North Park Visitors Mourn Loss of Mystery Piano
The piano was removed by the county about a week after it appeared in the park.
photo by kdka photojournalist jim cahalan
Pianos are expected and enjoyable fixtures in concert halls, fancy restaurants and hotel lobbies — so many Pittsburghers were pleasantly surprised when one popped up in North Park.
The spinet piano was placed beneath a pavilion near Pie Traynor Field alongside a mountain bike trail, according to KDKA’s David Highfield. No one was sure how the piano, which was first noticed sometime last week, got there or who dropped it off.
photos Courtesy Friends of North Park Facebook Page
The instrument generated buzz on social media, especially in Facebook groups related to North Park such as North Park Trail Runners and Friends of North Park. Members posted popular pictures of themselves singing and playing during breaks from biking and running. Others put up pictures of their dogs trying a hand, er, paw, at tickling the ivories.
But despite the joy the piano brought park goers, Allegheny County Officials told KDKA that the instrument had to go.
“While most people value our parks, there are some who unfortunately dump unwanted items and unwanted animals in our parks,” the county’s statement said. “The piano can’t remain where it is, so the county will have to bear the cost of removing it.”
This response caused distress online, with many members of the Friends of North Park group commenting that officials ought to allow the piano to remain. Morning radio host Mark “Bubba” Snider started the hashtag #savethepiano and appealed to Amie Downs, communications director for Allegheny County. Snider told her that if the county decided to leave the piano, the Bubba Show would get someone to tune it and provide coverage from the elements.
But the county removed the piano early Thursday morning. A post in Friends of North Park featuring the piano being carted away in the back of a county truck garnered more than a hundred angry and sad reactions and about 70 comments, most bemoaning the loss and wishing the instrument could have stayed.