Flagstaff Hill’s Restoration Will Continue to Keep Schenley Park Beautiful

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is working to restore the iconic and historical site for Pittsburghers to enjoy.

From sledding after a snowstorm and picnicking in the summertime to taking naps in the grass and hammocking in between classes, Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park serves Pittsburghers with a scenic and convenient space to be outdoors. The iconic site’s restoration is underway and the first phase was completed on July 12. 

Flagstaff Hill is an essential piece to Schenley Park. It is located across from Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and is in close proximity to both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Many students enjoy escaping the bustling campus activities on this grassy, open hill. 

To maintain this Oakland staple, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is working to restore Flagstaff Hill. The $900,000 total budget for the restoration aims to improve the historical integrity of Flagstaff Hill in addition to benefitting its ecological health. 

The hill has a historical stone patio. Restoring the hand-hewn stone entry steps, retaining walls and the overlooking terrace was the first step in the project. People will be able to enjoy sitting on the new stone walls in the shade on a hot summer day. The conservancy also plans to plant two new entry gardens in addition to the stone patio restoration. 

In future work, the main pathway connecting the park’s east and west entrances will be reconstructed. Paving will be reduced and bioswales will be installed, which will handle stormwater runoff. Bioswales also will reduce erosion issues, which have been an issue in the past. 

Additionally, new park benches will be installed along the pathways. Lastly, the conservancy will continue implementing an ecological restoration planting program. This program will ensure one of Schenley Park’s oldest trees continues to stay healthy for many more years. 

On July 23 – 24, the annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix will take place on a 2.3-mile course through Schenley Park, which will take racers briefly along the edge of Flagstaff Hill near the Bob O’Connor Golf Course. Parking will also be by the hill. Now spectators will have a newly restored space from which to watch the races.