Pittsburgh’s annual gingerbread house display and competition at PPG Place is moving this year from its longtime home to Pittsburgh’s City-County Building on Grant Street.
Highwoods Properties, the owner of PPG Place, announced last year that it was renovating its Wintergarden area as a banquet and conference facility and would no longer feature the display that has become a staple for Downtown visitors during the holidays.
Pittsburgh agreed to host the exhibit in the City-County Building’s first floor grand hall, according to James Hill, Mayor Bill Peduto’s executive assistant.
Highwoods plans to donate accessories, including tables, risers and decorations roughly valued at $8,000. City Council on Tuesday introduced a resolution that would authorize acceptance of the gift.
“We thought this would be a great opportunity to save a tradition that is loved by the public,” Hill said. “We’re going to be doing it for the foreseeable future.”
PPG Place has hosted the display since 2002 when it began as a UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh fund-raiser. Families and organizations created the houses to compete for ribbons in various categories. Donations collected on site went to the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund.
Hill said the display and competition would basically remain the same under Pittsburgh’s sponsorship. The city will continue to award ribbons to winners along with a certificate from the mayor.
Hill said the city would likely be able to display 480 to 500 entries along the walls of the 180-foot long lobby. He said the display would debut as usual during the city’s annual Light Up Night and continue through the holidays.
“It’s a working office building, so we will have to have a limit on how many we can take, but we’ll be able to take roughly the same number of entries,” he said. “We still have to work on the hours a little bit.”
The City-County Building is open daily until 6 p.m. and Hill said the city is working on a plan to extend the hours and provide weekend access for visitors.
“We’ve been looking forward to making the City-County Building more accessible to the public,” he said. “This was the perfect opportunity.”