Celebrating art in the park! The Women+ in Design PGH hosted its FIRST FULL GROUP IN-PERSON Happy Hour on July 15th, 2021 at the Hazelwood Green Plaza. It was a beautiful evening loaded with eco-inspiration and locally sourced insight from the recently reinvigorated Hazelwood site.
The theme of regeneration in all aspects of life was in the forefront of my mind as old connections were rekindled and new connections were made. In the summer sun, creativity was admired and sustainability was prioritized. We discussed ecological restoration, historic preservation and community revitalization, while enjoying good company. Monmade, a non-profit organization supporting local artisans in design & development projects, sponsored the evening by providing sustainably made and locally sourced food from woman-owned catering extraordinaire Sprezzatura, as well as unique cocktails from Goodlander. Both Monmade and the Office of Public Art highlighted the local sculpture, local artisans of the site furnishings, and the cultural aspects of the project. Other Pittsburgh design professionals involved with Hazelwood including EvolveEA, Perkins Eastman Architects, Klavon Design Associates, BranchPattern, and students from Pitt were in the crowd to highlight the construction, design, and environmental attributes of the project.
This brownfield redevelopment project is an amazing example of what is possible in regenerative and sustainable design in a post-industrial city. It was made possible through a collaboration between three of the largest foundations in Pittsburgh, as well as community involvement, feedback, and support. The 178-acre Hazelwood Green site was once owned by J&L Steel Hazelwood Works and LTV Steel. The building was left to rust when the steel industry collapsed, but its bones – an underlying steel superstructure – remained strong and now supports a massive photovoltaic system. Mill 19, owned by the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC), is a 265,000 square-foot LEED V4 certified Gold complex. It is now the home to Aptiv PLC, the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, Catalyst Connection and the Manufacturing Futures Initiative of Carnegie Mellon University, transforming it into an engine of technology and innovation. The entire Hazelwood Development project is still under construction with future plans for expansion and further revitalization.
Thank you all for joining our first in-person Happy Hour since the pandemic began. We look forward to our next POP-UP Happy Hours throughout the city on August 26th. As always, the planning team welcomes your thoughts, feedback, ideas for future sessions, and continued participation.