Mellon Square, Pittsburgh, PA
Mellon Square, a modern garden plaza and early green roof atop a parking garage, was designed from the late 1940s through 1955 as a part of the first Pittsburgh renaissance by distinguished Landscape Architects, John O. Simonds and Paul Simonds of Simonds & Simonds. The 1955 public opening celebrated Pittsburgh's first renaissance to rebrand the gritty city as a place of commerce and innovation underpinned by civic assets. This square, flanked by new mid-1950s towers for Alcoa and US Steel, provided a clear symbol of innovation and civic care.
To address Mellon Square's 21st century revitalization, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy sought consultants and partners, selecting landscape architecture firm Heritage Landscapes LLC and working closely with the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, Parks Department, Downtown Partnership, and local foundations as well as public funders. Heritage Landscapes' office led a diverse team to develop the award-winning Mellon Square Preservation, Interpretation & Management Plan. They went on to assemble a construction team to address preservation, reconstruction and new design to revitalize this urban gem. Research yielded a wealth of sources: design studies; photos; memos; and 1955 and 1987 construction details. Field reconnaissance recorded vegetation and built elements and mapped user behaviors.