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PghUSA

$5 Million for Schenley Plaza

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The park is a crossroads between U. of Pittsburgh and the huge Medical Center there and Carnegie Mellon University. The Park is one of the best old-time urban parks, with the "oval" race track, nature trails, the Carnegie Museum, and the Phipps Conservatory (a Victorian style glass palace green house complex).

This grant it to refurbish the "entrance" to the park on Forbes Avenue the main east-west corridor in the city. In the past decades U of Pgh's expansion and poor planing have left the historic entrance a bland parking lot. But change is in the air!

State boosts Schenley Plaza plan

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Plans for a redesign of Schenley Plaza in Oakland got a big lift yesterday, with Gov. Ed Rendell delivering a $5 million check to fund nearly half of the $11 million project.

The grant, which will be made available through the redevelopment assistance capital program, helps to move the much-anticipated project closer to reality.

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, in conjunction with Oakland business and civic groups and the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, is seeking to convert the plaza from parking space to a big yard intended to serve as a community gathering space. The plaza sits between Hillman and Carnegie libraries.

"This was an easy call for us," Rendell told a gathering of political, university and civic officials in attendance for the check presentation. "I believe it will be $5 million enormously well-spent."

The parks conservancy, which is overseeing the project, and other groups hope to raise the rest of the money through private sources. If all goes well, the project could bear fruit as early as next spring.

"We're close," conservancy board chairwoman Marlee Myers said of raising the needed private funds.

When finished, the redesign will include a three-acre lawn with movable chairs, a portable stage, flower beds along the Forbes Avenue side, kiosks for snacks and drinks, and possibly a children's carousel. There also will be wireless Internet access.

20031014ho_schenleyplan03_580.jpg

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Update on the new Plaza design:

PNC Financial 3/4 of a million donation to the project with make it truly grand with a carosel, removable seating and stage area and food vendors!

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05147/511796.stm

Schenley Park plaza to feature carousel, food

Friday, May 27, 2005

By Mark Belko, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

Thanks in large part to a $750,000 donation by PNC Financial Services Group, the new Schenley Park plaza will feature a carousel capable of holding up to 20 people . . .

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This is going to be really nice. But a lot of people are awfully upset over the lost parking. I do hope they can look past that and enjoy the new park entrance. Despite some peoples' claims that "we don't need this, Schenly park is right there," I think we do need this. Oakland is sorely lacking a nice green area to relax. The Cathedral lawn doesn't do the trick, because it really is just a lawn. This new project is going to have places to sit, a carousel, and possibly food vendors. It'll be lovely.

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^^ I agree we need a signature piece that "welcomes" people to the area along it's busy corridors. As far as Parking its always been a problem in Oakland (that's one of the key reasons they built TRS on the northshore in the late 1960s). I would like to see more of a presence of a "parking authority" and garages like they have downtown.

What lots forget about the "University District"--or Oakland to natives--is that it (while fully within the city of Pittsburgh) is the THIRD biggest commuter destination in the state, not Allentown, not Harrisburg, not Eire, but the University District at #3 right behind downtown Pittsburgh at #2 and downtown Philadelphia #1. I don't think the local governments properly plan for that onslaught of vehicles everyday, they do a good job but it could be better planned etc. Then again there was that "panther hollow" plan for the equivalent of a 10 floor parking gararge all the way down lol. Scary I know.

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The street names are wrong (unless they intend to change them) on the map. There isn't a "Schenley Park Drive" or an extension thereof. Its simply "Schenley Drive" an Schenley Drive actually goes up the street they've got marked as "Pennant Place". "Pennant Place" is actually the name of the street that used to conenct Forbes and Sennot (back when Sennot went to Schenley Drive). You can trace it out as the paved mall between Lawrence Hall and Hilman Library (Sennot was on the paved mall between Posvar Hall, Hilman, and Lawrence). Clemente Drive ends on Schenley. As far as I know, there isn't a name for the street that runs in front of Carnegie Library (odd enough since there seems to be a name for every street in Pgh).

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The other thing about that plan - how are cars coming up from Schenley Drive going to connect onto Bigelow Blvd? There used to be that connecting street between the road in front of Carnegie Library and Bigelow but its gone from this map.

from the looks of the "cars" diagrammed, it seems that they want to turn Forbes into 2-ways. However, I don't think that's really in the plans.

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Here's another image of it from the Post-Gazette:

20030905ho_schenleyplaza_450.jpg

That's interesting about the streets, the streets in that area from what I know about them are pretty much just "Schenley Parking or Schenley Plaza" but your right the Schenley PARK drive is a new one on me.

:)

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