Ranger Stevie Smith takes readers through a morning stroll in Allegheny Commons Park.

Photo: Morning strolls in Allegheny Commons Park in the late spring, says Park Ranger Stevie Smith, are “unlike any other.” Courtesy of the author

Morning strolls through the beautiful Allegheny Commons are unlike any other. The Ginkgo trees stand tall with their beautiful green leaves and as I stand there breathing in the morning air, I capture the sunlight shining through the trees. The west side of Allegheny Commons is truly a special place in the early morning. The tree tops are dense and lush with dark green, only allowing the strongest rays to shine all the way through. As the rays shine through, the park looks magical. I sometimes envy the squirrels who get to call Allegheny Commons their home.

Wander over toward the Thomas A. Armstrong Monument closest to Ridge Avenue and you will find a beautiful patch of flowers. From there you may find yourself wanting to enjoy the streets that surround you. If you keep your eyes open, you may spot the tree that is filled with bricks from who knows how long ago. The tree is thriving and healthy but is such a cool thing to find while exploring and getting to know our beautiful Allegheny Commons.


“Fame,” at the top of the Soldiers’ Monument in Allegheny Commons Park West. Courtesy of the author

Then as you wander around Lake Elizabeth, you are greeted with a green oasis and the city skyline as a backdrop. Lake Elizabeth is such a unique spot: The bridges stretch from side to side and I love to watch from afar as people make their way across the two of them with the trees and city in the background. The Soldiers Monument stands so bold, relocated and established in Allegheny Commons in 1931. If you hang around Lake Elizabeth long enough, you may get the chance to see the beautiful red-tailed hawk who enjoys perching on the statue looking for its next meal.

Then you can start to wander down the path toward the Washington Memorial. To think: George Washington once rode horseback through this park. If you take a closer look at the memorial you will see it is decorated with two different types of leaves: Do you know what types they are?

Allegheny Commons Park is truly a treasure here in the City of Pittsburgh. The trees, the wildlife, the people, the monuments and memorials, and the newest piece of history restored here in Allegheny Commons: the Northeast Fountain. The Northeast Fountain was first built in the 1860s but was unfortunately decommissioned and turned into a flower bed. This past May, the fountain was renamed after the late Patricia Rooney as the Patricia Regan Rooney Memorial Fountain. If you haven’t had the opportunity to stop by and see its beauty, the fountain is a true jaw-dropper and we must give great thanks to Dominick from the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy for taking such great care of this beautiful fountain. 

If you have any questions regarding the monuments or memorials here in Allegheny Commons, please feel free to email me at lauren.smith@pittsburghpa.gov.

Stevie Smith is a City of Pittsburgh Park Ranger in the Northside’s Allegheny Commons Park.

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