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  #1201  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2018, 5:11 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Pittsburgh Business Times has an article up (behind paywall) about Oxford's appeal for variances from the ZBA on its July 19th agenda. They had a different understanding of this than I did. The appeal is only for a 222-space accessory surface parking lot. I presumed that meant this was all they were planning on building on the PCA lot at the time. The Business Times seems to be presuming that instead they expect everything other than the parking to be compliant with both UI and RIV, so they haven't bothered to bring these in front of the ZBA.
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  #1202  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2018, 11:21 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is online now
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We might get public riverfront swings in front of the Terminal Building:

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018...D9Bnio.twitter

This is a no-brainer.
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  #1203  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2018, 12:45 AM
MarkMyWords MarkMyWords is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
We might get public riverfront swings in front of the Terminal Building:

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018...D9Bnio.twitter

This is a no-brainer.
They are extremely popular here in Columbus along our (poor excuse of a) riverfront.

https://www.messer.com/our-work/addi...e/scioto-mile/
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  #1204  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2018, 5:57 PM
ks2006 ks2006 is offline
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Seems like that deck park is taking a really long time. I wonder why construction takes so long? Compare it to the Empire State building being built in 1 year, wow.

The riverfront swings idea seems... a little hokey to me, but maybe it would be popular for a while.
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  #1205  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2018, 8:40 PM
BenM BenM is offline
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Originally Posted by ks2006 View Post
Seems like that deck park is taking a really long time. I wonder why construction takes so long? Compare it to the Empire State building being built in 1 year, wow.
I think a lot of that has to do with the city handing out development rights to sports teams and the Sports & Exhibition Authority instead of actual developers.

No reason for SEA to rush given that the Penguins' slow activity.

(Yep, I'm still salty after the BIG rendering bait and switch and that the city has to beg the Pens to develop land that they were given after receiving preferential treatment on state gaming revenues.)
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  #1206  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 5:57 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is online now
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Random geekery--this shaded topographic map illustrates one of my favorite topics, how current development patterns are still following ancient waterways:



That medium-green hydra-looking thing in the East End marks the former path of the rivers, and former location of the Confluence, back before they moved to their current paths thanks to glaciers.

Starting with the Mon, it goes up through Swisshelm Park/Swissvale and Regent Square (Regent Square is nestled in that tuning-fork shaped structure, which is the Nine Mile Run watershed), then Downtown Wilkinsburg, then bends around Squirrel Hill through Point Breeze/Homewood, then arrives at East Liberty/Larimer, the location of the ancient confluence. From there one branch heads back up to the Al through Morningside/Highland Park. Then there are two parts of the ancient Ohio splitting around either side of the Hill District--one that goes through Bloomfield/Lawrenceville into the Strip, and the other that goes through Shadyside and Downtown Oakland. All of this is elevated compared to the current rivers, which have had a long time to dig in deeper.

Those ancient river valleys, being relatively flat, attracted railroads and streetcar lines, and eventually the East Busway, and even the upcoming expanded East End BRT. And those transportation links combined with that relatively flat land led to early, and ultimately relatively dense, development.

And it is all still happening! These are still some of the hottest development areas, and then when you combine them with the relatively recent river flats in darker green (including the Strip, Downtown, near North Side, South Side, and PTC/Hazelwood LTV)--that now includes the vast bulk of our core area development activity.

So river flats, ancient and "new", are still where most of the action is.
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  #1207  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2018, 11:23 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is online now
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And the next phase of Buncher apartments in the Strip got approval:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201807100151
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  #1208  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2018, 3:09 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Pittsburgh Business Times has an article up (behind paywall) about the new Trek development at Mellon's Orchard.

The only thing not covered in the presentation I linked to last week is the timetable. They plan to begin construction January 2019, finish up in the first quarter of 2020, and then move on to the planned "phase 2" south of Harvard Street.
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  #1209  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2018, 9:00 PM
bmust71 bmust71 is online now
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It appears construction has officially started on the condo portion of the Lumiere building downtown at the corner of Smithfield and Oliver
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  #1210  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 1:32 AM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by bmust71 View Post
It appears construction has officially started on the condo portion of the Lumiere building downtown at the corner of Smithfield and Oliver
There's been a crane up there for awhile, but when I passed by a few days ago I couldn't see if any structure was up (though it seemed to be moving).
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  #1211  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 1:42 AM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Random geekery--this shaded topographic map illustrates one of my favorite topics, how current development patterns are still following ancient waterways:



That medium-green hydra-looking thing in the East End marks the former path of the rivers, and former location of the Confluence, back before they moved to their current paths thanks to glaciers.

Starting with the Mon, it goes up through Swisshelm Park/Swissvale and Regent Square (Regent Square is nestled in that tuning-fork shaped structure, which is the Nine Mile Run watershed), then Downtown Wilkinsburg, then bends around Squirrel Hill through Point Breeze/Homewood, then arrives at East Liberty/Larimer, the location of the ancient confluence. From there one branch heads back up to the Al through Morningside/Highland Park. Then there are two parts of the ancient Ohio splitting around either side of the Hill District--one that goes through Bloomfield/Lawrenceville into the Strip, and the other that goes through Shadyside and Downtown Oakland. All of this is elevated compared to the current rivers, which have had a long time to dig in deeper.

Those ancient river valleys, being relatively flat, attracted railroads and streetcar lines, and eventually the East Busway, and even the upcoming expanded East End BRT. And those transportation links combined with that relatively flat land led to early, and ultimately relatively dense, development.

And it is all still happening! These are still some of the hottest development areas, and then when you combine them with the relatively recent river flats in darker green (including the Strip, Downtown, near North Side, South Side, and PTC/Hazelwood LTV)--that now includes the vast bulk of our core area development activity.

So river flats, ancient and "new", are still where most of the action is.
Thanks a lot Brian... I’ve pretty much spent good portions of the last 2 days pondering this map and comparing/overlaying it with various other modern maps. Such a good use of of my time...
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  #1212  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 2:13 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is online now
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
Thanks a lot Brian... I’ve pretty much spent good portions of the last 2 days pondering this map and comparing/overlaying it with various other modern maps. Such a good use of of my time...
Why should I be the only one?
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  #1213  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 5:06 AM
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photoLith photoLith is offline
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If the allegheny or mon once flowed where that mao shows it did then why is it that Oakland, shadyside, lawrenceville etc sit about 250 ft or so above the current riverbed? I'm guessing that maybe the river eroded that much more down into the bedrock since it flowed in those directions. How long ago did the rivers flow together as that map shows? Millions of years? If so, than that would make sense as to why Oakland etc sits many hundred of feet above the modern river bed.
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  #1214  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 11:24 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is online now
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Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
If the allegheny or mon once flowed where that mao shows it did then why is it that Oakland, shadyside, lawrenceville etc sit about 250 ft or so above the current riverbed? I'm guessing that maybe the river eroded that much more down into the bedrock since it flowed in those directions. How long ago did the rivers flow together as that map shows? Millions of years? If so, than that would make sense as to why Oakland etc sits many hundred of feet above the modern river bed.
So an explanation of what happened, with even more fascinating maps and images, is located on Pages 14-17 of this document:

https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/aegweb.sit...Pittsburgh.pdf

Figure 16 in particular explains exactly what you asked about, and it appears it was a process of around 700,000 years:




Quote:
Figure 16. Development of Allegheny and Monongahela River
Valleys in the Past One Million Years. (Harper, 1997)
A. Before the first glaciation about 770,000 years ago,
the rivers flowed in shallow valleys amid low-relief plains.
B. During the early (Nebraskan?) glaciation (about 770,000
years ago), increased runoff helped carve the river channels
deeper while filling the Allegheny Valley with glacially-derived
sand and gravel. C. Following the initial glaciation, the rivers
began to cut downward and laterally into bedrock as the land
began to rise. During successive glaciations, this created a
single, very wide valley at present-day Pittsburgh and left
remnants of the old river valley floors 200 to 250 feet above the
present river level. D. During the late (Wisconsinan) glaciation
(about 75,000 to 10,000 years ago), the Allegheny River cut
down a little more and filled the entire valley with glacially
derived sand and gravel. Since that time, the river banks and
downtown Pittsburgh have been covered only with locallyderived,
nonglacial river sediment.
I included Figure 17 on the right, and you can see how Figure 17, combined with the explanation in Figure 16, produced the elevated medium-green areas in the map I originally posted.

Last edited by BrianTH; Jul 12, 2018 at 11:37 AM.
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  #1215  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 2:21 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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New ZBA agenda up. Items of interest:

1. Redevelopment of 1600 Smallman - which I have been hearing through the grapevine was almost ready to begin.

2. Request for sign variance for the hotel on Ft. Pitt Boulevard that's been in development for years.

3. Redevelopment of the Terminal Building. Apparently they need a variance from floodplain requirements to move forward.

Also, the URA agenda for today is up. Determining what the agenda actually means is always a bit harder than with the city's documents, because they aren't very descriptive, but this is what I can see:

1. A loan towards the rehab of 3700 Butler - which we know will be ground-floor retail and coworking space above.

2. A loan towards the Energy Innovation Center in the Lower Hill

3. Further funding towards affordable housing in West Oakland.

4. Final sale of air rights above 350 Oliver in order to make way for the construction of the residential building.
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  #1216  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 2:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Why should I be the only one?
You guys aren't the only ones!!!

If I'm looking at that second figure (B) in that above image there, it looks like the Mon and Allegheny Rivers were a bit wider and deeper during that period. I'm not misinterpreting that, am it?

Also, considering that these rivers were a good several hundred feet higher in elevation back then, I wonder what/how the hydrology looked for the Ohio/Mississippi Rivers at that time. I imagine there were numerous rapids/waterfalls at those times...?
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  #1217  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 3:19 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonboy1983 View Post
If I'm looking at that second figure (B) in that above image there, it looks like the Mon and Allegheny Rivers were a bit wider and deeper during that period. I'm not misinterpreting that, am it?
Who knows? Maybe some old time residents of East Liberty would be able to lend some insight. By the looks of it, I'm sure they'd agree with your assessment.

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  #1218  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 3:24 PM
daviderik daviderik is offline
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http://www.post-gazette.com/local/ci...s/201807110188

Judge rules in favor of developer of former Penn Plaza apartments site
Quote:
Developers of the former Penn Plaza apartment site in East Liberty were handed a victory Wednesday in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas — approval of the 150-foot height they had been denied by the city Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission in May approved the overall redevelopment plan but restricted the height to 108 feet.

The court’s decision also struck a planning commission condition that the developer provide a community space or multi-purpose gathering.

The parcels at 5600-5704 Penn Ave. are slated for redevelopment by Pennley Park South, an affiliate of developer LG Realty Advisors, after the property was rezoned in 2016. The project would be developed in two phases, with 50,500 square feet of retail space and 200,000 square feet of office space in the first phase 85,000 square feet of retail space and 400,000 square feet of office in the second phase.
YAY! Although no doubt the city will appeal because people are freaking out! This is a big win in the interim.
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  #1219  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 5:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Why should I be the only one?
If you want to see these elevations a little clearer yourself in google earth, turn off 3D buildings, and in the tools->options menu, set the elevation exaggeration to 3.
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  #1220  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2018, 7:25 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is online now
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Originally Posted by Jonboy1983 View Post
If I'm looking at that second figure (B) in that above image there, it looks like the Mon and Allegheny Rivers were a bit wider and deeper during that period. I'm not misinterpreting that, am it?
So my understanding is the coming and going of glaciers kept changing things around. At some points the rivers were almost lake-like in parts as glaciers blocked their original outflows to the north (see below). Then they would both accumulate crud and runoff would increase flows, and the rivers would narrow a bit and deepen and slice down through the crud and further into the bedrock--or possibly even change channels. But when the glaciers retreated and runoff effect was over the flows decreased, more crud would build up, and you ended up with a narrower, shallower river sitting off the bottom of the peak-flow channel, surrounded by a lower level of crud.

The lower levels of crud are the flats along the rivers today--Downtown and the near part of the North Side and the South Side and so on. Where the rivers stayed in the same channels you get shelves like Troy Hill. Where the rivers jumped channels you get the East End neighborhoods I mentioned.

As I understand it, B is showing that happening, and here is another Figure to that effect:



The Parker Strath is this middle-height section we are talking about in the East End, established pre-glacier.

Quote:
Also, considering that these rivers were a good several hundred feet higher in elevation back then, I wonder what/how the hydrology looked for the Ohio/Mississippi Rivers at that time. I imagine there were numerous rapids/waterfalls at those times...?
So back in the day before the glaciers, the Ohio actually ended up draining into Ancient Lake Erie:



More properly, the ancient Ohio was a tributary of the ancient Mon, which flowed north and joined the Mon around New Castle. The Allegheny also had two separate systems both flowing into Lake Erie.

When the glaciers came down, they blocked these rivers. The Allegheny rivers basically rerouted to flow along the edge of the ice (joining together), and the upper section of the Mon (now called Ohio, plus a reversed Beaver River and Shenango River) did the same, and the reversed Ohio traced the ice over to the Mississippi.

Just speculating, but my guess is when that all started the Ohio was also more elevated downstream for most of its length--but I am not sure on the end where it drops out of the last of the Allegheny Plateau sections into the Blue Grass section, a lower plateau. There is an escarpment there, and it is high relief in general.

So I can imagine some pretty dramatic features back there before the Ohio carved down into its current valley. Further downstream than that is way outside of anything I would know about.

Last edited by BrianTH; Jul 12, 2018 at 7:52 PM.
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