Pitt Master Plan

Discussion in 'Football Board' started by pittchagg, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. HailtoPitt

    HailtoPitt Chancellor
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    It does happen, and it's not as rare as you seem to think. Pitt 'should' have a policy in place decided by the BoT for how undesignated bequests are distributed. This is especially true when a University is in a campaign. That policy may or may not state that money from those types of bequests get placed into the endowment (or a portion to endowment and a portion elsewhere).

    However, this is Pitt we are talking about, so they may very well do it willy nilly.
     
  2. TJFAIRLIE

    TJFAIRLIE Scholarship
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    According to the financial statement that was posted earlier in the thread, more than half of Pitt endowment is actually “quasi-endowment”.

    That means that these are funds that they COULD use however they want (both the principal and interest) but they’ve chosen to manage the money as an endowment. So you are correct, they are placing the money into the endowment and essentially self-restricting
     
  3. Black_Man_Panther

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    Yeah... that dome over Pitt Stadium was once a 20 year master plan. How'd that work out?
     
  4. ThePanthers

    ThePanthers Head Coach
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    :rolleyes:
     
  5. recruitsreadtheseboards

    recruitsreadtheseboards Lair Hall of Famer
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    Stick em upp
     
  6. McKee Place

    McKee Place Junior
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    Well at least this is consistent with their philosophies for the football and basketball programs. :D
     
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  7. TJFAIRLIE

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    :p
     
  8. pittchagg

    pittchagg Freshman
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    Bringing this back from the dead. Pitt released the final draft of the Institutional Master Plan - required by the city code for large organizations like the hospitals and universities - this week. There's a lot of information in this one - it's over 300 pages in total - but there's more than enough to sink your teeth into.

    The big projects on the immediate horizon appear to be: (1) the demolition of the O'Hara Garage and LRDC and subsequent construction of a new student recreation center; (2) construction of a new series of buildings on the Syria Mosque, titled "One Bigelow," to house the new computer science school; (3) the new olympic sports arena/indoor track/turf lacrosse field complex, titled the "Human Performance Center," on the OC lot; and (4) the construction of a new student academic support building in between Hillman and Lawrence on Forbes. Those four are the big catalyst projects that need to happen in order to clear up room to do more work on other projects.

    https://www.campusplan.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/PittIMP-FinalDraft-191015.pdf

    This post is largely to bring it to our friend Paco's attention. ;)
     
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  9. ThePanthers

    ThePanthers Head Coach
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    Thanks! Looking forward to looking at this. Glad the University is starting to move forward with some of this. I know it's a long term vision and a lot of this depends on funding, but it's nice.
     
  10. pittchagg

    pittchagg Freshman
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    Yeah, every school's master plan like this is going to be a "if we had the money, here is what we would do with these parcels over X years based on our institutional needs" sort of thing. The implementation schedule is where you see more of where the institutional priorities lie.

    In this case, it is clear that Pitt is actively moving forward on the projects I listed. They chose a contractor for the $200M athletics center earlier this fall, they chose the same for the $35M academic support building in late summer, they held public meetings earlier this fall and are doing architectural work for One Bigelow now; and they're going to start the demolition process for the O'Hara garage and the LRDC as soon as Walnut Capital is done with the PAA renovations early next year and the LRDC can move into that space.
     
  11. RoguePanther

    RoguePanther Freshman
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    Dang, where am I going to park once they tear down the O'hare garage...
     
  12. Panther_in_Kentucky

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    Now that's funny : Using the words "Pitt" & "Master Plan" in the same clause. A more accurate clause would be "Totally Incompetent" & "Pitt" !!
     
  13. pittchagg

    pittchagg Freshman
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    Short term, the plan appears to be that the garage they're building under the new athletic complex will actually provide more parking than the OC lot did. Same with the garage they're going to build under One Bigelow to replace the Syria Lot. The new rec center will also have a garage component. There's a whole portion of the IMP that talks about parking. Overall, I think I saw that the plan, in total, will have the same number of spaces as it does now.

    Long term, they're thinking of building a big garage into the hillside where the basketball courts are currently located next to the Falk school. They're also thinking of potentially putting parking as part of a structure to replace the Fitzgerald Field House, which will come down after the new complex is done.

    They're also generally planning on working to deemphasize parking through either making the rates more expensive or by trying to push as many people onto either public transit (where employees already ride free) or into off-site lots and shuttle them into central Oakland. UPMC already does that with a number of its facilities, particularly in Lawrenceville.
     
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  14. HailToPitt725

    HailToPitt725 Junior
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    Excellent. Great eye towards creating enough parking for when the on-campus Stadium happens. :cool:
     
  15. NTOP

    NTOP Lair Hall of Famer
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    Actually, we usually park there for hoops. Take the geezer bus up the hill, though I could handle it now. Just one fewer garage for the OCS.
     
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  16. HailToPitt725

    HailToPitt725 Junior
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    On a serious note, I’m glad that they’re beginning to move forward with this. Can’t wait to dive into it later today.
     
  17. chirurgo

    chirurgo Scholarship
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    The most interesting part of this is the LRDC demolition. Always thought that it was both ugly and useless(never knew what it was for). Have a similar feeling about Forbes Hall(Posvar), but apparently there is a lot of stuff crammed into that building. Love the utilization of space in this plan, especially with underground parking. The time is now to build. The writing is on the wall though for the campus stadium. Not happening for the next 20 yrs at least. Unless someone like Tepper dumps $200,000 minimum into such a project. Can’t argue with the current allocation of funds though.
     
  18. CrazyPaco

    CrazyPaco Head Coach
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    Having just skimmed through it, I note that they now seem to have definitively decided to preserve the Music Building. Smart, they're saving themselves a lot of trouble because I don't think it would have ever been allowed to be removed by the city. Saves some legal battling.

    Most of the plan I'm on board with.

    Not crazy about substantial building on the Pete lawn, which is a de facto upper quad and a scarce resource of open green space on campus. See UPMC preserving some of the lawn in front of Presby despite planning to build a major hospital on its footprint.

    Hillman expansion...I hope they take heed to make it iconic because they're destroying the most visible facade. They have a do over chance to make a truly iconic library, and I hope they don't waste it (but I have no confidence it will be anything but forgettable, run-of-the-mill post-modernist glass and steel).

    Not crazy about the Posvar addition removing the plaza along Bouquet St. With the Bouquet Gardens redevelopment, it will seems as though it will simply create more typical urban block grids with little setback and no academic feel along Bouquet. A more urbanized feel is not the way I'd go. I wish they'd find a way to create greater utilization of that plaza.

    However, I am staunchly opposed to not preserving, at least the facades, of both Gardner Steel (Central Turnverein) and the O'Hara Student Center (Concordia Club), as I'm sure will be many preservationists considering they are historically designated buildings. Frankly, much of the O'Hara center should be preserved largely intact. It is unbelievably disingenuous to state that "renovations have removed many character defining features." Except for the interior of Gardner Steel, which is why only the facade needs to be preserved, that statement is a flat out lie.
     
  19. chirurgo

    chirurgo Scholarship
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    I haven’t looked at the details in relation to green space. I can say confidently that the green space adjacent to the Pete is a waste of space with minimal utilization by students, minimal sun exposure and probably has more deleterious impact on the environment as a lawn than as a plot to build something on. So that space to me is underutilized.

    As for the other areas you mentioned, I don’t feel as though having small slivers or corners of a lot really addresses any green space initiative. Transforming the parking lot across from Hillman satisfied that. Anything other than that magnitude is wasted space in an urban environment IMHO. The cathedral lawn is still beautiful with the extension across Forbes into Schenley Plaza and across 5th to Soldiers and Sailors a bonus. I think the expectation of more free space than that is unrealistic. It’s an urban campus which already happens to have a wealth of green space. Maybe one day they close Bigelow between the union and cathedral? I wouldn’t go beyond that. As for the architectural facades, I would agree mostly. The reality is that in order to blend Hillman/Posvar/Lawrence architecture with the rest of the campus, they would be better of tearing them all down and rebuilding than to try to blend; therefore, expect mirrors and steel.
     
  20. pittchagg

    pittchagg Freshman
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    I figured you’d have thoughts, Paco!

    Agreed on the music building - it’s an important structure and can be built around - in fact, given its history with Mister Rogers Neighborhood, a potential rename to “Rogers Hall” or something similar seems appropriate?

    Agreed on the Pete lawn; I think you can do a lot to make it a better, more functional space, but I do think it should be preserved, especially if they’re planning on building another large dorm in that general area. I think I saw in earlier drafts that the repurposing of the lawn was really only if they decide to build a new natatorium there over Trees Hall - I hope cooler heads prevail and they decide to renovate/improve Trees Pool instead.

    Don’t disagree at all on Hillman - the patio is definitely underused and should absolutely be brought down to street-level to activate the sidewalk and show off the library to pedestrians, and I think the *potential* is there to do something really nice in terms of a street-level atrium that activates both the street and Schenley Plaza much more than how it is now, as well as adding much-needed space to Hillman, which is constantly overcrowded in its current state. Just a matter of *how* it’s done.

    That Posvar plaza is totally underused, though, especially with Schenley Plaza and the greater activation of the walkway between Hillman, Posvar and Barco, so I suspect it might be a little redundant. I do think you could do a little more to activate the back side of Barco with Hillman, the new center, the renovated residences, and Posvar, but because this project seems a ways off I’ll see how they proceed with it.

    Totally agree on Gardner Steel and O’Hara. The facades should be preserved at minimum, but the two structures serve a functionally identical purpose and are redundant. They should, at minimum, be built on top of, and the facades preserved. I do like the ballroom, but to be honest there are more than a few of those on campus as it stands today.
     
  21. pittchagg

    pittchagg Freshman
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    Also, as an aside, I saw a rumor that someone was talking with one of the Ayers St. Gross folks at a wedding this summer and was talking about the master plan and the ASG guy mentioned something interesting: in their study of Pitt’s campus, they wanted to build a large dorm for the honors college adjacent to the cathedral; it would have been a gothic-style dorm in a general U-shape running pretty much from the Bigelow crosswalk up to Fifth/Bigelow, then all the way along Fifth, and then down Bellefield to approximately Heinz Chapel - if you’ve been to Yale’s campus, think along those lines.

    The Pitt admins apparently shot it down - green space, especially on the lawn, was indicated on student surveys as a top priority and Pitt’s administration weren’t interested in taking away green space.
     
  22. CrazyPaco

    CrazyPaco Head Coach
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    Gardner has nothing inside with preserving, but it's facade should be.

    O'Hara's lobby with the detailed, dark Oak woodwork lobby and ballroom is terrible to lose. There is an absolute shortage of meeting and performance spaces. I can't comprehend how they think destroying this building is a good idea, especially after Pitt dropped millions carefully restoring it. And demoing it is an affront to Jewish history and the historic feel of the O'Hara corridor which served as the epicenter of turn of the century social clubs. The feel of that streetscape will be destroyed. They could integrate the more significant spaces into a new facility as either the entrance lobby and conference/meeting space and still have otherwise have essentially new facilities. There just seems to be no thought or willingness to preserve these historic spaces, which is a complete reversal from prior administrations.

    If Pitt actually was planning to respect these architectural elements, even otherwise largely building new buildings, they'd get these projects done more smoothly unlike the Croation Fraternal building that Pitt is now being blocked from demoing while it undergoes city historic nomination review. If it gets it, it may not be able to take down the rest of the building and it probably has nothing worth saving in the interior. If they would have just incorporated the facade into their plans it could have had the best of both worlds. And it was so disingenuous for facilities to have claimed that they didn't know Croation building had historic value. All you have to do is look at it. Same with the stupid statements that are flat out false about significant alterations to these two O'Hara two having devalued their significance. Frankly, Pitt deserves to have changes to these buildings blocked due to lack of architectural and historic sensitivity here.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    222 CrazyPaco, Oct 17, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  23. CrazyPaco

    CrazyPaco Head Coach
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    The Cathedral Lawn was supposed to be filled with gothic structures in the original plans. One plan had dorms like you described. The last building that was planned to be built there, Clapp Hall, caused a community uproar because it would have impinged on the open lawn and blocked the view of Mellon Institute. Its site was moved across the street to its current location and building on the lawn has been off limits since.

    I'd be afraid of how a modern gothic dorm would turn out...I suspect they'd skimp on the detailing that would be needed to really make it fit in. They just don't build like that much any more (although Princeton built a gothic style dorm not too long ago). Even Clapp, built in the mid-50s, really had its detailing pared down so much that they result was barely gothic (and John Bowman decried it). But if done right, I think it would be an incredible to have a true gothic dorm there. What would be ideal, is somehow dropping the roadway of 5th underground between Bellefield St and Bigelow St and turning that stretch into campus that would connect the lawn much better with the mid-campus. There was actually a plan to do that in the past but it, like closing Bigelow, was never implemented. Before people say that is impossible, again, just take a trip to DC and look at the roads that have been dropped below all the squares and circles and the national mall.
     
    223 CrazyPaco, Oct 17, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  24. TJFAIRLIE

    TJFAIRLIE Scholarship
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    The new dorms at Villanova are pretty spectacular

    [​IMG]
     
  25. CrazyPaco

    CrazyPaco Head Coach
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    Those are nice looking. Yet, I can't see Pitt actually building something like that. I'd wager you'd essentially get another Panther Hall or Nordenberg Hall. Neither are bad, but neither are at all impressive or memorable. Pitt lists Nordenberg as neo-classical...LOL...which is what gives me pause about them undertaking gothic. They just haven't built anything laudable since the Frick Fine Arts building, and that was because Helen Frick forced them to. Nor do they seem to adhere to any particular style.

    Below is the newer one that Princeton built, over 10 years ago now, Whitman College. Other schools have shown you can do it. https://www.princeton.edu/news/2007...ollege-marks-revival-traditional-architecture

    [​IMG]
     
    225 CrazyPaco, Oct 17, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
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