Downtown Pittsburgh Parking Lot Gets Green

Mon, Apr 29th 2013, 10:05. Filed under News Releases.

Pittsburgh – April 29 – The corner of 7th Street and Ft. Duquesne Boulevard got a little greener this week, thanks to the work of three partners.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy partnered with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Alco Parking to create a passive park in a temporary parking lot in downtown Pittsburgh. This greening effort sits in front of the city’s first trellis-style green wall in the Cultural District.

“These types of collaborative efforts are crucial to the vitality of the downtown cultural district and to the city of Pittsburgh. Opting for sustainable ways to develop our footprint is necessary in order to increase our productivity, boost our economy and improve the overall health and vitality of residents. Moreover, it is simply the right thing to do,” said Kevin McMahon of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

The Conservancy, which provided technical and horticultural services to the project, partnered with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, which owns the land. Alco Parking, Pittsburgh’s largest private parking operator manages the lot, and its president, Merrill Stabile, provided funding for the initiative.

“Trees and parking are both important to this city,” Stabile said. “We saw this as an opportunity to explore how to make them more compatible.”

WPC workers planted trees on the site during and wrapped up the landscaping this week. The staff planted trees such as Princeton elms, freeman maples and river birch and plants such as oak leaf hydrangea, fragrant hosta and ornamental grass.

“Greenery transforms urban spaces, by absorbing rain water, reducing heat during the warmer months and completely changing the visual impact for those using the parking lot or just passing,” said Judy Wagner, senior director of WPC’s Community Gardens and Greenspace program. “This project is a wonderful opportunity to continue our efforts to make downtown Pittsburgh healthier and more attractive through green spaces, community gardens, planters, flower baskets and green roofs and walls.”

Last year, WPC staff and Duquesne Light volunteers planted 40-foot by 54-foot green wall – a permanent installation that is designed to save energy and enhance the urban landscape. The Green Wall was sponsored by Duquesne Light and the Cultural Trust and the building owners supported the effort to green up the brick wall facing the corner of Fort Duquesne Boulevard and 7th.

The planted vines include Dutchman’s pipe, American bittersweet, virgin’s bower clematis and trumpet honeysuckle. They 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.




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About the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust:
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity.

Using the arts as an economic catalyst, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

Over a period of 25 years, the Trust has restored historic theaters, constructed new performance venues, commissioned public art projects and developed unique urban parks and riverfront recreation spaces. As one of the largest Downtown Pittsburgh property owners, the Trust manages one million square feet of property.

About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish ten state parks, conserved more than 233,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 135 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of 13,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 11,000 members. For more information, visit

Media contact:
Allison Schlesinger
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
412-586-2358 (office)
412-607-1945 (cell)

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code, and 100% of your donation is tax-deductable as allowed by law.