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Pittsburgh, PA

Cantini Mosaics Panels Design

Conservation & Preservation, Construction Administration


The City of Pittsburgh retained Landmarks SGA for architectural design services to prepare the Cantini Mosaic Panels for reinstallation in the Steel Plaza T Station.

The Virgil Cantini Mosaic Tunnel is a modern artwork from 1964 that was conceived for and installed in a pedestrian tunnel along the eastern edge of Pittsburgh’s Downtown, as a component of the Lower Hill Redevelopment Project. This art installation provided a decorated pedestrian connection between the Lower Hill and Downtown amid the creation of the multi-lane Crosstown Boulevard.

The recent I-579 CAP Project, which restructured the connection between the Lower Hill and Downtown and integrated a new park, required the removal of the original pedestrian tunnel. The historic significance of the mosaic installation triggered a Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act review process, which regulates the process for protecting and relocating the mosaic panels.

Having worked through the process to locate a new, suitable site for the mosaic, the City of Pittsburgh tasked Landmarks SGA to redesign the walls and lighting of the existing underground Steel Plaza T Station hall to accommodate the mosaics, and recreate the artist’s intent for the pedestrian experience through the space. Landmarks SGA hosted a design charette with key stakeholders to confirm the project approach and key goals, and developed the design that both respected the aesthetic of the original installation while utilizing assemblies that met the client’s budget goals.

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