Ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the opening of Frankie Pace Park (formerly I-579 CAP Park) connecting downtown and Hill District
November 22, 2021 - Members of the BPG Development team celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony to christen the opening of the I-579 CAP project, a three-acre park linking the Hill District and downtown neighborhoods. The park is an important articulation of the wish to rebuild the link destroyed in the 1950s with the interstate and Civic Arena, which resulted in the destruction and uprooting of one of Pittsburgh's largest predominantly Black neighborhoods.
Throughout the park community-focused installations can be viewed, including designs by BPG's Director of Community, Arts and Culture, Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis. Lower Hill District redevelopment consultants LaQuatra Bonci Associates and Lakeisha Byrd also made significant design contributions to the formerly vacant land. See the final design plans here.
The park itself is named after former head of the Hill District Community Council, Frankie Pace and serves to pay tribute to influential community activists of the past while also serving as a bridge to to the Hill District's future.
"This is an investment in infrastructure that is also an investment in the community," Gov. Tom Wolf said. "This park has been a community-focused project from start to finish, which is exactly the way it should be. The project has turned a space of division into a space of connection, providing safe pathways from the Hill District down to the downtown, creating recreation opportunities and doing it with environmentally conscious, community-centric design. That's why I am so proud to support this project."
The project officially broke ground in June 2019 and is estimated to have cost $32 million. Falling adjacent to the Lower Hill District redevelopment, Frankie Pace Park serves as a cap over the Crosstown Boulevard between the Lincoln Highway and Centre Avenue. Many of the same design team will be working on the urban open space in the redevelopment project.