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05-18-22 | Feature

Sally's Path

East End of Pittsburgh
by Nichole Beliunas, Wausau Tile - Photos: Ed Massery

In Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, a historic Nabisco factory, which was closed in 1998 and deemed blighted by the city in 2006, was bought the next year by Walnut Capital who transformed the six-and-a-half-acre site into a mixed-use area with retail and office space. In 2013, the development company added to its holdings by purchasing the neighboring site of a middle school to develop it into two, 175-unit residential apartment buildings and additional office space. Named Bakery Square, the site features a pedestrian throughway called Sally's Path, in tribute to Sally Perelman Lehman the mother of Walnut Capital's CEO and founding partner, Gregg Perelman. This passageway, created by Strada, a landscape architecture, interior design and architecture company from Pittsburgh, features a distinctive design of Wausau Tile's textured granite architectural pavers.
Three different pavers were used to surface the roughly 5,000 square feet of Sally's Path: a light gray, a medium gray and a dark gray. The 1,400 square feet of light gray pavers was a custom color and texture, decided upon by a designer at Strada, Terrie Brightman, after the paver manufacturer generated numerous samples based on her requests. The 2,100 square feet of dark gray units were also a custom product. Ultra Granite 10 series from the manufacturer made up the 1,400 square feet of the medium gray pavers in the design. An existing brick wall (left side) capped with granite was enhanced with a guardrail built of 2"-square aluminum posts and perforated, anodized aluminum screening.
Three different pavers were used to surface the roughly 5,000 square feet of Sally's Path: a light gray, a medium gray and a dark gray. The 1,400 square feet of light gray pavers was a custom color and texture, decided upon by a designer at Strada, Terrie Brightman, after the paver manufacturer generated numerous samples based on her requests. The 2,100 square feet of dark gray units were also a custom product. Ultra Granite 10 series from the manufacturer made up the 1,400 square feet of the medium gray pavers in the design. An existing brick wall (left side) capped with granite was enhanced with a guardrail built of 2"-square aluminum posts and perforated, anodized aluminum screening.
Separating the courses of pavers, which were fabricated to replicate the look and versatility of igneous rock and installed by Palombo Landscaping, are exterior-rated, LED, color-changing strip lights fixed in a concrete cradle. Significant coordination was required to install the lights within the paver field which includes a subgrade snow melt system.
Separating the courses of pavers, which were fabricated to replicate the look and versatility of igneous rock and installed by Palombo Landscaping, are exterior-rated, LED, color-changing strip lights fixed in a concrete cradle. Significant coordination was required to install the lights within the paver field which includes a subgrade snow melt system.
Each tile was 12 inches square and 2 inches thick. The two custom mixes, the lighter of which is now titled V19-248, had glitter rock added to make their appearance stand out. The pavers also feature uniform slip resistance and an average compression strength of 9,500 PSI, with no individual unit rated at less than 8,500 PSI.
Each tile was 12 inches square and 2 inches thick. The two custom mixes, the lighter of which is now titled V19-248, had glitter rock added to make their appearance stand out. The pavers also feature uniform slip resistance and an average compression strength of 9,500 PSI, with no individual unit rated at less than 8,500 PSI.
White, illuminating sculptures that were designed to look like trees without leaves, output white LED light from the "branches" with symmetrical down light. And these light poles reflect the output of the light strips to not only produce a safe walking space, but at the same time create what is intended to be an artistic display. The lighting designer and programmer of the display was Clear Story. Later in the project, signage marking the name of the pathway was added and backlit to enhance the arty effect.
The "trees" were built from stainless steel. They are each mounted to a base of concrete footers with complementary metal escutcheons.

At the East End of Pittsburgh where a historic Nabisco Factory once flourished, now lives a vibrant community filled with shopping, restaurants, major employers and thriving universities. Featuring sustainable construction, Bakery Square provides community event areas, biking and hiking paths, family-friendly parks and the newly constructed Sally's Path, a public passageway for pedestrians and bicyclists that is meant to be an immersive experience, designed to impress.

Nestled between Bakery Office Two and Bakery Office Three and connecting Bakery Square to the historic neighborhood of Shadyside, which was transformed from farmland into residential in the late 1800s and added retail in the 1950s, Sally's Path was also specified as an art installation. It features tree-like structures and an intriguing illumination system consisting of LED light strips installed at intervals into joints separating courses of pavers.

The distinct and playful hardscape design comprises Wausau Tile's standard and custom-colored textured granite architectural pavers that provide a smooth path for all visitors.

Hardscape Details
The approximately 5,000 square feet of area includes 1,400 square feet of light gray, which is a custom blend requested and approved by Strada, the landscape architecture firm that oversaw the project. There were also 2,100 square feet of custom dark gray pavers and 1,400 square feet of the manufacturer's Ultra Granite 10 series in a medium gray. And even though there were two custom pavers in the project, it didn't break the bank.

"In terms of material costs, we were pretty happy," says Brian Henne, an independent area representative of the tile manufacturer.

Adding to the Charm

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With the several LED color-changing light strips illuminating the tree sculptures that then reflect the light over the entire area, the magical path that was created delivers a safe walking space for neighbors and visitors.

"I don't want to say the lights steal the show," Henne relates, "but they are certainly a big part of the picture. And, I knew we could work with these lights as part of the hardscape joints."
The Inspiration
Sally's Path also provides a sweet dedication to a beloved mother - Sally Perelman Lehman. Sally and her husband, David, owned and operated Stadtlander's Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy in Shadyside, and helped improve the commercial activity on Walnut Street. A pioneer in her own right, Sally was also a loving mother to three children, including Walnut Capital's CEO and founder, Gregg Perelman.

As a business owner of one of Pittsburgh's fastest growing property management and real estate companies, Perelman helped turn the Shadyside neighborhood of East End, into a thriving and bustling lifestyle center.

This contemporary neighborhood was a dream of Perelman and with the support and encouragement of his mother, he helped create this impressive urban area that is known throughout Pittsburgh as a go-to place for shopping, dining and entertainment - inviting locals and visitors alike to enjoy its ambiance and community gathering spaces.

Sally always motivated her son to create his own path to success and enjoyed watching Bakery Square become a reality. With the completion of this dream, Perelman thought it was only fitting to dedicate a piece of Bakery Square to his beloved mother. As a result, Sally's Path became this beautiful and artfully designed bike and walking path that helps tie in the creative and modern aspects of Bakery Square.

Challenges
According to Terrie Brightman, the key designer on the project, the planning stage included, "many, many iterations as it was very personal to the owner, Gregg Perelman, as it was named for his mother Sally."

The site itself provided a series of challenges including elevation change, and the adjacent buildings created a canyon feel with significant shade. In addition, the design had to facilitate pedestrian space for residents, tenants, community members, commuters, and visitors - accompanied by strollers, dogs, bikes, wagons, scooters, and more, while providing for enough space for employees of surrounding businesses to have lunch and work outside.

The Takeaway
Although Wausau Tile only played a small part in the making of this dedication, they enjoyed helping make Sally's Path a reality. And they are honored that famed architectural photographer Ed Massery captured the project in all its glory.

As an illustration of the visual distinction of the project, the Electric League of Western Pennsylvania awarded Sally's Path an Excellence in Lighting Artistry award.
Symbolic to the vivacious life lived by Sally Perelman Lehman, Sally's Path is a stunning display, unlike any other pedestrian pathway. "I was excited that the client was willing to try something new and unexpected, something dynamic about the design that would attract visitors and create a destination within the development," Brightman summarizes. "Bakery Square is a hub of innovation. The simplified structure of the trees and the pixelation of the paving in the black and white scheme is intended to be a nod to 8-bit processor design - a throwback reference in the middle of a technologically advanced population."


TEAM LIST:
Client: Walnut Capital
Landscape Architect: Strada Architecture
Hardscape Installer: Palombo Landscaping, Inc.
Paver Manufacturer: Wausau Tile

Filed Under: PITTSBURGH, HARDSCAPE, LASN
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