The Flat Iron Building

In 1989 Mon Valley Initiative (MVI) community organizers, established thanks to Senator John A. Heinz, came to Brownsville to garner a group of community leaders to form a grass roots effort. They taught this group the essentials to organize a Community Development Corporation (CDC) known as Brownsville Area Revitalization Corporation (BARC). After forming the articles of incorporation and registering the 501(c)3 nonprofit status and the Bureau of Charitable Organizations, BARC was established and hit the ground running. BARC is a 501c3 non-profit charitable organization governed by an eight member board of directors that meet monthly. Its mission is to bring life back to this once bustling town through a revitalization plan. The strategic locations of the buildings position it to draw together the Northside and the downtown area, both historic districts certified through the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The Flatiron is currently home to the Heritage Center that serves as a visitor center, the Frank L. Melega Art Museum, and BARC offices. Along with our tourist and revitalization based location, there are two art studios rented on the second floor, and two commercial businesses housed on the lower level. The renovation of the Flatiron Building as a Heritage Center/Visitor's Center has enabled the downtown area to capitalize on the growing tourism trade being drawn to the Nemacolin Castle. The establishment of an art museum in the Flatiron Building to commemorate Frank L. Melega, a local nationally renowned, multi-talented artist, was made possible through a grant from the philanthropic Eberly Foundation. To learn more about the Frank L. Melega Museum, go to Frank L. Melega Museum.