This Old Park: Restoring The North Side’s Allegheny Commons

OCT 9, 2017 

90.5 WESA


More than a decade after a master plan was completed for Allegheny Commons Park, a coalition is working to implement it.

“Parks are for people,” said Susan Rademacher, parks curator for Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

The nonprofit is working in partnership with North Side community groups, including the Allegheny Commons Initiative and the Northside Leadership Conference, and the city of Pittsburgh on an action plan to restore the 84-acre Commons.

“Parks are fresh air, they’re recreation, they’re an escape from the work day. They’re part of a healthy population and a happy population," Rademacher said.

When the Borough of Allegheny (now the city's North Side) was laid out in 1788, more than 100 acres surrounding the settlement were designated for grazing commons and farming. The green space has long since become a respite for people instead of cows, but over time, the park has lost acreage, statues, and fountains; sections of it have fallen into disrepair.

In order to preserve Allegheny Commons Park’s history and protect its future, community members spearheaded the creation of a Master Plan in 2002. It’s a very fine plan, said Rademacher, but it’s not an implementation plan... 

“It does not give us a set of clear projects for which we can fundraise,” she said. “This effort is about looking at the 2002 Master Plan, understanding some shortcomings of the present-day commons, and developing a series of projects to fully implement that (plan) with a few modest updates.”... Read the full article