New Castle ponders: New gas station and demolish buildings?

Some community members don't want to see two properties in the North Hill Historic District torn down

New Castle historic district

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WYTV) – A New Castle neighborhood is wrestling with this question: Preserve two pieces of neighborhood history or allow a Speedway gas station to move in and help the economy?

Audrey Przybylski and her sister are against the Speedway being built in New Castle’s North Hill Historic District, simply because they don’t want to lose the historic pieces of property — a house and a funeral home that have been standing since the 1880’s.

“A lot of people are proud of the North Hill Historic District,” Audrey Pryzbylski said. “We have a city with rising crime, with rising drugs, so this is something positive for the community.”

Not everyone agrees.

“I feel they should come down,” said Kathy Hall, a New Castle resident. “People in this town really need work.”

Another resident, Albert Nixon, said, “Get out the way and let some business come into this town. This town really needs it.”

Pryzbylski said that if the community really wants a gas station, it should go elsewhere.

“The gas station can be located in many locations,” she said. “We don’t need to put a gas station in the North Hill Historic District in the downtown overlay.”

But others argue that these particular homes are in no great shape.

“I heard someone wanted to try and move the red house,” Hall said. “To wherever. It will probably fall apart if they try.”

Pryzbylski said it’s about more than just the two properties.

“This is about the whole Historic District and the downtown overlay,” she said. “Because if they go ahead and ignore this, then that means that they can tear down anything they want.”

But many in the community think otherwise.

“Quit being afraid of change,” Nixon said. “Change has to come in order for things to thrive.”

WYTV reached out to the owners of the two buildings. We could not get ahold of one owner, while the other declined to comment.