Point Park unveils Urban Park at the Academic Village
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Pittsburgh, PA — After years of planning and months of construction, Point Park University has opened the Urban Park at the Academic Village, an urban green space and key component in the University’s effort to redefine and enliven its Academic Village and the Downtown landscape.
Located at Wood Street and Boulevard of the Allies, the new 12,000 square foot Park features a canopy of trees, colorful plantings, a stunning glass stair tower, a dramatic water feature and a colonnade structure that will house a lively restaurant featuring indoor and outdoor dining areas. The Park sits on the site of a former gas station and, most recently, a parking lot.
“The Urban Park at the Academic Village at Point Park University is yet another milestone in the University and community partnership that launched the Academic Village Initiative several years ago,” said Paul Hennigan, president of Point Park University. “With the support, investment, leadership and collaboration of the community, the Commonwealth’s elected officials, the philanthropic institutions, and the University the students and Downtown now benefits from this dynamic green living room.”
Funding for the Park was provided from a variety of sources including a $3.5 million grant released in 2010 from the Commonwealth’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project program dedicated to the construction of economic, cultural and civic improvement projects and supported by the Allegheny County Legislative delegation.
Many Pittsburgh foundations were instrumental in making the Park effort a reality. The Heinz Endowments early support of the total Academic Village Initiative with a $2 million grant made the design phase of several Academic Village projects possible including the Park design
“This beautiful, intelligently designed green space exemplifies the symbiotic relationship between an important urban academic institution and the city around it,” said Endowments President Robert Vagt. "This is exactly the result we hoped for when we directed funding for sustainable design—which included an architectural position to ensure adoption of these principles across all projects. The Urban Park will be the place where university students and downtowners come together to share ideas and perspectives, which is the hallmark of a vibrant city.”
The first part of the Academic Village transformation is focused on the Central Campus Development Project, which encompasses an enhanced streetscape along the Wood Street corridor, expected to be completed in the summer of 2012, and two new campus residence halls along the Boulevard of the Allies that were completed last year. Future projects include the completion of a new Student and Convocation Center and the construction of a new Pittsburgh Playhouse on Forbes Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. This premier performance and teaching venue will provide world-class professional spaces for both unconventional and classical presentations developed by the faculty, students and visiting artists of the Conservatory of Performing Arts.