Green Wall and Greener Parking Lot

 The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has created a greener parking lot in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District by installing the city’s first trellis-style green wall at 7th Street and Ft. Duquesne Boulevard. In phase two, garden beds with perennials and mature trees were created along the edges and in the center of the lot to add diverse vegetation and environmental impact without removing any parking spots.

Green Wall at Ft. Duquesne Boulevard and 7th Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh, Summer 2013

WPC staff and Duquesne Light volunteers planted a 40-foot by 54-foot permanent wall installation in July 2012, designed to save energy and enhance the urban landscape. The native vines planted include Dutchman’s pipe, American bittersweet, virgin’s bower clematis and two colors of local honeysuckle. The vines are planted in a raised bed at the bottom of the trellis and will eventually reach a height of up to 50 feet. They will provide long-lasting greenery and blooms throughout the summer and their leaves will turn to shades of red, orange and yellow in the autumn. In all seasons, the planting will help save energy by protecting the building from wind and sun.

View from above of the Greener parking lot at Ft. Duquesne Blvd. and 7th Ave in Downtown Pittsburgh, spring 2013  WPC staff plants perennials in Greener parking lot, spring 2013

In spring 2013, areas of the Cultural Trust parking lot were excavated, top soil and compost was added to new beds, and 15 trees, including Freeman maple, Princeton elm, red osier dogwood and river birch species were planted. In addition, more than 800 different perennials were added, including coreopsis, daylilies, butterfly weed, oak leaf hydrangeas, hostas, grasses, astilbe, coral bells, sedum and wild ginger.

Duquesne Light provided financial and volunteer support for the green wall and its installation. ALCO Parking Corporation provided financial support for the bed installation. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy provided technical and horticultural services made these projects possible. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust provided the space for this unique project.

Green Wall and Greener Parking Lot at Ft. Duquesne Blvd. & Seventh Ave., Downtown Pittsburgh, summer 2013