Emily Ambery | Staff Writer
Don’t “overlook” Pittsburgh’s latest pop-up park. Debuted in summer 2021, the Allegheny Overlook is downtown Pittsburgh’s newest go-to hang out. Located along the 600 block of Ft. Duquesne Boulevard, the park features great views and comfortable seating areas to view the Allegheny River.
Pop-up parks are usually smaller, temporary green spaces nestled in an urban area. They can last anywhere from a few days to months. The Allegheny Overlook is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership in the organization’s effort to draw more people to the downtown area.
“The Allegheny Overlook highlights an underutilized space in the city’s urban core, making for a more vibrant downtown as the city rebounds,” said Colten Gill, the senior manager for marketing and communications at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “It also provides yet another space for community and gathering as people begin to return to the neighborhood.”
Just a 20-minute walk from Duquesne’s campus, the Allegheny Overlook is open daily, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, and from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m Tuesday through Saturday.
“At the Allegheny Overlook, college students can enjoy the park as a vibrant escape right in the heart of the city,” said Gill. “It’s a fantastic venue to meet up with friends before a Pirates game, before dinner or just to catch up while playing games like badminton, giant Jenga and basketball.”
The Allegheny Overlook raises Pittsburgh’s culture to new heights through the concerts and food the park offers. Throughout the summer, the park has hosted numerous free concerts on the outdoor stage from all genres — from alt country to rap. The local artists who have already performed on this stage include Jordan Montgomery, Elias Khouri, Pierce Dipner & the Shades of Blue, Bindley Hardware Co. and William Matheny.
A bird’s eye view of the park reveals the “Pathway to Joy,” a mural on Ft. Duquesne Boulevard by artist Janel Young. The mural features an abstract design of vibrant green, blue, orange and purple blocks and was brought to life by a team of entirely Black women.
The park also offers food and drink options from local breweries and Pittsburgh classics. Patrons can grab a bite to eat from a converted 1950’s Greyhound Bus at Blue Sparrow, or pick up some classics, like chicken tenders and fries or spinach pies, from the Good Eats Outdoor Food Truck.
Visitors also have the option to get a change of office scenery by booking one of the three workspaces featured at the Overlook. Designed by Workscape Inc. with furniture from Knoll, these workspaces offer a peaceful green atmosphere to be productive.
Additionally, the park has a variety of recreation opportunities available including basketball, giant connect four, giant Jenga, ladder toss, bocce ball, badminton, cornhole and Ping Pong.
While the park — much like Allegheny County — does not have specific COVID restrictions at the moment, visitors are advised to continue to practice safety measures such as wearing a mask and social distancing when in crowded areas.
By its very nature, Pop-Up Parks like Allegheny Overlook are a temporary adventure. The park will close Sept. 12.
“My favorite part of the Allegheny Overlook is the energy of the space,” said Gill. “It’s a terrific spot to people watch, and it’s been so great to see the community really embrace the pop-up park over the past summer.”
Other Parks within walking distance of The Bluff
Point State Park
Point State Park is located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers and is only a 25 minute walk from Duquesne. The 36-acre Point State Park has views of PNC Park, Heinz Field and the “Three Sisters” bridges That are too good to miss. Whether you are walking along the river on the path or sitting in the large grass field, a trip to Point State Park is a Pittsburgh must.
The Color Park
The Color Park is different from a traditional park. Formally a vacant industrial lot was transformed into a colorful explosion of art for all to enjoy. Located on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in the South Side between 4th and 6th street, this colorful community space is perfect for hanging out with friends, exercising or getting creative inspiration from local artists’ work featured all over the park. The Color Park is a 25 minute walk across the Tenth Street Bridge.