By Elizabeth Perry
Coraopolis council members are entertaining ideas on how to replace the Paul Triko Gazebo on 5th Avenue.
Director of Penn State Center Pittsburgh Tom Bartnik began a presentation on ways to replace the gazebo with a current image of the structure and asked those attending the May 3 workshop meeting if it would make a good postcard image to represent Coraopolis.
“Let’s just say, it’s not the best first impression,” Bartnik said.
Previously Brian Diggins, owner of DG Builders on Ridge Avenue, and several board members have discussed issues with the condition of the gazebo, prompting Bartnik’s analysis. Diggins was in attendance at the May 3 meeting. A recurring issue with the gazebo mentioned in the initial critique and repeated again at the meeting was that people were sleeping in it overnight.
Bartnik, who holds a master's in urban planning and policy, said as it currently stands, the gazebo is out of scale to the space and also more of a “residential,” than “civic” feature, meaning it would look more appropriate in a backyard than a town square. Other problems he noted were that the structure is not technically compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act and has limited seating. The gazebo is 23-years-old and as Bartnik described it, “in disrepair.”
Bartnik suggested different options for the space, which included a border around the area utilizing trees and shrubs, an option with five small tables surrounded by four chairs covered by a butterfly roof for shading and using benches from other areas in order to save money.
There are a dozen planters in the borough which could be moved to the space. Bartnik suggested getting a grant from TreeVitalize in order to pay for the additional trees.
Council member Rudy Bolea worried someone might walk off with the table and chairs, to which Bartnik said there were options to make sure that didn’t happen.
“The gazebo has no appeal whatsoever,” Bolea said, “It looks like someone just threw it in there.”
In 2000, funds to build the 5th Avenue gazebo were donated by the Triko family of Triko Holdings Inc. in honor of their late father Paul Triko.