RIVERLIFE NEWS - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stephan Bontrager, Riverlife
412-258-6636 x 105
Christina Novak, DCNR
December 20, 2012
PITTSBURGH – Riverlife, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced today that the grand reopening and dedication of the Point State Park fountain is slated for Friday, June 7, 2013.
The reopening celebration, called “Riverlights at The Point,” commemorates the conclusion of the $35 million renovation of Point State Park overseen by DCNR, Riverlife and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. Coinciding with the first night of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, “Riverlights at The Point” is free, open to the public and will include a dedication ceremony, musical entertainment and a special lighting installation throughout the park. Attendees will see the fountain turned back on for the first time since it was shut off for reconstruction in April 2009.
The “Riverlights at The Point” celebration is made possible by generous funding from Colcom Foundation.
“The transformation of Point State Park is almost complete, and with the reconstructed fountain it will once again be a jewel in our award-winning state park system,” said DCNR Secretary Richard J. Allan. “After hard work and collaboration across the region, we’re happy to celebrate this major reconstruction with a public event that will showcase the renovations and the park as a stunning waterfront gathering spot.”
“Since planning for the complete renovation of this historic landmark park began in 2001, a powerhouse team of partners has literally moved the earth to create a renewed Point State Park that we can be proud of for generations to come,” said Riverlife President and CEO Lisa Schroeder. “Corporate leaders, elected officials, philanthropic partners and of course the citizens of Southwestern Pennsylvania joined the Commonwealth to get this project done. When the fountain returns to the headwaters of the Ohio River on June 7th, it will be a fitting commemoration of the hard work and dedication that got this project flowing.”
Also a part of “Riverlights at The Point” is the announcement of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for local artists, lighting designers, students and architects to develop and implement a temporary artistic lighting concept for Point State Park to be showcased during the fountain grand reopening. Entrants have until February 1, 2013 to submit proposals.
"The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is honored to partner with Riverlife and DCNR to select an innovative lighting concept that celebrates Pittsburgh’s modern image while complementing the striking new lights of the Point State Park fountain,” said Cultural Trust president and CEO Kevin McMahon. “The Riverlights celebration and the return of the fountain will punctuate the kick-off of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. We invite residents and visitors not to miss all of the festivities that evening and throughout the entire 10 days of the festival.”
The lighting concept RFP and details about “Riverlights at The Point” are available at www.pointstatepark.com.
The completion of the fountain marks the final phase of a complete overhaul of the entire 36-acre Point State Park, which included reconstruction of both the City Side Lawn and Great Lawn, riverfront promenades, woodland areas and the addition of Café at the Point. Work on the fountain began in late 2011. Due to mild weather throughout 2012, fountain construction has proceeded slightly ahead of schedule. New or restored features of the fountain include:
Planning for Point State Park began in the 1930s and the park opened to the public in 1974 with the completion of the original fountain. After near-constant wear and tear over the course of three and a half decades, the park had fallen into disrepair. The fountain’s pumps were broken and flood-damaged and the surrounding plaza was cracked. The renovation of the park began in 2007 as part of the Allegheny Conference’s Pittsburgh 250th anniversary.
“’Riverlights at The Point’ will not only be a celebration of the Point’s noted history but a showcase for the new Pittsburgh, one that embraces technology, the environment, world-class design and our three rivers,” said Schroeder. “This is really an opportunity for the community to come together and take a bow.”
Riverlife’s mission is simple: To reclaim, restore and promote Pittsburgh’s riverfronts as the environmental, recreational, cultural and economic hub for the people of this region and our visitors. Riverlife (formerly Riverlife Task Force) is a public-private partnership established in 1999 to guide and advocate for the redevelopment of Pittsburgh’s riverfronts. Riverlife works to reconnect Pittsburgh with its rivers by bringing recreation, ecological restoration and economic opportunity back to our waterfronts
Today, Riverlife’s stewardship extends up the Allegheny River to the 31st Street Bridge, down the Monongahela River to the Hot Metal Bridge, and along the Ohio River to the West End Bridge. Through a variety of public-private partnerships integrating the efforts of state, city, and private developers, Riverlife points proudly to a host of projects already in place, with several currently underway and more planned for the future. This seamless sequence of open spaces for civic engagement will ultimately knit our neighborhoods together and reconnect us with our living environment.
About the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
DCNR’s mission includes maintaining 120 state parks; managing 2.2 million acres of state forest land; providing information on the state's ecological and geologic resources; and overseeing grants and technical assistance to benefit rivers, trails, greenways, local parks and recreation, regional heritage parks and natural areas. Learn more at www.dcnr.state.pa.us.
About The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has transformed a downtrodden section of Downtown into a world-class Cultural District that stands as a national model of urban revitalization through the arts. In addition to its mainstage performances and gallery exhibitions, the Cultural Trust produces a number of festivals to celebrate the performing and visual arts in its many forms, often in unique places and spaces. The Trust's festival portfolio includes the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh International Children's Festival, Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, First Night Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.
Amazing before-and-after video of Pittsburgh's riverfronts