Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller
A lot has changed on Main Street, since the June 2014 groundbreaking of the new building for McKean County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities.
The three-story, 15,660-square-foot structure adheres to the recommendations described in the Pennsylvania Wilds Design Guide, which encourages maintaining the historic architecture in the region.
Since construction started on the building, there has been a flurry of activity on Main Street. Several storefront facades have undergone restoration or improvement. A dangerous building was demolished. A new road surface was put down and finished right before the Wheel Around the Hub races. Sidewalks have been repaired and ADA-compliant ramps installed at street corners.
McKean County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities held a well-attended open house in September. Staff provided tours of the building and distributed literature about the services the organizations provide, which include promoting community development projects and administering Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) that assist communities with infrastructure and rehabilitation projects.
The building also has offices for The Guidance Center, based in Bradford, which is committed to the development and provision of comprehensive mental health.
The structure represents the largest investment on Main Street since construction of the Grand Central Hotel, which was built in 1881 on the same site and destroyed by fire in 1899.