The site of the former Worsley building is important to the history of Butler and, when presented with an opportunity to preserve the feel of the area, Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau bought the site.
“When you think about the location where that former building once sat, the last thing we’d like to see would be something that doesn’t have that pleasing peace for downtown Butler,” Bureau President Jack Cohen told our newsroom on Monday. “We felt that it was important to protect it and we felt it was important enough that we should make an offer and sure enough they accepted it.”
The county tourism bureau purchased the corner lot property in the City of Butler for $199,000 last week from the Worsley family. Cohen explained that the money was available due to the organization being “fiscally sound.”
According to Cohen, several plans are still being discussed for the future of the property, including the possibility of selling to another interested party.
“What that is, we don’t know yet,” Cohen said. “We’re trying to figure that out. I’ve been meeting with my board of directors and some other folks to see if there’s something that we might be able to do but we have no set plan right now.”
Worsley’s House of Color, which sold paint and wallpaper, sat on North Main Street in Butler for decades, before it closed in 2014. The building was then heavily damaged by fire and subsequently torn down in 2016.
The Worsley site sits next to the historic Penn Theater, which many people are hoping will be revived. Cohen did confirm that discussions have taken place with the City of Butler Redevelopment Authority and the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation concerning the Penn Theater building but he says there are no definitive plans for the bureau to purchase that property.