Market Square Place

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Award Type: Honor Award

Several years ago, Market Square Place was just a series of historic buildings, on three different streets with different styles and heights, all suffering from decades of neglect. Some saw this as a great opportunity for demolition, but to the City of Pittsburgh it was an opportunity to promote green urban living. Through a cooperative effort stemming from a public-private partnership, the series of historic buildings were brought together into a single mixed-use complex that has erased decades of neglect and created a new eco-friendly community.

The partnership created 46 rental lofts, 25,000 square feet of street level retail, and a large commercial space filled by a new downtown YMCA. Existing materials and salvage were extensively utilized to lower the renovation’s biological footprint, and other features such as low flow plumbing fixtures and efficient mechanical systems were installed. For their strong efforts to reduce environmental impact, the project was awarded with LEED Gold Certification.

Market Square Place demonstrated the value of reinvigorating existing buildings by breathing new life into the city with this project while showing that the greenest building is one that’s already been built.

“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “Whether it’s the restoration of an iconic post office in Philadelphia or the transformation of a Greyhound bus station into a Civil Rights museum in Montgomery, this year’s Honor Award winners demonstrate how saving places is bolstering local economies and creating jobs in communities across the country.”