Tim Muldoon, the property’s general manager, took us up a series of escalators and finally into a glass elevator that opened onto the roof of the building. We’ve visited a number of Downtown rooftops on Yinzer Backstage Pass, but this rooftop didn’t look like any of those other ones. No faux cathedrals or 1970s-era helipads up here. Instead, this roof is covered with greenery. There is an array of native and sustainable plants that not only support local wildlife, but also absorb a lot of potential roof runoff.
My favorite part of the roof is the set of nine raised beds created by students at Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability & Environment. Each raised bed is curated by a different student and features plantings organized around a different theme. It was wild to take in views of the Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson bridges framed by a towering crop of corn or to see PNC Park peeking out from a sea of lush herbs.
Tim also pointed out the planters full of hops, which go to the folks at North Country Brewing for a signature beer dubbed Rooftop Hops. The American-style IPA is served exclusively at the convention center. Tim offered me a can at the end of our visit — and I didn’t turn him down.
If you want more Yinzer Backstage Pass, check out last week’s episode — we visited a robotics lab and met a menagerie of robots in the basement of CMU’s Robotics Institute.