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Pittsburgh Then and Now: Carnegie Lake

From boating hotspot to fishing hole, this lake located within Highland Park has undergone many changes in its 150-year history.




COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS | Pittsburgh City photographer collection
 

Carnegie Lake was originally built to serve as a halfway point for water pumped from the Allegheny River en route to a reservoir, according to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Improvements in pumping technology made it obsolete, however, before it even opened. The lake was mainly used for boating until 1932, when half of its space was converted into a swimming pool and the bottom was covered with cement.

The lake fell into disrepair but is now being revitalized as part of the Conservancy’s 2000 Regional Parks Master Plan. The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority also contributed to Carnegie Lake’s restoration, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, installing aerators to improve water quality for fish.
 


PHOTO BY BY FRANCESCA FELLO
 

Today, Carnegie Lake is open for fishing.

Last summer, the lake was stocked with channel catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill, one of the last steps in a two-year effort by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservatory and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to restore the pond, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
 
Pittsburgh Then & Now is a yearlong series in celebration of Pittsburgh Magazine's 50th anniversary where we explore the changes that have happened across the region from 1969 until present-day. Read more Then & Now stories here.

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