State Supreme Court refuses to hear Bellefonte group’s Garman Theatre appeal

mcarroll@centredaily.comJune 2, 2014 


Though the Hotel Do De and Garman Theatre were torn down earlier this year, the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association had asked the state Supreme Court to hear its appeal to save the theater.

NABIL K. MARK — CDT file photo

The state Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from the Bellefonte group that had hoped to save the Garman Theatre.

In a decision last week, the justices denied a petition for allowance of appeal filed in January by Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association. The group sought the appeal even though the fate of the theater seemed to have been decided when the building was demolished..

The appeal was seen by Bellefonte officials as the final hurdle in the conservatorship process, which turned into a battle for the future of the historic building.

Bellefonte took control of the property under the Pennsylvania Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act after a 2012 fire that badly damaged the building and destroyed the next-door Hotel Do De.

The Bellefonte Industrial Development Authority, tasked with selling the building, picked developer Ara Kervandjian’s affordable housing proposal over the BHCA plan to restore the building as a regional arts center.

Kervandjian started demolishing the building this winter to make way for workforce housing apartments he plans to one day bring to the site.

The Bellefonte historical group had fought the sale at various stages and sought the appeal to the Supreme Court even after demolition had started.

Despite the demolition, the former theater was placed this winter on an annual list of at-risk buildings by the group Preservation Pennsylvania.

Attorney Bruce Manchester, who had been representing the Bellefonte historical group, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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