For starters, we’ve got a new slideshow up on our website that takes you through the planning, construction, and life of the Square since its opening in 1955. You’ll see how a gift from the Mellon family enabled Pittsburgh to create what Mayor David Lawrence called ”a downtown breathing space and beauty spot” that broke up the congestion of buildings and traffic in the Golden Triangle. Inspired by the success of San Francisco’s Union Square, Pittsburgh leaders recognized that the need for public space downtown was just as urgent as the need for parking, and that Mellon Square could be a solution to both issues.We’ve also implemented a new audio walking tour in Mellon Square, which you can access on your mobile phone. With Tour Anytime, we’ve created a self-guided tour that you can access on your own schedule. Grab your lunch and head to Mellon Square to enjoy the last of the beautiful fall weather and learn about the significance of your lunch spot.
But we’re most excited to be partnering with The Cultural Landscape Foundation to bring the Pioneers Regional Symposia series to Pittsburgh with a focus on John O. Simonds. Next week, three days of events will highlight Simonds’ contribution to landscape architecture, including tours of his local masterpieces in Mellon Square and Allegheny Commons.
Here’s what to expect:
Thursday, November 5:
We’ll celebrate the Pittsburgh opening of the Marvels of Modernism photographic exhibition (featuring Simonds’ Lake Elizabeth) with a dinner and reception at the Andy Warhol Museum. The program will also include the unveiling of the Parks Conservancy’s restoration plans for Mellon Square.
An all-day symposium, The Hunter and the Philosopher: John O. Simonds, Pioneer Landscape Architect, highlights Simonds’ work with leading historians, designers, and practitioners.
Saturday, November 7:
A morning walking tour will visit Mellon Square and Allegheny Commons’ Lake Elizabeth. Patricia O’Donnell and Marion Pressley, the landscape architects who researched and planned the restoration of these spaces, will lead the tour.
Tickets for any (or all!) of these events are available here. We hope you’ll be able to join us for this celebration of an underappreciated piece of Pittsburgh’s heritage.