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Aspinwall Riverfront Park earns three architecture-related awards

Tawnya Panizzi
| Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, 2:42 p.m.
Jessica Graham came to the Aspinwall Riverfront Park for kayak access in June 2016, but also decided to try a little fishing on a temporary dock that was erected at the park last year. There is no fishing pier currently.
Jessica Graham came to the Aspinwall Riverfront Park for kayak access in June 2016, but also decided to try a little fishing on a temporary dock that was erected at the park last year. There is no fishing pier currently.
The Aspinwall Marina building, seen in 2016, was turned into a welcome center for Aspinwall Riverfront Park visitors.
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
The Aspinwall Marina building, seen in 2016, was turned into a welcome center for Aspinwall Riverfront Park visitors.

Aspinwall Riverfront Park earned honors this year from three organizations associated with landscaping, architecture and property development.

The 10-acre park, a former marina purchased in 2011, was named one of three “Great Spaces — public place” in the state by the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Planning Association. “It's amazing and wonderful to me, especially given the very short time we've been in existence,” said Susan Crookston, whose company manages the park.

The award recognizes spots with exemplary character, identity, cultural interest and community involvement.

“The park exemplifies sustainability through brownfield redevelopment, green infrastructure .... reuse of demolished building materials and old curb stones as trail base, benches, and tables,” the state APA chapter's website said. “It is the place to be for families and has captured the public's imagination as one of the most memorable greenspaces in the Pittsburgh region.”

The Pittsburgh Chapter of the Urban Land Institute this year also named the park among its five “Healthy Places” for its amenities like exercise and music classes, skating, trail walking, theater and kayaking.

Also, the American Institute of Architects chose the park's new welcome center for a Certificate of Merit for Historic Preservation.

The center, renovated through a $500,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, was chosen from architectural projects in 11 counties. Architect Eric Fisher removed two-thirds of the existing marina building to uncover openings that frame views of the Allegheny River. The sparse layout is used now for gatherings like community theater and fundraisers.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or @tawnyatrib.

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