PUBLIC ART IN NORTH SHORE RIVERFRONT PARK

Korean War Veterans Memorial

The original Korean War Veterans Memorial was installed on the North Shore in July 27, 1999. Further to the development of the North Shore, the SEA worked with the City and the Korean Veterans of Western Pennsylvania Memorial Fund for the modifications needed to reinstall the Memorial in the new site in the Park. It was rededicated on July 27, 2001, and is located west of PNC Park near Mazeroski Way. The Memorial is owned by the City and its maintenance funding is provided by the City, with ongoing maintenance conducted by the City and the SEA.

Langley Observatory Clock

North Shore Riverfront Park is home to a public art piece titled Langley Observatory Clock, which was created by nationally acclaimed artist R.M. Fischer.

Mr Fischer was selected by a committee of local art experts to design and install site-specific artwork. The Heinz Endowments and the Pittsburgh Foundation funded the program and installation was completed in August 2007.

Langley Observatory Clock

Photo Credit: Charles Alcorn

Key Facts

Artist: R.M. Fischer
Fabricator: Polich Talix Artworks
Development Cost: $250,000
Artist Selected: 2002
Final Installation: August 2007

Features

Langley Observatory Clock is the result of a public art program established by the SEA at the onset of the North Shore Riverfront Park project. The program sought to use public art as a means of reintroducing people to the rivers, promoting cultural activities and enriching the City's public art collection.

The SEA's Board of Directors appointed an eleven-member committee comprised of local art experts to oversee the program, develop selection criteria and award commissions. A Request for Qualifications was issued and nearly 30 responses were received. From the six artists that were invited to submit proposals, the committee selected R.M. Fischer to create a site-specific installation for the park.

"Eyes" of the lanterns

Photo Credit: Charles Alcorn

Langley Observatory Clock stands over 21 feet tall and is made primarily of Corten steel and stainless steel. Attached to its main body are two stainless steel lanterns that extend outward. The telescoping “eyes” of the lanterns, held in tension by stainless steel cables, have illuminated blue and amber lenses like railroad switch lamps of yesterday. Below the lanterns a large triangular stainless steel trough theatrically illuminates the interior of the portal at night. At its zenith, a red aluminum clock hand circles horizontally, marking the passing minutes. The forked form of the minute hand, inspired by the confluence of the three rivers, is a streamlined vector connoting the march of time.

The title of the sculpture, Langley Observatory Clock, refers to the work of Samuel P. Langley.  In 1870, Langley, Director of the Allegheny Observatory, created the Allegheny System - a standardized system of measuring and disseminating the accurate time.  Langley used the observatory telescope and astronomical observations to set the time on a specifically designed clock. Using telegraph wires, Langley connected the observatory clock to a highly visible clock located at Pittsburgh's City Hall on Smithfield Street. By the end of the year, 42 railroads were provided a standard time through this system.

In his artist statement, Mr. Fischer writes that his sculpture: "celebrates the act of looking out over the river. The work is a response to the industrial history of Pittsburgh while simultaneously appearing timeless and looking forward.”

Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

The Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Inc. is a nonprofit organization consisting of police officers, survivors and private citizens who worked to build and maintain the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (LEOM). The original LEOM was dedicated August 25, 1996, and was located near Three Rivers Stadium. Further to the redevelopment of the North Shore, the SEA worked with the LEOM for the modifications needed to be reinstalled in the Park. It is now situated in the Great Lawn area next to Tribute To Children at North Shore Drive and Art Rooney Avenue. The Memorial was re-dedicated on Saturday, May 17, 2003. The Memorial is owned by the LEOM organization with ongoing maintenance provided by LEOM Inc.

Pittsburgh Allegheny County Vietnam Veterans Monument

The original Vietnam Veterans Monument was installed on the North Shore on November 11, 1987. Further to the development of the North Shore, the SEA worked with the City and the Pittsburgh Allegheny County Vietnam Veterans Monument Fund Charitable Trust for the modifications needed to reinstall the Monument in its new site in the Park. It was rededicated on June 23, 2002. The Monument is located west of Fort Duquesne Bridge by the Del Monte Buildings and Market Street Pier. The Monument is owned by the City, with capital repairs paid through an endowment with Pittsburgh Foundation, and ongoing maintenance conducted by the City and the SEA.

Southwestern Pennsylvania World War II Memorial

Key Facts

Artist: Larry Kirkland
Design Firm: Design Workshop
Sponsor: World War II Veterans of Allegheny County Memorial Fund, Inc.
Development Cost: $4.1 million
Dedication & Opening: December 6, 2013

Features

The City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, working with local Veterans organizations, formed the WWII Veterans of Allegheny County Memorial Fund. In 2001, the Fund hosted a national design competition from which Larry Kirkland of Washington DC, and Design Workshop of Denver, CO, were selected for the project. After reviewing several sites throughout the region, a portion of the Great Lawn at the North Shore Riverfront Park was selected in cooperation with the SEA. The design was approved by the SEA, Riverlife, and the City's Art Commission. Funding sources for the Memorial included State, philanthropic, corporate and individual for the design, construction and maintenance of the Memorial. Upon completion and acceptance by the City and the SEA, the title of the Memorial will be transferred to the SEA for ownership and ongoing maintenance.

The Memorial includes 52 panels of glass and granite that describe the war, the region's role in the conflict, and the sacrifices of local veterans. Visitors pass by a large pole-mounted flag and then enter the heart of the memorial, an elliptically-shaped space defined by the 52 panels. The panels contain images from both the Pacific and European campaigns. Granite plaques tell the narrative story of the war. The interior is devoted to the local history while the exterior describes the story of the war around the world.

Tribute to Children

Key Facts

Artist (Statue): Robert Berks Studio
Fabricator: Modern Art Foundry
Architect: Astorino
Sponsor: The Fred Rogers Company (formerly Family Communications)
Funding Source: Colcom Foundation
Development Cost: $3.9 million
Dedication & Opening: November 5, 2009

Features

Colcom Foundation states that Tribute to Children was the vision of the late Cordelia May, who was a longtime friend of Fred and Joanne Rogers. Upon Mr. Rogers’ passing, Ms. May wished to honor Fred at a location where his legacy could be remembered. The intent of Tribute to Children was to create an easily accessible, highly visible, new destination that would attract families and visitors to Pittsburgh and serve as a source of pride to its residents. The Memorial’s features include:

  • A welcoming focal point in the North Shore Riverfront Park
  • A unique conservation / reuse model through the renovation of the Manchester Bridge Pier
  • All maintenance costs be funded by the Colcom Foundation, in accordance with Ms. May's wishes
  • Visibility from all parts of the city as well as to national audiences during filming of televised events
  • Easily accessible via all forms of local transportation
  • A design which allows for the space to employ interactive features that will evolve to remain relevant for children and families of future generations
  • Commensurate with the goals for the City’s North Shore Master Plan

 

Last Updated 1/31/14

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