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Mellon Square Park Reopens After 6-Year Renovation Project

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- It was like old times as the lunch hour crowd gathered in Mellon Square Park Thursday afternoon.

They also celebrated the conclusion of a six-year renovation plan by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

The Richard K. Mellon Foundation and others contributed $10 million to reconstruction.

Pipes had deteriorated in the central fountain, as well as the "cascade." Computers replaced manual power, and the water is flowing again.

Meg Cheever, president of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, says the renovation remained true to the original design.

"We found a drawing, an early sketch that showed the design for a terrace. So our team decided that's the one change we will make, and made a lovely grassy terrace overlooking the street," said Cheever. "And it gives you a new perspective on this cascade."

Something else that's new: the towering, 20-foot metal sculpture that once stood at the center of the square has been removed.

It was placed in the park in the '80s, and was not part of the original design.

Thirty perennial plants were also added.

Visitor Gene Stull, of Segway Tours, says, "It really takes you out of the city and brings you closer to nature, which is where we all certainly would like to be."

In addition to the Omni William Penn, the square will soon be flanked with two more hotels, as Pittsburgh's new renaissance continues.

But best of all, Mellon Square Park is once again open for lunch.

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