The city of Pittsburg has got it right. Unlike most city centers, when confronted with addressing the demise of buildings through years of neglect, instead of razing the ground to build new structures, the city collaborated with a group of like-minded organizations to formulate a plan to abandon demolition and instead repurpose the buildings to create desirable green urban living spaces. The groups vision would bring the community back to the city center, just like the glory days of the 1930s.
Cue the ‘Frankenstein Buildings’ of historic Market Square. A group of seven disparate architectural structures with facades restored to the original design with the core focus to bring the community back together and give residents a reason to ditch the cars, forgo the edge of town strip malls and alternatively revive the commerce and activity of the downtown. The city of Pittsburg is admirable; they took a deep dive look into what the community needed the most, which was affordable living and retail spaces, restaurants with outdoor terraces and along with a full calendar of events throughout the year.
Market Square marks the perfect example of how a city stages the perfect downtown rehabilitation to create an award-winning Scape. We’d like to see more city centers follow this path by intersecting brand, corporate and community needs.