10/26/2010

Farewell Orange Cones & Caution Tape!

It's official. The Market Square project is officially completed. Which is why local movers and shakers such as his honor the Mayor Luke Ravenstahl gathered under the Square clock today to celebrate an 18-month collaboration between civic and private organizations that transformed the Square into a dazzling, spacious European style piazza right in the heart of Downtown.

Of course, the remaking of the Square has been an ongoing work — parts of the Square have been open for public used during portions of construction and access to businesses was maintained at all times. Well, now all the bricks are in place. The trees are planted. And all the orange barrels and yellow tape are gone. That means that you are once again free to roam wherever you want in the Square.  Penn Dot is finishing up a separate project on Forbes Avenue so soon they too will be out of the way.  Then the only scaffolding and contractors you will see are the ones for renovating and new businesses.  We can't wait till the open for business. Check out our coming blog posts for more info on them!


Even though the skies were a bit on the gray side, there were plenty of bright smiles as Ronnie Brown of Blachere Illumination announced the upcoming Market Square Season of Lights, made possible by the Colcom Foundation.  It will be a dazzling holiday season display of high-tech LED lighting.  Installation activity will begin in the next few weeks, leading up to the big unveil on Light Up Night, November 19.

After remarks from the Mayor, PDP prez Mike Edwards and other dignitaries grabbed some really long scissors to cut the ceremonial yellow ribbon in the middle of the Square and to unveil a commemorative plaque that offers a well-deserved tip of the hat to all the parties involved in the Square's remarkable makeover.  To see the plaque in person, head to the center of the Square — it is embedded in the cement circle around the lighting feature that references the Square's role in the Underground Railroad.

Then it was time for a few treats for the crowd that gathered to mark the occasion. Whether it was the pepperoni pizza from Fat Tommy's, organic pickles from Bella Sera, turkey sub from Subway or the tasty tassie cups from Prantl's, everyone got to sample some of the amazing Square cuisine.

Now that the work is done, the fun's just begun. In the next few weeks, the Square will host another Steelers pep rally, the Season of Lights debut and, of course, it will be party central for the Pittsburgh's favorite holiday party and biggest bash of the year — the two-day, 50th anniversary of Light Up Night. If you weren't in the Square today, then we'll see you there soon.

Special Thanks: The Market Square renovation is a project of Mayor Ravenstahl and the City of Pittsburgh.  It is the culmination of several years of public process and has been made possible through the leadership, vision and financial contributions of the City of Pittsburgh, Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon Foundation, Colcom Foundation and Hillman Foundation.

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