Pittsburgh’s McKinley Park to get artistic basketball court | TribLIVE.com

Pittsburgh’s McKinley Park to get artistic basketball court

Bob Bauder
JY Originals
A rendering of a public art project expected to be installed in Pittsburgh’s McKinley Park. The Urban Redevelopment Authority approved the work by New York City artist Janel Young that will line the surface of the park basketball court.

A basketball court in Pittsburgh’s McKinley Park is in line for an artistic makeover.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority recently allocated $15,500 for a public art project by New York-based artist Janel Young, who grew up in Beltzhoover.

Young said the mural entitled “Home Court Advantage” would be on the surface of the basketball court in the park’s upper section.

“The project will be a mural, or floor mural, on the surface of the basketball court itself and will double down as a fully functional basketball court for players,” Young said. “Making sure the court art design was functional for play was one of my main priorities since I grew up playing basketball at Upper McKinley Park.”

McKinley Park dates to the 19th century and has served as a gathering spot for generations of kids and adults in Pittsburgh’s Beltzhoover, Knoxville, Bon Air and Allentown neighborhoods. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has collaborated with the city for several years in upgrading park amenities.

It will include a colorful design with “Beltzhoover Pride” printed on each side of the court and “There is Victory in Unity”printed in the middle.

The park was once part of a farm owned by the Beltzhoover family for whom the neighborhood is named, according to the parks conservancy. It became a popular picnic spot for early German settlers and was dubbed “Butchers Grove” for an oxen roast held there on July 4, 1875.

It was later renamed Maple Park for Thomas Maple one of the developers who laid out streets, house lots and green space on the former Beltzhoover property. Pittsburgh purchased the park after annexing Beltzhoover in 1898.

The park was again renamed after the assassination of President McKinley in 1901.

In recent years the Parks Conservancy has received grants totaling nearly $700,000 for park improvements including restoration of the stone entrance, new trails and pathways, a new parking area with porous asphalt that allows rain to drain through and other stormwater management projects.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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