Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Major Renovations to Point State Park Fountain Set to Begin

November 16, 2011

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Extensive renovations and improvements to the fountain at Point State Park in Pittsburgh will soon begin, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan said today.

The work, the fountain’s first major overhaul in almost 40 years, will cost about $9.6 million, and is supported by a combination of state investments and business and private donations. The fountain was turned off in April 2009.

“The fountain where the three rivers meet at the Point helps define Pittsburgh to the world, and this project will make the water feature even more spectacular,” Allan said. “The design includes a disappearing edge waterfall around the perimeter of the fountain pool as well as improved lighting.”

The project involves complete rehabilitation of the fountain itself including all new surfaces, lighting, pumping equipment and controls as well as the disappearing edge waterfall feature. Also included is the rehabilitation of the adjacent wharf area surfacing as well as renovations to the pump house building and public restrooms.

Partners in the park’s renovation include DCNR, Allegheny Conference on Community Development and Riverlife.

“The people of Pittsburgh have rallied around the renewal of the Point State Park Fountain, which is such a visible centerpiece of our riverfront park system and symbol of Pittsburgh’s strength,” said Riverlife President Lisa Schroeder. “Thanks to the support of the Commonwealth and thousands of donors, the Fountain renovation will be the crowning achievement of Point State Park’s rebirth.”

SET, Inc. of Lowellville, Ohio, is the general contractor for the fountain project. Right Electric, Inc. of Butler will provide electrical construction; Wayne Crouse, Inc. of Pittsburgh will do the ventilation, air conditioning and heating work; and AMB, Inc. of Pittsburgh will do plumbing.

“For the past several years the 36-acre Point State Park has been undergoing a $35 million facelift including the completion of large-scale construction, electrical and landscaping projects that are transforming it to a world-class urban park,” Allan said. “We ask Pittsburghers for their patience through the next year and a half as we work to complete the transformation.”

To date, the improvements completed at Point State Park are:

  • City-side Lawn (2007-2008) – Complete renovation of the lawn area on the city-side of the park, tracery lights, walkways, benches and landscaping.
  • Woodlands (2009) – Removal of some lawn area and replacement with 7,000 native trees, shrubs and perennials; new irrigation; and new stone edging.
  • Allegheny and Monongahela Wharfs (2009-2010) – Demolition and reconstruction of both wharf areas and recycling of existing materials when possible; lighting along wharf edges; boat tie ups; new promenade walkways with lighting, benches and trees adjacent to the newly installed native woodland beds; and rehabilitation of the overlook area with new lighting, benches, stonework and landscaping.
  • Cafe at the Point (2010-2011) – Newly constructed permanent cafe to provide food service for park visitors; features including recycled building materials and green walls and interpretive elements telling the story of why Point State Park became a National Historic Landmark and its importance in the shaping of America.
  • Fountain Electric Service (2011) – Installation of electrical components to meet new requirements from service provider and increase capacity for improvements to fountain.

The Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet at Point State Park to form the Ohio River. During the mid-1700s, the armies of France and Britain were attracted to this area, each vying for control of the Ohio Valley.

In 1758, construction of Fort Pitt began by the British at the rivers’ confluence to replace Fort Duquesne, an outpost that was abandoned by the French during the French and Indian War.

By the 1950s, the area had deteriorated into a commercial slum. The planning and construction of Point State Park was one of the key accomplishments of Pittsburgh’s first Renaissance urban renewal initiative. The fountain was dedicated by the state on Aug. 30, 1974, marking completion of the park’s construction.

For more information about Point or any of Pennsylvania’s 120 state parks, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us and choose “Find a Park.”

Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Source: PR Newswire