Back when the produce terminal in the Strip was being considered for renovation, some people were quite vocal about the idea of making cut-throughs in the building. One concern was destroying the character of the iconic but decaying building.

Years later, there are now three so-called passageways recently completed in The Terminal, the mixed-use redevelopment of the Strip’s five-block-long produce terminal. The enclosed and heated passageways at 17th, 18th and 20th streets sport benches, creative lighting in a dazzling array on the ceiling and a collection of colorful graphics about Pittsburgh.

The passageways were necessary due to the length of the building — 1,600 feet — and to allow access from parking on Spruce Way as well as for tenants and visitors, says Chuck Kennedy, senior principal with Antunovich Associates, the Chicago-based architects who designed the renovation.

Kennedy says that the intent was to keep the building as original as possible. “We didn’t do any structural changes to the building. There were upgrades and repairs. Door bays were the same replaced with glass. All the bones of the building were left in place and repaired so it could stand for another 100 years.”

The passageway floors feature the original concrete, cleaned and sealed. Tenants in The Terminal will be able to use the passageways for an additional entrance to their business as well as for getting more visibility, Kennedy says.

And more news about The Terminal

If you’re tired of staring out your window, take a socially distant stroll through The Terminal in the Strip District, where Winter Window Displays are up through Dec. 31.

Employees and volunteers from 16 local nonprofits decorated their own 8-by-7 bay for the season. Visitors are encouraged to grab a hot beverage from a neighborhood coffee shop and peruse the whimsical exhibits on Smallman Street.

Each window includes a QR code to scan using a smartphone to get more information on each organization or make a donation.

Photo by Kristy Locklin.

The first Terminal tenant, Fine Wine & Good Spirits, is opening on Dec. 8.

City Grows, a Lawrenceville-based organic garden shop that will soon debut its second location at The Terminal, is hosting an outdoor pop-up market at 1601 Smallman from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 5 and 6. There will be dried wreaths, decorative greens and locally made gifts.

Morgan McCoy, marketing manager for McCaffery, the real estate firm transforming the property, says the company has halted all non-tenant events for the rest of 2020 but hopes the Winter Window Displays add some joy to visitors while giving  local organizations a boost.

Inside one of The Terminal’s heated passageways. Photo by Tracy Certo.

“The Terminal wants to see small business and community organizations thrive, so we’ve been focusing our marketing efforts on realizing that vision,” McCoy says. “We supported Row House Cinema by partnering on a monthlong drive-in series in October, gave free space to local businesses for a fall market event, have regularly hosted fitness events with local studios since August, and now have the Winter Window Displays program. We plan to continue being a place for neighbors near and far to gather.”