Judge Asked to Block Sheriff's Sale of Arts Cener

A court-appointed trustee is asking a western Pennsylvania judge to block or postpone a scheduled sheriff's sale of the debt-ridden August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

Conservator Judith Fitzgerald argued in a motion filed Wednesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Orphans' Court that a proposed sale she negotiated to a New York developer is proceeding but probably won't be completed until November.

She said the October sheriff's sale would be "premature and unwarranted." Fitzgerald also said that if the proposed sale falls through, she wants to auction off the property herself in a judicial sale.

The center named for the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright opened in 2009 but never covered its construction costs, and then suffered from poor attendance and defaulted on its $7.9 million mortgage.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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