The 104-year-old St. Nicholas Church may once more have to make way for a highway. The massive onion-domed structure, believed to be the first Croatian Catholic church built in America, was moved in 1921 so state Route 28 could be built.
Now, the state wants to widen the highway and move the landmark church a quarter-mile down the road. Environmental impact studies are under way, and highway construction is expected to begin in 2002.The church has historic designation from the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. It merged with St. Nicholas Church of Millvale in 1994.
The Rev. Grgo Sikric, pastor, said the church never missed a Mass during the first move. "They even moved the parish house."
It would take about six months of preparation and a full weekend to steer the church down the street and place it on a new foundation.
"The new site is beautiful," Sikric said. "People would be able to view the church from every angle. It would be an asset to the North Side."