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Decorative Historic Railing at Allegheny Landing: Building a River Room Step By Step

Yellow Bridge and Railing against a bright blue sky

A great riverfront is more than the sum of its parts.

In a city known for its rich history and iconic landmarks, Riverlife is weaving a new narrative as steps are taken to implement a bold vision plan for Completing the Loop. Inspired by a vision of a thriving riverfront, Riverlife envisions a continuous and connected riverfront system of parks, trails and open spaces.

In November 2023, a detail was added to the North Shore Riverwalk between the Roberto Clemente and Andy Warhol Bridges, one of the most often visited (and certainly most often photographed) areas of the Loop.

About River Rooms:

The idea of “River Rooms” is a concept that came out of the Completing the Loop report.

River Rooms organize different districts throughout the 15-mile Loop geography and focus on the aesthetics the variety of open spaces inspire. These unique identities offer opportunities for appropriately allocating resources to build cohesive design.

The three Sister Bridges and the shore lines between and around the connection points are a good example of the concept, with bold gold paint on bridges and railings in many areas. When Riverlife was considering the idea of how to make this space even more iconic, an idea was elevated that would carry the golden visual further tying the threads of the River Room together.

About the location:

Riverlife is actively working to restore Allegheny Landing, the city park between the Roberto Clemente and Andy Warhol bridge on the North Shore side of the river. A broad scope of work has been identified to improve the city of Pittsburgh park that has been loved to death.

In this photo, you can see the original chain fencing that was failing and not compliant with safety codes.

As a part of the overall restoration effort, Riverlife saw an opportunity to link the Sister Bridges River Room together: The existing fencing, with its concrete bollards and chains, was not only crumbling but also failed to comply with safety codes above the flood wall. 

The Project Execution:

In a strategic move, Riverlife seized the chance to solidify a highly visible detail in the Sister Bridges River Room.

Riverlife’s Planning and Projects Team observed an opportunity to repurpose the hidden fencing along the onramp to 279, contributing to the project’s sustainability. The yellow historic railing was restored and moved to the river walk in front of Allegheny Landing.

There is now a mirrored connection to Allegheny Riverfront Park on the city side of the river. This move highlights the four ‘walls’ of the room. With the expertise of Mosites, the construction company already involved in related projects, the remnant fencing found new life.

The realization of the new railing has brought a cohesive aesthetic to the riverfront. The yellow historic fencing, now a seamless part of Allegheny Landing, enhances the visual appeal and contributes to the cohesive identity of the Sister Bridges River Room.

Allegheny Landing, already a cherished location, has become even more captivating. Photographers, capturing the essence of the city, now have a new focal point to explore and celebrate.

Bit by bit, Riverlife will continue to put together elements to build these River Room concepts, a testament to the transformative power of thoughtful urban planning. As you traverse the 15 miles of riverfronts, immerse yourself in the evolving river rooms, and witness the visual poetry of spaces coming to life.


Made possible by:

Allegheny Foundation
Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD)
The Buhl Foundation
City of Pittsburgh
Duquesne Light Company
EQT Foundation
First National Bank
Jack Buncher Foundation
Lampe Financial LLC
Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development (DCED)
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
PJ Dick – Trumbull – Lindy Paving
The Pittsburgh Foundation
UPMC Health Plan
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy