May 2019

PM Editor Brian Hyslop reveals plans to make one of Allegheny County's great parks even better.

As a journalist, it’s not always an easy task to separate my personal feelings from my professional obligations. The first step is acknowledging my biases to ensure that my opinions don’t color the coverage in Pittsburgh Magazine. Try as I might I don’t really enjoy musicals or baseball, but we routinely cover musical theater and America’s pastime anyway.

I will confess that it is nice when things I like become newsworthy. That is the case with the feature on the Hartwood Acres Sculpture Garden.

When the Allegheny County Parks Foundation contacted me offering Pittsburgh Magazine an exclusive first look at plans to restore the outdoor sculptures at Hartwood Acres and curate them into a new sculpture garden, I jumped at the opportunity.

First of all, I’ve been wanting Pittsburgh Magazine to break news; not an easy task given that our deadlines force us to work almost two months ahead. The second reason I was excited about the story is more personal. 

When my son was little, we lived in Indiana Township, which is where Hartwood Acres is located. We spent countless hours at the park taking walks, flying kites, attending concerts, viewing the holiday light display (we still miss it), and, yes, interacting with the sculptures there.

Public art is an easy way to introduce children to the art world. And Hartwood Acres is open to all, unlike some places where you have to pay to enter a sculpture garden.

But as magical as the sculptures at Hartwood Acres can be, time has taken a toll and they are past their prime with rust and faded paint dulling their luster. Others are scattered so far away on the property that they are virtually invisible.

That’s why the plan for the sculpture garden is so exciting to me. Not only will it bring the sculptures together with landscaping, walkways, lighting and signage, but it also will take a deteriorating asset and revitalize it. The sculpture garden will further cement Hartwood Acres as the county’s cultural park and it is sure to become a destination for future generations.

Categories: Editor