Boulevard of the Allies and Zulema Street Workshop
Welcome to the online workshop for this important site in Central and South Oakland! The Oakland Plan team developed materials based on public input received during the planning process, including some initial ideas for what redevelopment could achieve. These are not proposals, but ideas to spark discussion.
How do I participate?
The content below has been organized to create a self-guided workshop. Here's our recommendation about how to work through the materials and add your voice to the discussion:
- Start by using the virtual tour to familiarize yourself with the site.
- Review the presentation from the Zoom workshop. You can review the slides yourself or watch the video from the Zoom event to hear from the project team.
- Answer the quick poll questions. We need your feedback to better understand the potential for the site.
- Review the redevelopment scenarios in more detail.
- Review what attendees of the Zoom workshops thought about the scenarios and tell us what you think. We have some specific questions, but also some comment boxes that allow for more freeform input.
Thank you for your time and input!
The results of the two virtual workshops will help inform proposals for these sites, but may also lead to changes to land use regulations in the Zoning Code necessary to achieve community desired outcomes.
Step 1: Virtual Tour
Step 2: Presentation
Watch a presentation from the Zoom workshop that took place on May 15th or review the slides.
Step 3: Quick Polls
What type of public space would you use the most at Zulema Park after redevelopment?
What do you think is most important to make this a more beautiful part of the neighborhood and a landmark?
What would be most likely to bring you to the park this summer?
What is your top priority for community benefits in redevelopment?
Step 4: Review Scenario Details
Click each hot spot to learn more about existing conditions on the site we're examining. Review the virtual site tour above for images of each building or area.
Scenario A. Site Redevelopment & Public Realm Changes
Click on each hot spot to read more about what's being considered in Scenario A. Colorful bubbles are site redevelopment changes, black bubbles are public realm changes.
Image Gallery for Scenario A
Scenario B. Site Redevelopment & Public Realm Changes
Click each hot spot to read more about what's being considered in Scenario B. Colorful bubbles are site redevelopment changes, black bubbles are public realm changes.
Image Gallery for Scenario B
Step 5: Tell Us What You Think!
You can share your thoughts by using the discussion topics in the tabs below.
Topic: Site Development
Topic: Site Redevelopment
Topic: Public Realm
Topic: Public Realm
Comments from Virtual Open House (5/26/21) - Boulevard
History of the UPMC / Isaly's Building at 3380 Boulevard of the Allies
Andrea Boykowycz represents the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC) on the Oakland Plan Steering Committee and was born, raised, and is a current resident of Oakland. She wrote the following description of the Isaly's Building in response to questions from fellow Steering Committee members. It is shared to provide some history for this important building.
In the grand Pittsburgh tradition of giving directions to strangers using landmarks that no longer exist, this is a real touchstone. All of Oakland knows this Art Deco building as “where Isaly’s used to be.” The building was built in 1929 and was both a manufacturing plant for Isaly’s dairy products and a retail ice cream store, and it was one of the first businesses to be built along the new Boulevard of the Allies. The electric substation that is now right next door at the corner of Bates and the Boulevard was built in the late 1960s; but for the 40 years before that, that parcel was a playground and parklet, with places to sit and enjoy one’s Isaly’s ice cream. Isaly’s began closing and consolidating its facilities starting in the 1960s; the Boulevard plant discontinued production in 1978 (though the ice cream shop remained an ice cream shop until 1984). The building was sold to Presbyterian hospital in 1984, and to Magee Women’s Hospital in 1988. It’s now home to a number of UPMC-affiliated doctors’ offices including Pittsburgh OB/GYN. The building isn’t landmarked, but no doubt Magee knows that Pittsburgh preservationists would be quick to file a nomination if they should ever threaten to demolish it. It’s surrounded by a lake of asphalt, one of the largest surface lots in Oakland. The ground it sits on is largely fill: when the Boulevard of the Allies was built in the early 1920s, the stream that flowed from Zulema under what was then the Wilmot Street bridge down to the Monongahela was culverted, and the hollow filled in. The Boulevard of the Allies itself is an interesting conundrum: a grand public project that was never fully realized, and has for a hundred years been a hodgepodge of stitched-together streets of various widths, layered zoning and strangely oriented property lines. In Oakland it’s really clear that the Boulevard is a bit of a Frankenstein monster, as very few properties on the Boulevard actually face it -- and though there are sidewalks on both sides for the entire length through Oakland, it’s one of the more pedestrian-hostile streets in the city. Even this old Isaly’s building is set so far back from the street, now surrounded by a moat of cars, that it’s hard to relate it to the streetscape.