

“I think we can become a real community asset,” he says.

The society’s annual fundraising dinner is 6 p.m., Thursday, October 18, at St. Clair Country Club. Tickets are $80. Featured speaker Andy Masich’s talk is titled Pittsburgh Myths and Mysteries. Information at lebohistory.org.