New and Expanded Development
"If Pittsburgh were situated somewhere in the heart of Europe, tourists would eagerly journey hundreds of miles out of their way to visit it."
—Brendan Gill, The New Yorker
An update on exciting new happenings in Pittsburgh
- The Frick Art & Historical Center is undergoing a multi-phase building and renovation project that will expand the education capacity and improve visitor experiences and cultural offerings. The first-phase, the 3,000-square-foot Orientation Center, opened summer 2014, allows visitors to learn about the Frick family and 19th century life in Pittsburgh. An Education Center and new Carriage Gallery (which will house the Frick family carriage collection) will open as the second-phase. A new Community Center, that'll provide additional education and program space and create a venue for events, will be the third, and final, phase of the project. All phases will adhere to LEED standards, enhancing Frick's environmental sustainability.
Pittsburgh's Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has gone to the outer limits of green in achieving the Living Building Challenge for its Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL), a facility that houses groundbreaking sustainability research. The CSL is the first and only project to attain the planet's highest sustainable building certification. In producing all of its own renewable energy, and treating and reusing all water captured on site, the CSL demonstrates that benefits of humanity living in harmony with nature.
Phipps has also opened its Tropical Forest Congo exhibit, highlighting some of Africa's lushest landscapes. The exhibit also includes education stations, markets that display foods specific to Africa and a replica of a small African dwelling.
- Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will break ground, summer 2015, on a 14,000-square-foot annex at its Strip District location. The expansion will house two dance studios, expanded cross-training facilities, changing rooms and study areas for students. This expansion is expected to increase enrollment and presence in the community.
- Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, which opened to the public on April 1, has transformed 460 acres of abandoned mining land into the fifth largest botanic garden in the U.S. Visitors can enjoy three miles of trails with a one mile ADA-accessible trail; a play-and-discover area for families; lotus pond; dogwood meadows and a historic farmstead featuring a 1700s log cabin and apple orchard. Located 10 miles west of the city, the garden includes 18 distinct gardens, five diverse woodland experiences, a visitor's center, an amphitheater for outdoor concerts and performances, a celebration center to accommodate weddings and corporate events and a center for botanic research.
- Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium opened their new exhibit area called The Islands. The 22,000 square foot exhibit will offer an island atmosphere with cascading waterfalls, ponds and the unique sounds of endangered animals. As visitors make their way along the winding pathway, siamangs, a primate species well known for its incredible vocalizations, will greet them. Young clouded leopards will enthrall the public with their playful acrobatic movements. The more sedate, yet intriguing, Philippine crocodiles, one of the most endangered reptile species on earth, will eye visitors as they walk by.
The National Aviary has created a new home for its four Andean Condors: Lurch, Precious, Handsome and Lianni. Their state-of-the-art habitat mimics that of which is found in the Andes Mountains with a 20-foot high rock façade, nesting caves and bathing pools. Aptly named Condor Court, the exhibit places the National Aviary as the only accredited zoo in North America that is both managing and breeding Andean Condors. The population of Andean Condors in Ecuador has reached critical levels, but if breeding is successful, chicks hatched at the National Aviary will eventually be reintroduced into the wild as a conservation effort between the National Aviary and Bioparque Amaru, a conservation center in Cuenca, Ecuador.
Other birds living in Condor Court include a Bald Eagle, a pair of Pygmy Falcons, two Cabot's Tragopan, and a pheasant with roots in south-east China.
- PNC Financial Services Group has opened its crown jewel, the world's greenest skyscraper – $400 million, 33 stories and nearly all glass – in the heart of Downtown. "The Tower at PNC Plaza" serves as the worldwide headquarters and exceeds the highest ratings given for an environmentally friendly design given by the U.S. Green Building Council. In addition to office space, the development also includes an indoor park, a cafeteria with an outdoor terrace featuring terra cotta lion heads, which were reclaimed from a 1926 structure.