PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Riverlife, the nonprofit stewarding a community vision for accessible, fun, and welcoming riverfronts for all Pittsburghers, received funding of $1.5 million from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) for renovations at Allegheny Riverfront Park.
This investment will support the restoration of the upper promenade at Allegheny Riverfront Park, which sits between Stanwix and 9th Street on the edge of the Cultural District in Downtown Pittsburgh.
“This project is part of Riverlife’s vision for a ‘Sister Bridges Experience,’ which will connect The Andy Warhol Museum’s Pop District on the North Shore with the Cultural District Downtown. This connective experience will support thriving business districts, vibrant cultural hubs, and signature recreation opportunities,” said Matt Galluzzo, President and CEO for Riverlife.
The re-envisioning of the park is part of Riverlife’s Completing the Loop vision, a plan to connect, enhance, and expand Pittsburgh’s 15-mile, 1,055-acre riverfront “loop” of parks, trails, and green spaces. After two decades of heavy use, the park is in dire need of restoration to improve accessibility and provide a world-class experience for park users while honoring the history of the prominent riverfront landscape. Measures will include replacement of existing pavement, site preparation and grading, installation of new amenities, refurbishment of existing light posts and railings, tree pruning, planting soil amendments, and perennial planting.
Riverlife will lead restoration and planning efforts with the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust in partnership with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the original designers of the park, and local landscape architecture firm LaQuatra Bonci Associates. Additional partners include the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and the Office of Public Art.
“Allegheny Riverfront Park is a prime example of what organizations in Pittsburgh can accomplish when they work together,” said J. Kevin McMahon, President and CEO for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The Trust was able to build the park in collaboration with numerous partners under the leadership of its first president, Carol Brown. We look forward to guests fully experiencing this artistic achievement and vital link between the Cultural District and Pittsburgh’s historic riverfront.”
The restoration of the Park’s upper promenade is the renovation’s first phase, which is slated to commence in 2023. “Riverlife is grateful for this critical support from local and state partners, including Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Wayne Fontana, and Representative Aerion Abney, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and Mayor Ed Gainey,” said Galluzzo, “This investment sends a strong message about Riverlife’s commitment to the health of our region and cultivating broad-based support to address significant challenges.”
“Open spaces are essential to the health and wellness of all Pennsylvanians, and they play an important role in supporting economic vitality throughout the Commonwealth. We are proud to support Riverlife and this critical investment in the Pittsburgh riverfront,” said Governor Tom Wolf.
“I was proud to support this grant request from Riverlife as Allegheny Riverfront Park is a key urban greenspace in need of improvements,” said Senator Wayne Fontana. “Our parks are vital to enhancing quality of life in our neighborhoods and it is imperative that we make critical investments into our parks and other recreational areas.”
“Once again, I am thrilled to announce these major investments in our community and in our neighborhoods,” Representative Aerion Abney said. “These projects will not only support existing businesses or cultural programs but also will create opportunities for businesses to invest and grow in our community. I want to congratulate all the people and organizations that have worked to bring these projects to fruition and look forward to seeing them succeed in the future.”
“Congratulations to Riverlife on this funding award and investment from the state in Allegheny Riverfront Park,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “The quality of life in this region is one of our greatest assets and I’m thrilled to see these major improvements continue to add to the advantages we have in this community.”
The partnering organizations are looking for community input on the park’s design at a public workshop on December 7, 2022 from 9:00am – 12:00pm at the Byham Theater. The workshop is open to the public. Community members may register in advance online, but registration is not required (https://forms.gle/66PHX2fiqi6Wd35UA).
Since 1999, Riverlife has worked to create, activate, and celebrate Pittsburgh’s riverfronts. A nonprofit leader in building a community vision for Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, Riverlife has overseen a $132 million investment in the city’s waterfront transformation, catalyzing $4.2 billion in related economic development, arts and culture spending, and ecological sustainability on or adjacent to the city’s riverbanks. We center our work on the belief that the riverfronts belong to everyone, and world-class riverfront experiences can be created for all using community-driven, equitable development and high-quality, regenerative design. For more information, visit www.riverlifepgh.org.
About Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. For more information, visit www.trustarts.org.