Schenley Park is an expansive local park in Pittsburgh found in the middle of the neighborhoods of Squirrel Hill and Oakland, Greenfield. The park is also a historic district and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. Travel magazine Travel + Leisure hailed the municipal park as one of ?America?s Coolest City Parks.?
Schenley Park has an area of 185 hectares or 456 acres and is the second biggest city park in Pittburgh, next only to Frick Park. One hundred twenty hectares or 300 acres was donated in 1889 to the city by Mary Schenley. Another 120 hectares was bought by the city eventually and lastly, another 15 hectares or 36 acres completed the park.
Schenley Park frames the sprawling campuses of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.
As the second largest municipal park in Pittsburgh, it comes as no surprise that Schenley Park is teeming with features and attractions. When visiting the park, guests will be welcomed by Schenley Plaza, an enormous public space which also functions as the entrance to Schenley Park. In the plaza alone, visitors can already enjoy an array of attractions such as the beautiful Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain which is also called ?A Song to Nature.? The magnificent fountain was built in 1918 by Victor David Brenner and was fashioned from granite and bronze. The plaza is also the site of famous expansive greenery dubbed as the ?Emerald Lawn.? The famed lawn is a popular hangout place, especially now that there is free internet access that can be availed of. A carousel is also found in the Plaza which is a big hit among kids and kids-at-heart.
Aside from the Schenley Plaza, another attraction found in Schenley Park is Panther Hallow which features a man-made lake. The banks of this lake were once a favorite picnic destination among residents and tourists alike. The lake itself on the other hand was a popular dating place among couples who want to enjoy an afternoon boat ride. Over the Panther Hallow Lake is Panther Hallow Bridge wherein four bronze panther sculptures carved by Giuseppe Moretti can be found.
Both architecture buffs and flora enthusiasts should not miss the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens when visiting Schenley Park. The Conservatory is a designated City of Pittsburgh Historic Structure and is also listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The facility was gifted to the city by real estate and steel tycoon Henry Phipps in 1893. It was meant to teach and amuse the residents of Pittsburgh with beautiful formal gardens as well as a showcase of diverse rare plant species. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is also a prime illustration of the Victorian greenhouse architecture.
Just across Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is Flagstaff Hill which is usually packed with students from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh residents also crowd the hill during the summer to watch summertime outdoor flicks for free, as well as other entertainments such as concerts.
An area called ?The Oval? which previously functioned as a horse-racing circuit now features a soccer field, a running trail that can be used rain or shine and 13 tennis courts. Just a stone?s throw away from ?The Oval? is other leisure and recreation facilities including an 18-hole golf course, a swimming pool and an ice skating rink.
Other attractions found in Schenley Park are the historic Neill Log House which was constructed in the 18th century and the Westinghouse Memorial built to pay tribute to American electrical industry innovator George Westinghouse.