Priory Hospitality Group - District 1
Business Name: Priory Hospitality Group
Business Location: 614 Pressley Street, East Deutchtown
The Priory Hospitality Group began in 1984 when Edward and Mary Ann Graf purchased the former St Mary's Church from PennDOT at auction. The historical facility was formerly slated to be demolished as part of the construction of I 279 through the North Side, but changes to the routing earlier in the 80s spared the structure from the wrecking ball, and the Grafs gave it a reason to continue to exist briefly after their purchase, opening it as a hotel in November 1986.
The monetary and church hall were spared from demolition by the East Allegheny Community Council through steadfast advocacy, and as a result of that effort EACC convinced PennDOT to let them market the buildings as well.
Seeing for sale signs on these handsome structures and heeding the call, The Grafs worked with their neighbors to design a project that would compliment and enhance their historic surroundings, and ad to the economic vitality of their neighborhood. The original 1980s rehabilitation was financed in part by the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority, and during the 2000s expansion, the Northside Community Development Loan Fund (www.nscdfund.org) was tapped. Today the Priory group works with its local Chamber of Commerce, The Northside / North Shore Chamber, its local CDC, the Northside Leadership Conference, and the rest of it's neighbors, and continues to be an anchor and landmark in the East Deutchtown Community