Priory November Wine Party: Wines of Espana with Joe Barsotti
15
Nov

Ring in the Holiday season early and join wine host Joe Barsotti of Barsotti Wines for a an evening of great wine and food, featuring wines from around Spain.  ...

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Owner John Graf on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live
Friday, August 24, 2018

The Winter Light's Wedding Package and Giveaway made it's introduction on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live. Priory Hospitality Group's owner/operator, John Graf discusses ...

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PHG offers Winter Lights Wedding™ Giveaway!
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Making its debut in January through March 2019 is the Winter Lights Wedding™ package. To commemorate the debut of our newly created Winter Lights Wedding™ package, ...

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The History of the Priory Hotel


Exterior of what is now The Grand Hall

In the Path of Progress

In the early 1970’s, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that the route of the long-planned Interstate 279 feeder highway (from downtown Pittsburgh to the northern suburbs) would wind directly through the location of the St. Mary’s Church and Priory (not to mention the school and Lyceum, which were located across Nash Street and which were eventually demolished).

After exhaustive negotiations between the diocese and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and despite St. Mary’s rich history and historic landmark status, it was agreed that the state would pay $1,294,000 for the church and adjacent building, including the priory.

This left the parish in an uncertain state for nearly a decade.  It continued to occupy the priory building and church as a tenant, but the flock dwindled for the doomed church.  Toward the end, there were only two priests left to occupy the massive priory and the majority of parishioners were single retirees – widows and widowers


The Priory Courtyard

The coup de grace came eight years after the state took control of the property.  On August 31, 1981, Bishop Vincent M. Leonard issued a decree of suppression of St. Mary’s Church.  Four weeks later, on Sunday, September 27, 1981, Father Bede Hasso walked into the first full house the church had seen in years and offered St. Mary’s final mass.  The following day the parish, with the remainder of its fold being absorbed into Our Lady Queen of Peace parish, closed forever.

Next: Saved from the Wrecking Ball