Union Arcade- The story behind a bankrupt beauty of a building

Built in 1915, what is now known as the Union Trust Building, has seen better days and is in economic peril as many of us are. Read more at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article in December 2012.

When it was known as the Union Arcade, it hosted 240 retail shops and galleries with enough space for 700 offices. With Saks Fifth Avenue out of the picture downtown, there’s a serious, serious lack of retail options. Apart from Macy’s and Burlington Coat Factory, there are a few local small-businesses, some have been there for years, some have just arrived on the scene thanks to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Pop-Up Project Pittsburgh grant awards. There is word on the street that there will be a rejuvenating of Wood St.’s hey-day of a fashion corridor with the new PNC building with commercial space available in 2015.

Let’s take a look at the Union Trust Building again though, it’s in a perfect location off Grant St., next to the W. Penn Hotel, and across from the UPMC building that houses many employees with lunch breaks. It really can become the gem it once was with a little help. In the PG article, there is a young man named Scott Shorr who is looking to fund the purchase of the building with an intent to bring the Transatlantic Economic Council’s headquarters here. It’s a large project, a fantastic idea, and PGHretail would love to see this building flourish again as an international hub and retail market space. See more information about his project at uniontrustbuilding.org.


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