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Project Pop Up: Downtown

 Project Pop Up: Downtown is a program of the Mayor's Office, in conjunction with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Department of City Planning and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Over 90 artists, entrepreneurs, and non-profits submitted proposals to activate Downtown storefronts. Finalists were invited to “pop” into Downtown for limited engagements. These finalists received grants with which they occupied vacant stores in Downtown throughout 2012. For a full history of Project Pop Up, click here.

After the 2012 pilot year, three of the Pop Ups signed long-term leases and can still be visited today, click here to check them out! For information on the previous pop ups click here. The full map of all of the 2012 Pop Up locations can be viewed here.

Project Pop Up was envisioned to be replicated and its reach includes one-time events and programs to create strong public places in Downtown Pittsburgh. Below you will find information on a few of the latest innovative Pop Ups!

Project Pop Up: Play

What could be a better way to blow off some work-day stress than to take a little game-playing break? To help you relax during the day, PDP presents Project Pop Up: Play! Project Pop Up: Play features games like cornhole, super-sized chess, life-sized connect four and mega Jenga! All games are free! Check back in the spring to see where Pop Up: Play will make its return!

Where would you like to see Pop Up: Play in 2016? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter with #PopUpPlay. You can also email us at to let us know where you want to play! And we'll be sure to keep you up to date on where you can find the games next!

Project Pop Up: Fashion · Check back for details on when the Fashion Market will Pop Up in 2016!

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership once again brought style to Market Square with the Project Pop Up: Fashion of 2015 on September 22. Market Square turned into an outdoor fashion market featuring the best local retailers of diverse men’s and women’s fashion.

Project Pop Up: Fashion featured Downtown retailers including: Boutique 208, Boutique La Passarelle, Larrimor's, Gina Mazzotta MillineryThe Headgearand St. Brendan’s Crossing. The Market also featured some of the best local independent apparel vendors including A Women’s TouchCassidy Girl CollectionFascino BoutiqueGarbellaHeads Hearts and HandsRebagSandra CadavidSteel City Cotton Works and The Warped Weaver

Pittsburgh's fashion trucks Style Truck and The Vintage Valet  also pulled into the Square for the Market.  Much like the popular and growing food truck scene, mobile fashion trucks have been rolling their way into Pittsburgh in increasing numbers. The Vintage Valet specializes in contemporary apparel with a vintage flair, with every item selling for under $60. Style Truck carries many American-made and fair-trade pieces, while Broke Little Rich Girl's inventory features selections from designers in Pittsburgh and other cities. 

Other previous Project Pop Up: Fashion Markets include September 2013 as part of Pittsburgh Fashion Week, and July 2014 as part of the PDP's 20th Anniversary week-long celebration.


Project Pop Up: Patio · Summer 2013 · Strawberry Way, between Montour Way and Smithfield Street

Project Pop Up: Patio filled Strawberry Way from Smithfield Street to Montour Way with bistro tables and chairs, turning it into the perfect spot to eat lunch, read a book or just take a load off. The Pop Up Patio was available during the lunch hours on weekdays for the one month in the summer of 2013.

“Activating unexpected spaces with unique events and opportunities has become a hallmark of the work of the PDP” said Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership President and CEO, Jeremy Waldrup. “Finding a peaceful oasis in the midst of our metropolitan Downtown can be a challenge. We envision Strawberry Way as a place where co-workers can grab lunch at a local restaurant and dine outside, a spot where a bibliophile can get lost in their book while on break and a location where people can come to relax during a hectic workday.”

Businesses located near Strawberry Way were also enthusiastic about the project. Ray Auslander, owner of Weiner World was “looking forward to the addition of tables and chairs in Strawberry Way during the lunch hours. Anything that helps increase foot traffic and business is good news for us.” And Fran Porter from Villa Reale said “this is a great idea, that I think many of our customers will take advantage of. It’s awesome to work together to create new public space and increase the vitality of Downtown Pittsburgh.”

Project Pop Up: Urban Forest · Summer 2012 · Toonseum Sprout Fund Comic Courtyard

Project Pop Up: Urban Forest was a new installation to the ToonSeum Sprout Fund Comic Courtyard. From Thursday, June 21 through Tuesday, July 10, 2012 downtown workers, residents and visitors were able to escape the busy streets of Pittsburgh into a new oasis of relaxation to sit amongst a variety of trees.‚Äč

The Western Pennsylvania ConservancyToonSeum and the the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership united to bring the forest to Downtown Pittsburgh. The Urban Forest featured colorful tables and chairs beneath the shade of five different trees (dawn redwood, ginko, autumn blaze maple, black gum, zelkova) that were accented by Wichita Blue Juniper, ferns and lilies.  The trees and shrubbery were on loan from local lawn and turf management firm, Lawn Sense.  The project aimed to surprise Downtown patrons and suggest the possibility of a greener city environment including possible future ventures similar to the Urban Forest. 




Boutique 208, 208 Sixth Street

Robot Repairs, 210 Sixth Avenue

Awesome Books, 929 Liberty Avenue


Made Possible by: Heinz Endowments, Colcom Foundation, and an anonymous donor  


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