Allegheny Riverfront Park

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Completed 2001

Facing west toward 7th Street bridge

Facing west toward 7th Street bridge

Allegheny Riverfront Park includes a lower site thirty-five feet wide and almost one mile long, and an upper level along Fort Dusquesne Boulevard. The design team included the landscape architecture firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and, as artists, Ann Hamilton and me. Because we all agreed the park should embrace both its natural and urban conditions, we placed the lower park not just beside the river, but also in and over the water’s edge.  

Even the flow of cars and trucks along the Tenth Street Bypass remains integral to the site. And, just as our design directly addresses its urban/natural context, so the artwork contributes a palpably human scale and dimension to the whole. In space and through time, art and park reinforce one another as a singular system of natural/cultural encounters. The nature of our working process makes it difficult to point anywhere in particular and to claim “Here is the landscape and there is the art.”

Park site circa 1993

Park site circa 1993

Park proposal

Park proposal

Upper park esplanade stone walkway (left), plantings and seating (right)

Upper park esplanade stone walkway (left), plantings and seating (right)

Top of pedestrian ramp (left), bottom of ramp (right)

Top of pedestrian ramp (left), bottom of ramp (right)

Bronze handrail on ramp (detail)

Bronze handrail on ramp (detail)

Bulrush paving texture in lower park (detail)

Bulrush paving texture in lower park (detail)

Park access from below Seventh Street bridge

Park access from below Seventh Street bridge


Related writing
"Surface and Form/ Shadow and Light: Artwork for the Allegheny Riverfront Park," unpublished statement by                     Michael Mercil, December 2003.