The effort to restore the dock at Pittsburgh’s iconic Allegheny Landing is officially underway.
Elected officials, corporate partners, and members of Pittsburgh’s philanthropic community gathered Thursday morning at the historic park to celebrate an example of public and private partnership and investment in the city’s riverfronts.
Allegheny Landing Park, dedicated in 1984, is one of the first urban riverfront sculpture parks in the nation and has been a prominent fixture in the sightline of Pittsburgh’s riverfront. Its public dock was destroyed by an ice floe in 2018. Commercial diving and marine construction company Marion Hill Associates, along with a host of specialty engineers and contractors, have been contracted to rebuild it with resiliency at the forefront.
This restoration effort will improve Allegheny Landing’s public waterfront with a usable dock for the recreational and transient boating community, kayakers and paddle boarders, fishing folks, and visitors looking to snap a selfie with the best backdrop in the country. Secure and elegant fencing along the park’s waterfront will be installed, as will advanced landscape management adjacent to the proposed installations.
Riverlife’s master plan for the upper plaza of Allegheny Landing park is in the works. The restoration of the dock is one part of a seismic project that will create an immersive destination between Allegheny Landing Park and Allegheny Riverfront Park on Fort Duquesne Boulevard, connected by the iconic Sister Bridges.
“We envision these historic bridges, illuminated by a permanent light installation, and the water between them as the glue that will pull together the Warhol’s POP District and the Cultural District,” said Riverlife CEO Matt Galluzzo, “We want to create a seamless and unforgettable experience that you cannot find anywhere else.”
One of the key tools used to raise resources for the dock is the Waterfront Development Tax Credit, a program that Riverlife helped to create in 2016. Spearheaded earlier this year by Senator Jay Costa, Senator Devlin Robinson, Representative Natalie Mihalek and Representative Dan Miller, Riverlife worked with bipartisan leadership to expand the program so that it can benefit all Pennsylvanians. The Allegheny Landing dock is the first time that tool has been used in Western Pennsylvania.
During his remarks, Senator Jay Costa said, “The work that’s being done at the state, county, and city level, along with the philanthropic community – all of these partners participating is really something magnificent. I was pleased to be a part of the conversation from the start, and this is exactly what we envisioned – enhancements and repairs across Pennsylvania.” He thanked those who have “done the work and saw the vision.”
“This is a shining example of public and private resources in action,” said Galluzzo. “The Waterfront Development Tax Credit allows contributing corporate partners to build strong civic relationships and to make visible investments in the city of Pittsburgh.” Riverlife is currently seeking investors for the next round of the tax credit program.
Brent Semachko, Director of Corporate Responsibility for First National Bank, echoed Galluzzo’s comments. “First National Bank is thrilled to invest in the restoration of Allegheny Landing Park and dock. This is a wonderful way to keep dollars local, where they truly benefit the Pittsburgh region,” he said.
Semachko also announced that the company will participate in the program again in the next fiscal year. “With the city’s historic reputation for its bridges and rivers, we are extremely proud to continue that legacy as an investor in the Allegheny Landing renovations, actively engaging in improving the spaces for locals and visitors for years to come,” said Semachko. “We are proud to announce that First National Bank will recommit to this program next year in 2023 for another $100,000.”
“Allegheny Landing is one of Pittsburgh’s great city parks,” Councilman Bobby Wilson said during his remarks. “We are excited to see its revitalization taking shape, starting with the restoration of the public dock.”
Riverlife would like to thank corporate partners First National Bank, Duquesne Light Company, Lampe Financial LLC, PJ Dick, and UPMC Health Plan. With their support, Riverlife is able to ensure that the design and usability of Allegheny Landing and the wider project at hand will remain world-class.
Allegheny Landing Park restoration and improvements are also made possible with support from Allegheny Foundation, The Buhl Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Jack Buncher Foundation, EQT Foundation, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and the City of Pittsburgh, whose partnership and support—both in kind, technical, and financial – has been invaluable to Riverlife’s work.