Pittsburgh Market Square

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh Market Square

Client: Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Year: 2007-2008
Lead firm: Project for Public Spaces
Designers, collaborators: Klavon Design
Awards: APA Great Public Spaces in Pennsylvania, 2015; Planetizen Top 100 Places in the US and Canada (#7 rank), 2011.

Although always appealing for its historic interest and central location, by 2007 Market Square was a dilapidated downtown space dominated by bus traffic and known as a place to avoid at night, and even during the day. The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership saw an opportunity to create a magnetic space that would resuscitate downtown real estate and potentially alleviate the negative social atmosphere. 

Phil Myrick managed the Project for Public Spaces team to develop a vision, program and strategy that would revitalize the square. Phased improvements were emphasized so that the transformation would begin even before capital construction began. These interim improvements included markets, events, a façade program, removing trees and adding lighting. Long term recommendations included rerouting bus traffic, creating a flexible stage area, kids’ programs, and repaving the entire space as a unified, European-style square.

Klavon Design Associates developed the final design and the plaza was completely rebuilt in 2010. Market Square is now an elegant piazza with markets, events, and incomparable management provided by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

The impact on the life of downtown has been undeniable, as a spurt of new apartments, condos and offices, as well as retail and restaurants has followed, along with a huge uptick in social activity.

Stay Update and get our latest news and offers