Preservation Pennsylvania, an advocate for the state’s historic sites, has issued its annual listing of the ten most endangered places in the state, and it includes the 102-year-old Altman’s Feed Mill in Saltsburg.
The mill, which is the current home of Saltsburg River & Trail, has been the subject of debate between the town’s council and its owners. Co-owner Eric Sutliff in August received a six-month extension from council to either sell the building or repair it to bring it up to code. There have been suggestions that it be demolished and the site used for parking.
Preservation Pennsylvania says Altman’s Mill is significant because its original wooden milling equipment is intact and in its original location. It says the “line shaft system” is both “elegant and sophisticated” for its era.
The current owners have been paying for repairs a little at a time, especially with a deteriorating roof that was temporarily repaired in 2010. Leaks from the original slate roof damaged the tall wooden grain bins that occupy more than half of the four-story building.
The preservation group says there are people who would like to see the mill repaired, and perhaps a partnership opportunity could be arranged, or a sale or donation to new owners. Saltsburg’s council, meanwhile, says it would like to see the building preserved, but right now it’s a safety hazard and a possible liability issue.