Newly reopened fountain at Pittsburgh's Point marks start of arts festival
By Tony LaRussa
Published: Saturday, June 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Mother Nature spared Friday's opening of the Three Rivers Arts Festival from rain.
But Gov. Tom Corbett picked up the mantle as he flipped the switch for the renovated fountain in Point State Park and sent a 150-foot-high geyser of water into a stiff wind, drenching many in the crowd gathered for the event.
“The last time I stood at the very end of that Point, we were imploding Three Rivers Stadium and my son and I watched as the dust came over. Look at what it looks like now along the river from that point in time,” Corbett said as he gestured to the complex of stadiums and entertainment venues on the North Shore that have been built since 2001. “Now that's Pittsburgh.”
The spray did not appear to put a damper on things — an Army National Guard color guard unit that caught the brunt of drenching did not break ranks and the River City Brass Band played on.
Scores of people rushed to the fountain's reflecting pool to kick off their shoes to get wet moments after the ceremony ended.
The $11.9 million restored fountain, which had been closed since April 2009, is the culmination of a more than six-year, $39 million restoration of the park featuring reconstructed walkways and esplanades, restored planting areas and lawns, new park furniture and a cafe.
“I brought my kids and some of their friends from the neighborhood because this is a historic moment and I wanted them to experience it,” said Giannie Haley of the North Side. “Some of these kids didn't even know there was a fountain because they were too young when it was closed down.”
Erin Fox of Churchill, who had not been to Point State Park since the Fourth of July, was impressed by the renovations.
“It looks absolutely great,” said Fox, 23, as she and Ashley Alfaro, 23, of Hoboken, N.J., surveyed art displays. The pair became friends while attending Lehigh University in Bethlehem.
Alfaro, who is on her first visit to Pittsburgh, said the city is “impressive.”
“I really love it, and I'm having a blast here,” she said. “There's so much to do and it's a really beautiful city.”
The Arts Festival runs daily from noon to 9 p.m. through June 16.
Paul Stoyell, 49, of the North Side, who moved to Pittsburgh from Niagara Falls, N.Y., 2 1/2 months ago, agreed.
“Pittsburgh is gorgeous,” he said as he and a friend checked out the arts and crafts. “It's more impressive than any other city I've been in. It's phenomenal.”
Eric and Kim Baxendell, 41, of Lincoln Place, brought their 5-year-old twins, Cassidy and Nathan, to “make a night of it.”
“We try to bring them down for all the major community events, but this is the first time we've been in the park since the renovations,” Eric Baxendell said. “It looks great.”
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Suspect in East Liberty slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- Qualifications of Peduto nominee for building inspection chief come up short
- On Pittsburgh visit, ambassador says $15B in aid to Ukraine shows support
- FirstEnergy last to get smart meter OK
- CCAC to offer early retirement incentives
- Casey says C-130s to remain into ’15 at Moon base, but squadron will lose jobs
- PennDOT cash eases road repair pain in Lawrence County
- State Superior Court denies ex-Sen. Jane Orie’s corruption appeal
- Portion of South Busway to be detoured Friday
- Newsmaker: Charlotte Lott
- Carnegie Library board adds three members