Allegheny Commons: Pittsburgh’s Oldest Park
This tranquil park on Pittsburgh’s north side dates back to 1867, making it the oldest park in the city. Featuring plenty of green space, it’s the perfect escape from the urban congestion. Allegheny Commons is located in close proximity to the historic Mexican War Streets and Allegheny Center neighborhood, making it the perfect leafy destination for locals to enjoy a morning, walk, bike ride, or run. As for tourists, the park is located nearby several popular attractions including The National Aviary, Randyland (a creative outdoor art exhibit), and Bicycle Heaven, the world’s largest bicycle shop and museum.
History of Allegheny Commons
Allegheny Commons is one of the oldest and most beautiful parks in Pittsburgh. The park was established as a common pasture in 1787. Of the original 84 acres, 100 remain. In 1867, Allegheny City officially designated the space as a park. The highlight of the park is Lake Elizabeth, named after Elizabeth Kirschler, daughter of the final mayor of Allegheny City. The beautiful pedestrian bridge over the water creates a pretty Central Park-like appeal.
Several art and historical monuments can be explored during your visit. Highlights include a Civil War Soldier’s monument, a Thomas Armstrong statue (advocate for worker’s rights), a WWI and II memorial, and a George Washington Statue dating back to 1891.
A gorgeous summer walking destination
Spring and summer is the best time to take a stroll around the park. The temps will be attractive and the leaves green, wildlife out and about, and the lake full. Take a few looks at Pittsburgh’s most beautiful and oldest park during the prime season.
Leaf peeping season
Allegheny Commons is easily one of the top leaf peeping destinations in the metro area. The mature trees are alive with the beautiful red, orange, and yellow hues of the season each October. There are so many beautiful deciduous trees within the park, creating a perfect fall ambiance. The tranquil lake, along with a variety of historical monuments, together create a picture-perfect background. The historic houses surrounding the park also add a nice timeless touch. This park is especially quiet and it’s easy to find free street parking, so really there is no better place to take a relaxing autumn stroll.
The park is located at: 810 Arch St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Plenty of free street parking is available.
Before your walk, enjoy a delicious cup of locally roasted coffee at Commonplace, one of the top independent coffeehouses in the metro. The shop is located in the middle of the historic Mexican War Streets neighborhood, so the setting is so much more authentic than your typical strip mall coffeeshop. Commonplace features huge windows so you can gaze out at the lovely architecture. Treat yourself to a coffee drink of your choice and a delicious pastry (the coffee cake and croissants are both worthy of a splurge).
Randyland – This free outdoor art exhibit is quite strange, yet colorful and unusual. It will not take up much of your time and may be worth considering for anyone who appreciates eclectic art. Not my style, but to each his own.
National Aviary – The country’s largest aviary is home to over 500 birds including 150 species.
Bicycle Heaven – Take a walk through this funky museum which features an impressive collection of vintage and movie bikes. Bicycle Heaven claims the title of “world’s largest bicycle museum and shop”