How The Auditorium is Transforming A Relic Of Pittsburgh History Into Modern Condos
Once a staple of Pittsburgh’s Polish community, the former St. Adalbert Church auditorium on South Side has been converted into 14 luxury apartments.
Pittsburgh’s rich history intersects with innovative residential design at The Auditorium, a sturdily built former auditorium next to St. Adalbert Church on the South Side that’s now home to 14 luxury condos.
Developer Ivor Hill, who has completed seven developments in Pittsburgh since 2015 and specializes in giving historic buildings new life, built the complex at the site of the former church auditorium.
“There’s no better way to stay busy in life than to do something that you’re passionate about, and that’s restoring and repurposing older buildings,” Hill says in an interview on The Auditorium website.
St. Adalbert Church was established in the late 19th century as the first Polish Catholic Church in the South Side, helping serve more than 114,000 Polish, Austrian and Hungarian immigrants who moved to Pittsburgh to work in the iron and steel industry.
The auditorium was built next to the church in 1958 and became the center of parish and school activities for the Polish Catholic community, hosting everything from sport tournaments to dances and socials.
The building, originally designed with Cold War safety features in mind, has a “strong, robust” structure that serves the new condo design well, Hill says. He even repurposed the underground nuclear fallout shelter into an area with parking spaces, bike racks and individual storage units for residents.
Today, the complex boasts large windows and 10-foot-high ceilings in each unit. Residents can also enjoy numerous amenities at the 15th Street building, including a rooftop deck with skyline views, a fitness center and even a pet-washing station.
Hill is known for other restoration projects in the Pittsburgh area, such as his 2018 transformation of the former St. Casimir Church into the 22nd Street Condos and his 2015 conversion of an 1874 mansion on North Lincoln Avenue into 10 luxury apartments.
Hill says he hopes The Auditorium will welcome a range of residents, from first-time buyers who want to explore the South Side’s entertainment and shopping venues to retirees who hope to transition to single-level living. He has worked with each buyer to personalize their new homes to their amenity needs and style preferences.
“When I work closely with the buyer to customize each unit, I don’t want them to just like it. I want them to love it, and a lot of attention to detail goes into that,” Hill says.
Each unit includes a private outdoor space; ground-level units have patios and gardens or lawn areas, and second-level units have balconies. Hill says one of his main goals for the project was to “keep as much green space as possible,” which he says is especially important in the South Side where “green space is a premium.”
The condos also have high-quality finishes, such as sound abatement features, granite and quartz countertops in kitchen spaces and tiled master bathrooms.
There are three units left for sale, ranging from a condo for $449,007 that has two bedrooms and two bathrooms to $699,990 for a condo with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a den. All remaining units are on the ground floor, and their outdoor patio spaces include a privacy fence against 15th Street.