Getting Streetwise On Market Square

Maybe it's just us. But we like to think of Downtown as a great big, beautiful jigsaw puzzle. At first glance, Downtown might seem to be a bunch of pieces that don't connect. But when you put all the parts in place and look at the whole wonderful picture, you're amazed at how it all seamlessly fits together.

For instance, just this week, the crew put on their hard hats back on kick off work on Market Street. Now one way to think about this is that Market Street is that piece of the puzzle that links Market Square to Fifth Avenue and the Fairmont Hotel, the Heinz Healy clothing store, the new 3PNC parklet, Heinz Hall, Six Penn Kitchen, Fifth Avenue Place and so many other nearby Downtown hotspots. Or maybe you want to picture the new Market Street as the grand entry way to the Square itself.

So if you're an armchair construction foreman type, here's what you'll notice happening on Market during the next four to six weeks. But before we do that, let's go below the surface, to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority's work replacing all the aging pipes under the old Market Street. Some of water lines were more than 100 years old. Let's fast forward to the present again to catch up on what Merante Construction  — that's the company that's responsible for making the Square itself look so great — will be doing on the surface.

Merante will install terrazzo sidewalks on both sides of Market Street. Our eagle-eyed readers know that terrazzo is a mixture of cement and a gazillion bits of granite chips. And they probably will point out that terrazzo is what covers most of the Square's surface as well as the sidewalks on Fifth Avenue near the beginning of Market Street.  Merante will also be installing granite curbs and putting up two new lamp posts to match those in the Square. See what we mean about all the piece fitting together?

Okay, just so you know this, too. The good news is that during the Market Street project, you'll be able to stop in at all your favorite merchants along the way. That means if you have an appetite for a pepperoni roll from Mancini's or a heavenly slice of Prantl's sour cream chocolate cake, you'll have no trouble satisfying your taste buds. If you're craving something a little bit spicier, use the entrance on Market Square to enjoy some of the best south of the border cuisine at Las Vela's Mexican eatery. Gentlemen, of course, can update their fall wardrobe with a new pair of shoes or leather briefcase at the classy Nettleton Shop. You can treat yourself with a new cut and manicure at Park Place Salon and Paris Nails.  And shutterbugs will want to pop into the Camera Repair Service store next to Mixstirs to focus on some vintage photo equipment or get your gear checked out or repaired. (Incidentally, they have great photos of Market Square through the decades inside!)

Now, that we've put a few pieces together for you, isn't time that you check out how it looks by taking a short stroll along Market Street during your next visit to Market Square?

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