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Wintertime view of Mellon Square

Mellon Square is a National Register of Historic Places urban park in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the first Modernist park built above a parking garage. With its distinctive black-and-white geometric pavement, it is a prominent feature and gathering spot of Downtown Pittsburgh.

The square, bounded by Smithfield Street, William Penn Place, and Oliver and Sixth avenues, is surrounded by many prominent downtown buildings including the Oliver Building, 525 William Penn Place, Omni William Penn Hotel, and the Regional Enterprise Tower. It has long been a popular lunchtime destination for downtown workers. In addition, retail shops are housed underneath it, along the Smithfield Street side of the square.

History

After World War II, the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), which was established in Pittsburgh in the 19th century, proposed to move to New York City. Banker Richard King Mellon aimed to block the move. In 1949 he proposed a new downtown headquarters building for ALCOA (now the Regional Enterprise Tower). As a bonus, it would have a nearby underground parking garage capped by a public plaza: Mellon Square, built in 1953-55, designed by Mitchell & Ritchey, landscaped by Simonds & Simonds, and paid for by Mellon family foundations. Upon completion, Mellon gave the property to the City of Pittsburgh. Mellon Square is named in honor of Mellon's father and uncle, Richard Beatty Mellon and Andrew Mellon.

The square, a part of the Downtown Pittsburgh Historic District, received National Register of Historic Places status in 1985.

References

Stairs leading to Smithfield Street on the elevated side of Mellon Square with access to the underground parking garage visible on the right side along Oliver Avenue

*Kidney, Walter C. (1997). Pittsburgh's Landmark Architecture: The Historic Buildings of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. ISBN 0-916670-18-X.  

External links

Coordinates: 40°26′27″N 79°59′51″W / 40.4409°N 79.9975°W / 40.4409; -79.9975

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