Current Highlights: Allegheny Commons
About Allegheny CommonsVisit Allegheny CommonsInteractive Map of the ParkGet InvolvedClick here to submit and read stories of Allegheny CommonsClick here for Current HighlightsClick here to Contact Allegheny Commons

Anyone recognize these ladies? This image was taken in Allegheny Commons, with the Presbyterian Hospital in background (1936) and the sundial in foreground behind the present day Aviary.
Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Water, Water

Can you guess how many gallons of water Lake Elizabeth holds? Or how many gallons of water are pumped into the Lake each year? Hold onto your hat - Lake Elizabeth holds 500,000 to 600,000 gallons and consumes 194 million gallons each year.

And yes, there is a water meter, a very busy one.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh is researching ways to conserve water at the Lake with a goal of reducing water consumption by 95% -- from 194 Million gallons down to 10 million gallons a year.


PWSA is investigating the use of circulators to avoid stagnant water and fountains to increased dissolved oxygen levels. They are also exploring filtration and recirculation. Watch ACI News to see how the project develops over the coming weeks and months.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

More Water… Fowl

For many, feeding the geese and ducks at Lake Elizabeth is a relaxing and fun activity while offering a chance to get up close and personal with nature. But is it harmful to waterfowl? Or to the environment?

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation urges people to NOT feed the birds. They say artificial feeding of waterfowl can result in overcrowding, delayed migration, unnatural behavior, water pollution, spread of disease, and costly management efforts.

But Robert Mulvihil, ornithologist at The National Aviary, offers another perspective. "The positive aspects of feeding the ducks and geese (in terms of connecting people-especially children-and nature) far outweigh any negatives. Sure, if the birds only ate white bread it probably wouldn't be too healthy for them, but like any bird feeding, we do it because we want to connect with birds and have them around," he said. Mulvihill estimates that the birds get less than 25% of their daily energy requirements from artificial feeding. To learn more about responsible feeding of water fowl check outMulvihil's list of Do's and Don'ts.
Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Northeast Fountain Gift

We are very grateful to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 5 for their donation to the Northeast Fountain project.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Thank you Garden Stewards

Our thanks to David Holliday for the many hours of care he invested in the Thomas Armstrong Monument Garden garden over the past six years. We are very grateful to Tim Zinn and Trisha Burton of Allegheny West for taking over the job.
Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Sponsor Spotlight: Penn Brewery


About the Brewery:

The Penn Brewery, located in the North Side's Deutschtown, began producing high-end craft beers in 1986. Pittsburgh's oldest and largest brewery, Penn is housed in the mid nineteenth-century landmark E&O Brewery Building. Enjoy the "Euro-Pittsburgh" fare in their restaurant, including wurst, schnitzel, pierogi, and goulash.

What causes do you support?

Sandy: We support a wide range of things from larger organizations such as The Heinz History Center or The National Aviary to smaller groups like The Mattress Factory's Urban Garden Party or Allegheny Commons.

Linda: There are a lot of neat things going on in the Northside and it is fun to be associated with that. We realize, too, that it is mutually beneficial for us to be involved and partner with the community.

What is unique about Penn Brewery?

Sandy: The nature of our craft beer because what we do is very much grassroots, locally and community focused.

Favorite thing about the Northside:

Linda: Some of my childhood memories are of Buhl Planetarium. Allegheny Commons always stuck out to me as a pretty little enclave, an oasis in the Northside. It reminds me of the big parks in London where you see kids and parents all enjoying the park together.

Sandy: There is something for everyone in the Northside. Getting to learn more about this area has been very nice. It is intriguing to see how much people care about the community. There are so many people that want to improve upon the neighborhoods.

Some of the Penn Brewery Crew from the left: Linda Nyman, Andy Rich, Steve Crist, Sandy Cindrich and Nick Rosich.
Posted in Events | Leave a comment

East Ohio Street Art Gallery

Next time you're on East Ohio Street, check out the murals and historic photos filling the empty storefront windows, including one of Allegheny Commons' historic Northeast

 Fountain. Robert Sands donated his artwork and Bruce Klein of Photo Antiquities donated historic photos. The project was organized by Emily Leone Honhart of the Northside Leadership Conference, a group of Deutschtown residents and business owners, and received support from the East Allegheny Community Council. The art gallery was created to distract from the blighted and vacant storefronts along East Ohio Street.


Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Northeast Fountain Designs Underway

We are pleased to report that construction drawings for the Northeast Fountain, to be located at the corner of Cedar and North Avenues, and for the park's promenade from Tripoli St to Arch Street, are now underway. The Northeast Fountain is original to the park's design (1869) and was the first of four large, ornamental fountains to be built in the park, none of which survive today.

An annual report of the City of Allegheny's Park Commission described the fountain as a 50 foot circular stone basin, with a one-foot rim of heavy cut stone. The centerpiece was a large Grecian vase, six feet in diameter and six feet high, with a principal jet 70 feet high and 16 smaller jets around the inside of the basin.

Nancy Lonnett Roman, Principal at Pashek Associates, has worked on two previous Commons restoration projects.


The North Side landscape architecture firm Pashek Associates and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy have been engaged to produce the construction drawings.  The Parks Conservancy brings considerable experience in historic park restoration;their fountain portfolio includes Highland Park Fountain, Mellon Square Fountain and the Mary Schenley Fountain.

Susan Rademacher, Parks Curator for the Parks Conservancy will bring her expertise considerable in historic parks to Allegheny Commons. 

Pashek Associates has prepared design and construction documents for a number of Allegheny Commons projects including the East Common Pilot Project and the Northeast Common Farmers Market area. Pashek has engaged a St Louis firm, Hydro Dramatics, to engineer the fountain.

The construction documents will also result in a detailed budget to support fundraising.  The project has already received commitments from Colcom Foundation, Highmark, Laurel Foundation, Allegheny General Hospital, Heinz Endowments, the Garden Club of Allegheny County, and NRG Energy Center of Pittsburgh. The project has also received support from North Side community members who have made donations to the Friends of Allegheny Commons.

You, too, can support this project by making a donation to the Friends of Allegheny Commons, and by urgining the City of Pittsburgh to replace the broken path lights between AGH and Arch Street.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

A New Volunteer Opportunity with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy!


Opinion sections are the most read pages in the paper each day.Put your love of the parks into action by signing up for The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's Pen for Parks, a standing reserve of volunteers ready to submit letters to the editor to help raise public awareness about fantastic Parks Conservancy workcitywide. Sound good? Read on!

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

WANTED: Thomas Armstrong Garden Steward

Calling all gardeners and friends of gardeners! Allegheny Commons Initiative is seeking a volunteer steward for the garden surrounding the Thomas Armstrong Monument, located between The National Aviary and West Ohio Street. The monument, erected in 1889, honors Thomas Armstrong, a labor champion, editor, Civil War veteran and staunch Alleghenian.

The garden surrounding the monument was first designed in 2004 by Joan Kimmel and Lynne Weber of The Urban Gardener, a North Side garden center. The garden was designed with the changing seasons in mind, Kimmel said, with Astilbe blooms in the spring, Lilly turf and Lamium blooming in the summer; the Astilbes look beautiful all through the winter.

David Holliday, formerly of Foster Square, tended the garden for 6 years until his recent move from the Northside. The garden is fairly low maintenance, requiring weeding and straightening the edges of the garden.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a volunteer garden steward, please contact Erin Tobin at or call 412-330-2569.move out of the Northside.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment