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Winstead Hails Renovation of U.S. Courthouse in Pittsburgh

As prepared for delivery


Remarks by
David Winstead
Commissioner – Public Buildings Service
U.S. General Services Administration
U.S. Courthouse Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
November 2, 2006

 

Thank you very much, Barbara, for that generous introduction.

Friends of the court …

To the esteemed members of the judiciary …

To those representing federal, state and local officials …

To my Administrator, Lurita Doan…

And to each and every one of you …

Good afternoon. It’s a great honor and personal pleasure to join you for today’s celebration. I’m especially happy to be here because in many ways, this project is a showcase for GSA and the Public Buildings Service.

- First, this project fulfills our mission of providing world-class workspace at best value for our agency clients, in this case:

  • The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania;
  • The U.S. Marshals Service;
  • The Office of the U.S. Attorney;
  • The Social Security Administration;
  • The U.S. Postal Service;
  • The Appellate Court, U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, and GSA.

- Second, it throws a big, beautiful spotlight on several unique GSA programs, like:

  • The GSA Historic Buildings Program. The courthouse is listed on the national register of historic places as part of the Pittsburgh Central Downtown Historic District, and individually;
  • This facility also received a citation in the 2000 GSA Design Awards;
  • And the courthouse also highlights our art in architecture program with four original works by renowned artists Brian Shure and Lia Cook.

- Third, the project demonstrates our longstanding commitment to historic preservation. GSA is responsible for the stewardship of over 425 historic properties, all of which – like this one -- represent the work of prominent national and international architects and are valued for their historical, architectural and cultural significance.

In fact, Administrator Doan and I recently attended First Lady Laura Bush’s Preserve America Summit in New Orleans. You should know that our Administrator, who is from New Orleans, is passionate about historic preservation, so much so that she’s reformed our Emergency Response Office to include a Preservation Division. As she’s said, this is an area where GSA can lead by example because we’re the only federal agency that has the sheer number of conservators and appraisers who are dedicated to historic preservation, and who are able to respond at a moment’s notice.

In this instance, we have preserved the historic courthouse, but also added the necessary security enhancements that will enable court personnel to do their important work in a safe and modern environment.

The fourth reason I’m proud is because if form holds true, there will be a positive economic ripple resulting from this project for years to come. This aligns with our urban development and good neighbor program, through which GSA tries to improve public spaces, create positive first impressions and encourage stakeholders to improve neighborhoods where these facilities are located.

I want to thank all of our partners – the Courts, Shalom Baranes Associates, URS Corporation, the Dick Corporation, the Gilbane Company, and Senators Specter and Santorum – for the tremendous spirit of cooperation, patience and persistence that was evident from start to finish on this project.

I appreciate it, and I know that Administrator Doan feels the same way.

Congratulations, best wishes to those who will be here every day doing the court’s important work, and, again, thank you for letting me be part of this celebration.