Pittsburgh Zoo Entry Plaza Proposed Renovation

Aug 17, 2023

Representatives of the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium presented plans for renovating the entry plaza at the August HPCC Community Meeting.  View their presentation here:  https://youtu.be/nOi8usuKgcU . 

The HPCC provided background about Heth’s Run (Slides are here) and expressed concern that the Zoo is moving forward with this project and parking lot repaving without consideration of the impacts on Heth’s Run. The Zoo’s entry plaza, along with its parking lots and overflow parking, are located in Heth’s Run. At one time, Heth’s Run was a verdant valley with a stream that ran between Morningsideand Highland Park before joining the Allegheny River. For over twenty years, the adjacent community organizations and the broader community have been working toward the goal of restoring Heth’s Run.

Between the city and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, several hundreds of thousands of design dollars have been spent to develop plans to replace much of the asphalt with green space and trails, connecting the East End to more green space and planned water front trails that will connect to downtown, the north side, and Aspinwall. Similarly, people in those locations would have easier access to the Zoo and the adjacent neighborhoods and business districts. The zoo’s parking needs would be met by building a new parking structure.

This proposal has not yet been submitted to the Civic Design Committee of the Public Art & Civic Design Commission (PACD).  However, the HPCC was advised by the City Planning Department that it will likely be added to the agenda for the Sept 27 meeting at 4 pm.

  • To submit comments:
    • Email pacd@pittsburghpa.gov – Email testimony will be accepted until the business day before the meeting at 12 p.m.
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