Happy International Women’s Day! Today, we want to thank the generous women throughout Pittsburgh’s history who have helped shape the parks we all know and love.
First up: Helen Clay Frick! After her father’s death, Frick used her $38 million inheritance to help fund the construction of several buildings on Pitt’s campus including the Cathedral of Learning and Frick Fine Arts Building, as well as establish a home for female textile workers in Massachusetts. Most notably, Frick encouraged her father to donate land for a city park; known to us now as Frick Park, the largest in Pittsburgh!
Next: Mary E. Schenley! Schenley donated 300 acres of park land to the city, as well as land for West Penn Hospital, Western Pennsylvania Institute for the Blind, the Newsboys Home, and more! As a thank you, the Mary E. Schenley Memorial Fountain was built in her memory in 1908.
Finally, we would like to thank Beulah Elfreth Kennard for opening Pittsburgh’s first public playground at the Forbes School Yard in 1918. Renamed Kennard Park in her honor, this playground in the Hill District remains a family favorite spot as well as an interesting historical site.