The new book, Mellon Square: Discovering a Modern Masterpiece, authored by Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Parks Curator Susan Rademacher and published by Princeton University Press, provides an in-depth telling of the story of this noted modern landscape, from its celebrated design and construction as an urban oasis and cornerstone of mid-town revitalization during Pittsburgh’s first Renaissance, through its decline, and on to its nationally celebrated – and recently completed -- restoration.
The second volume in Princeton’s Modern Landscapes series, Mellon Square: Discovering a Modern Masterpiece features new photography and archival material, and is the only book to showcase the development of this iconic urban landscape.
Author Susan Rademacher, who managed the restoration of Mellon Square led by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh and with Heritage Landscapes leading the design team, recounts the history of the space, demonstrating that the rise and fall and rebirth of Mellon Square reflects the ebbs and flow of Pittsburgh’s economy and reputation during much of the twentieth century.
Rademacher’s narrative also includes personal histories of noted project architects James Mitchell and Dahlen Ritchey, and landscape architects John Simonds and Philip Simonds. Rademacher serves as Parks Curator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy where she has been responsible for landscape planning, design, and preservation since 2007. Rademacher was Editor in Chief of Landscape Architecture magazine from 1984-1987, and was a founding editor of Garden Design magazine. She served as both President of Louisville’s Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Assistant Director of Louisville’s Metro Parks Department from 1991-2007. Born in Columbus, Georgia, Rademacher is a graduate of Miami University and was a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Design at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
A public book launch, signing and reception will take place from 5:45 PM – 7:30 PM on Thursday December 4, 2014 at the Carnegie Museum of Art Theater. Co-presented by The Heinz Architectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art, the presentation will feature remarks by President and Founder of The Cultural Landscape Foundation Charles Birnbaum, Carnegie Museum of Art Curator of Architecture Raymund Ryan, and Rademacher. A reception and book signing will follow in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s café. R.S.V.P. to Savannah Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 412.682.7275 ex. 205.
Mellon Square: Discovering a Modern Masterpiece is available at local booksellers including Mystery Lovers in Oakmont, Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, University of Pittsburgh bookstore on Fifth Avenue, and The Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh gift shop, as well as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
About Mellon Square
The six-year, $10 million dollar project to restore and maintain Mellon Square was developed by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in cooperation with the City of Pittsburgh, with Heritage Landscapes leading the design team. Principal funders of the construction project include The Richard King Mellon Foundation, The Colcom Foundation, and The Eden Hall Foundation, along with a mix of corporate and private donors. The Pittsburgh Parking Authority, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, and the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation also provided critical support in the efforts to revitalize Mellon Square.