TribLive: Aspinwall Riverfront Park earns 3 architecture-related awards

Posted on Posted in News

Aspinwall Riverfront Park earns three architecture-related awards

Tawnya Panizzi
| Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, 2:42 p.m.
Jessica Graham came to the Aspinwall Riverfront Park for kayak access in June 2016, but also decided to try a little fishing on a temporary dock that was erected at the park last year. There is no fishing pier currently.

Jessica Graham came to the Aspinwall Riverfront Park for kayak access in June 2016, but also decided to try a little fishing on a temporary dock that was erected at the park last year. There is no fishing pier currently.

Aspinwall Riverfront Park earned honors this year from three major organizations associated with landscape architecture, architecture and property development.

The 10-acre park, a former marina purchased in 2011, was named one of three “Great Spaces” in the state from the American Planning Association of Pennsylvania, according to Susan Crookston, whose company manages development of the park.

“It’s amazing and wonderful to me, especially given the very short time we’ve been in existence,” Crookston said.

The award recognizes spots with exemplary character, identity, cultural interest and community involvement.

Crookston said the judges’ summary lauds the park for its “sustainability through brownfield redevelopment, green infrastructure and reuse of demolished building materials and old curb stones.”

Earlier this year, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Urban Land Institute awarded named the park among five “Healthy Place” for its list of amenities like exercise and music classes, skating, trail walking, theater and kayaking.

Also, the American Institute of Architects chose the park’s new welcome center for a Certificate of Merit for Historic Preservation.

The center, renovated through a $500,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, was chosen from architectural projects in 11 counties. During its transformation, architect Eric Fisher removed two-thirds of the existing marina building to uncover openings that frame views of the Allegheny River. The sparse layout is used now for gatherings like community theater and fundraisers.