At the southeast corner of Wood Street and Boulevard of the Allies, Point Park University transformed a space that was once a gas station and most recently a parking lot, creating an open environment in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. The 12,000 square foot park features six garden plots that will be planted with trees. The University also renovated the building bordering the park to the south with a PPG glass stair tower and a water feature below.
University President Paul Hennigan said one goal of the project is to continue to rejuvenate downtown. "Each of these projects reinforce Point Park's commitment to academic excellence and to downtown Pittsburgh, the heart of our region," he said.
On hand for the opening of the new park, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he sees life springing out of the new park and into downtown. "I've been in town a few evenings over the past couple of weeks since school's back in session and to see young people out and about in the evenings, to see that vibrancy in downtown, that's what we're all trying to achieve," Ravenstahl said. "A project like this and an anchor like this, a centerpiece like this allows that to happen."
The $6.6 million project was funded with $3.25 million from the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and $250,000 from the Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund. Remaining funds were provided by local foundations.
Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato said the diverse funding shows how great the project really is, and how tax dollars can be used in the right way. "It is going to help the university. It is going to help students that come to the university. It becomes a centerpiece for the entire city. It cleans up the core of the county. It becomes the center of the region that people can talk about and it put a lot of people to work," Onorato said. "It is a win, win, win no matter how you look at it."