ALLEGHENY PUBLIC SQUARE: Restringing the Charm Bracelet

Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University

Urban Design Methods Final Project 

Fall 2011 

Site plan and diagrams designed and rendered in Illustrator. 3D model and perspectives designed in SketchUp and rendered in Photoshop. 


Allegheny Public Square is a community park located in the heart of the historic North Side of Pittsburgh.  Some of the most intriguing structures in the city of Pittsburgh surround the space, including the Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and the New Hazlett Theater.  In addition, the square shares the North Side with other Pittsburgh cultural institutions and is considered one of the links within the North Side’s “Charm Bracelet,” a network of cultural, educational, and recreational organizations that work together to strengthen community awareness.  In recent years, Allegheny Public Square had become a missing link as the mostly concrete fountian had fallen into a state of disrepair, partially due it is sunken garden design, dark overhangs, and underutilization; however, the square has recently been renovated per the winning design of a 2007 competition sponsored by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in hopes of restoring connectivity within the Allegheny Commons and provide a variety of sustainable uses in the new green space.  This proposal, based on a series of existing conditions analysis and the ideas outlined in Fast Forward Urbanism by Dana Cuff and Robert Sherman, suggests ways inwhich to reclaim, reinvent, and restore the missing link of the Allegheny Public Square.  Through an updated, at-grade design, a program of new uses, and the use of sutainability techniques, the Alleghney Publi Square can truly showcase the strengths of the North Side. 

History of Allegheny Public Square 

Allegheny Public Square as the missing link in the "Charm Bracelet"

Proposed plaza plan

Perspective of proposed site improvements