A newly constructed pavilion is the first step in a larger plan to create a dairy-themed district along Brownsville Road in Carrick. Planners hope that the theme, inspired by local dairy Colteryahn, will attract similar businesses to the area such as an ice cream shop.
The pavilion dubbed the Historic Dairy District Marketplace, located at 1529 Brownsville Road, is the new home of the Pittsburgh Citiparks Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. In addition to the farmer’s market the community space will also house a variety of events, from food truck roundups to flea markets, as well as markets especially for immigrant entrepreneurs. Coming this July (national ice cream month) is the world’s largest sundae event. The Marketplace held a community celebration on June 30th, shown in photos here.
“We want to make this a place, a part of Carrick, instead of just a place you drive through,” says City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak. “What makes this different from your average development is that it is a specifically designed project for the community.”
In designing the pavilion, Desmone Architects met with stakeholder groups for approval of the concept and “a range of people were feeding into the design,” says architect Terry Oden.
Oden notes that the design of the pavilion is also incredibly unique to fit the trapezoidal lot—the roof system is a triangular shape with a taper—“like uneven parallel bars.” To achieve that shape the roof is supported by 22 custom trusses that all vary by one-quarter inch.
“When you look at the ceiling it looks like a zipper,” says Oden. “Stitching the community together, right where Brownsville Road meets East Meyers Street, where the commercial meets the residential.”
“This is one of the first catalytic things that has happened along the corridor in a long time, says Stephanie Miller, deputy director of Economic Development South (EDS), the owner and project manager for the Historic Dairy District Marketplace.
“This was one of my top goals since taking office,” says Councilwoman Rudiak, “with almost two miles of business district, this was not a typical, dense, compact business district per say. We needed a plan to put parentheses around the clusters of businesses to make them manageable.”
Colteryahn Dairy, the last active dairy located within the city that at one time had 150 operating dairies, is at the center of the plan. The Councilwoman started conversations with EDS early on, as well as with the Colteryahn family, about how they could work on an initiative to improve the community around the dairy. EDS put in an application for funding at the Design Center through the Design Fund program. The Design Fund helps organizations acquire the technical assistance necessary to prepare for strategic revitalization projects.
“We awarded them $50,000, which at the time was the largest Design Fund grant we had awarded,” says Chris Koch, CEO of the Design Center. “They had all the right support, all the right partners, all the right energy. It was the first time we did this big placemaking process and it was really important to have it around the market. It’s not enough to build the space; the long-term programming is important to understand how people want to use it.”
The pavilion has already been hosting the Farmer’s Market this year, but there will be an official community ribbon-cutting celebration this Thursday, June 30th from 5 to 8 p.m.
If you are interested in getting involved in Dairy District planning or the marketplace contact Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak’s office. Support for the construction of the market was provided by the Hillman Foundation and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.