Downtown Pittsburgh's historic Market Square is just about ready to start its renovations.
Last week, the Urban Redevelopment Authority
awarded a $4.1 million contract to A. Merante Contracting for new roadways, street and site lighting, grading, landscaping, irrigation, vehicular and pedestrian traffic control, and other utility work.
Construction is scheduled to begin August 1. To minimize obstructions, work will be done by quadrant, and is not expected to block businesses.
The total project cost is around $5.1 million, which includes engineering and design as well as some funds for programming once the square is complete in 2010. Funding comes from a combination of city, foundation and corporate support.
The square, which was most recently renovated in the 1980s, will be given a pedestrian-friendly, European piazza-like makeover, with traffic moved to the edges and sidewalks widened to 21 feet to encourage outdoor dining, says Mike Edwards with Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
(PDP). Tables, Elm trees and decorative stone surfaces will be featured, says Dina Klavon, with South Side-based Klavon Design Associates, Inc.
, which provided landscape architecture services. The new space will make cultural programming easier, Klavon says, as it can be divided by quadrant for smaller events like concerts, or can be shut down entirely for events such as St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
"Market Square was somewhat abandoned, and through the vision of the mayor, we realized that if we can fix Market Square, we can fix a lot of Downtown real estate issues," says Edwards of the PDP. "If you give people a pleasant place to sit and dine, and people watch and enjoy entertainment, they'll come."
Market Square is also the hub for several Downtown residential projects, including Three PNC Plaza
and MarketSquare Place
, as well as the Fairmont Hotel
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Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Mike Edwards, president and CEO, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership; Dina Klavon, Klavon Design Associates, Inc.Image courtesy Carlos Peterson, Klavon Design