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3 Options Offered to Revitalize South Park

By Matthew Santoni
Thursday, December 2, 2010

A cluster of former fairground buildings along Brownsville Road in South Park could get a green makeover, under three plans officials presented Wednesday night as part of Allegheny County’s effort to revitalize the park.

Titled the “modified,” “campus” and “picturesque” concept plans, each offers an increasing degree of replacing parking lots, roads and rundown halls with green space and walking paths, said Todd Brant, project manager for Homestead-based GAI Consultants.

The modified plan would demolish Schoonmaker Hall, replace some parking lots with grassy areas that can still support overflow parking and add more pedestrian pathways to the site, which Brant said is “a sea of asphalt.”

“The fairground is unique in this large concentration of buildings, but it’s not as park-like as the rest of the park,” he said.

The campus plan would go slightly greener by moving more parking near McCorkle Road, cutting out sections of access roads and demolishing a few more of the old fair buildings.

The picturesque concept would go furthest by removing the oval track and replacing it with a more meandering walking trail. The bleachers, tennis and basketball courts would be removed and replaced with trees, and the concrete channel for Catfish Run would be removed for a more natural-looking stream.

County Parks Director Andy Baechle emphasized that the plans, which won’t be finalized until the end of the year, will only be a guide until funding to make the changes is found.

“We don’t have funding in hand to do things right away,” he said. “But with this plan and good public participation, we’re more likely to get money from foundations, from the state and federal governments.”

The plans will be posted online today and public surveys can be taken until Sunday at

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633