New York's High Line project took a space that was already there but that was rarely noticed or thought about and used it to transform and add to the way people thought about a whole part of Manhattan.
So, does Pittsburgh have a single space which with potentially small amount of effort and rethinking could be transformed in a huge way? An obvious concept is extending the waterfront parks--but this is already being thought about. Fixing and Allegheny Center is also a transformative project but no easy task.
However, the deep ravine in the center of Oakland is a place where the creation of a few amazing buildings which creatively use the rim, or a series of interesting paths or well who knows--could change the entire way we think about Oakland and all the neighborhoods that border the Hollow. Should Pittsburgh really try to ignore and evade some of the most interesting parts of it's geography in the way it's design does now?
As you can see from these images, soil erosion along large chunks of the rim is creating issues that must be dealt with anyway and soon.
What I have in mind is to hold some kind of design competition allowing an open ended contemplation of any and all ideas people might have for buildings, paths, ecological designs for any and all parts of The Hollow.
My personal guess is that many students at CMU, Pitt or the other schools in Oakland have drawn up an idea or two. Needless to say, this could easily then be tied to an exhibition at The Carnegie Museum Of Art and or The Miller Gallery. The Carnegie and area museums also have many paintings and historic objects that relate to this iconic yet mostly ignored urban space which could provide context.
No guarantee of executing or using any of the designs would be implied but most likely some type of cash prizes would be granted. Public voting on designs might also be considered. Using any of these ideas--would be a separate issue. The goal would be to invite all Pittsburghers and designers from around the world to publicly meditate on this unique space we should think about more.
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