10 Great American Public Spaces
Courtesy of Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation
What the APA Says: “Mellon Square creates a definable space that improves the plan, design, and functionality of Pittsburgh’s central business district.”
Why They’re Right: Created in 1955 to keep post-war businesses from relocating, Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square not only accomplished that, but continues to attract city dwellers and tourists with live concerts and performances. While its elevation above street level (it’s built above an underground parking garage) hushes traffic noise and visual clutter, the low profile of the square’s architectural landscape—granite plank Modernist benches, sculpturally-trimmed boxwoods, and airy abstract sculpture—affords soaring views of the surrounding city.