$2.4 million sculpture garden to be planted at Hartwood Acres
About $2.4 million worth of once-weathered art will be installed at Hartwood Acres to create a new sculpture garden, Allegheny County officials announced this week.
The outdoor exhibition space will include 12 pieces of art acquired by county parks nearly 40 years ago, and will also feature one new piece.
The garden will be installed near the mansion at the park, which stretches through Indiana and Hampton townships.
Cost is expected to be $2 to $4 million.
Work will kick-off this summer with two sculptures being housed in the new setting and restored on site. As funding becomes available, six sculptures will be temporarily removed and restored while new bases are constructed.
The project is expected to be largely completed by the end of 2020, depending on costs and weather.
Gifted in the mid-1980s by sculptors to then-Parks Director Carol Brown, the dozen works of art were appraised in 2016 when officials were exploring options for restoration.
When the total came in at $2.4 million, the plan to relocate the pieces to a cohesive garden was launched, officials said.
The goal was to boost visitor engagement.
“Giving the public more opportunities for engaging with these unique works of art, in a setting immersed in nature, has been the guiding force behind this project,” Caren Glotfelty, county Parks Foundation executive director, said.
“We’re excited to inspire young artists and encourage school children from throughout the region to experience this collection in a fresh and meaningful way.”
Hartwood Acres is a 629-acre picturesque campus that once was the country estate of John and Mary Lawrence. The county purchased it in 1969. Its stables, English gardens and Tudor mansion are well-visited by people from around the region, as are the 30 miles of walking trails and concert amphitheater.
The parks foundation will use the garden to provide educational resources about the postmodern era of American art and also to host cultural programs.
Additional pieces will be added as they become available.
The Charity Randall Foundation is providing money to create a permanent endowment for long-term maintenance.
The county Parks Foundation will oversee the restoration of the sculptures and the design of the garden. Parks, facilities management and public works departments will perform site preparation and installation.
Additional work like rigging and transporting, planting and other specialized construction operations will be contracted to outside vendors.
“We are continually seeking new and unique ways to bring the public to our parks and engage them in everything these facilities have to offer,” County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. “The creation of a sculpture garden in Hartwood Acres brings another uncommon component to our parks system and can bring visitors here who may not have traveled here otherwise.”
Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .