Hartwood Acres’ $4.7 million grounds and sculpture garden project to finish in June

Allegheny County is planning on completing and opening its $4.7 million sculpture garden and renovations to the grounds in Hartwood Acres in June.

In June 2021, Allegheny County and the Allegheny County Parks Foundation broke ground for the massive project. The parks foundation considers the effort its largest and most complicated project.

The new sculpture garden centralizes and resets 13 large-scale art pieces that have resided in the county park, the former country estate of John and Mary Flinn Lawrence. The county and the foundation will add a new sculpture by artist Dee Briggs.

Site renovations near the stately Hartwood mansion include ADA-accessible walkways through the sculpture garden, LED lighting, native landscaping with several hundred trees and shrubs, and thousands of perennials. Driveways and parking areas will be reconfigured and installed with green technology.

The weather might delay some parts of the project. Access to lawn areas may be restricted until new grass is established, said Joel Perkovich, landscape architect for the Allegheny County Parks Department.

The public has been prohibited from visiting much of the area surrounding the sculpture garden and mansion because of safety requirements during construction.

“Events in the mansion — like teas and tours — will resume once the project is complete and there is not a construction zone any further,” Perkovich said.

Once the site is officially reopened, all new parking lots and sidewalks will be fully accessible, including in and around the mansion, he said. There are some private events already scheduled for the spring and summer before the site is open to the public.

Funding sources for the project include the Regional Asset District’s RADical ImPAct Grant program, the Fox Chapel Garden Club, The Garden Club of Allegheny County, the Hillman Foundation and other sources.

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Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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