A brand new park is now open in downtown Pittsburgh. Point Park University’s 12,000 sq. ft. Urban Park will be unveiled today after several months of construction and years of planning for this key component of the school’s Academic Village Initiative.
In a statement University President Paul Hennigan said students and downtown Pittsburgh will both benefit from the opening of this “green living room.”
Located at the intersection of Wood Street and Boulevard of the Allies, the park will now act as a central gathering point on a site that was formerly a gas station and most recently a surface parking lot. The park features birch and elm tree plantings, a glass stair tower, a water feature, and a newly-built colonnade structure.
University plans for the colonnade structure including housing a restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining areas. The one-story structure was designed to mitigate the impact of standing between nine-story buildings, and to create a more comfortable scale for users of the park.
Designers of the park include Tasso Katselas Associates, Klavon Design Associates, and Point Park architect/planner Elmer Burger II.
A $3.5 million grant from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project program provided partial funding for the $6.6 million project. Other sources of funding came from foundation and endowment support, as well as an anonymous donor.
In 2009, a study by the Pennsylvania Economic League estimated that public space enhancements through the university’s Academic Village Initiative would contribute $23 million to the local economy. Through the overall initiative the university plans to invest an estimated $244 million in downtown Pittsburgh.
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Barbara Vilanova, Point Park University