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Purnell Center for the Arts - Carnegie Mellon University

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January 20 - March 3, 2000
Second floor exhibition space
Regina Gouger Miller Gallery


Miller Gallery

Video Wall

The Nine Mile Run Greenway Project was an interdisciplinary research team directed by artists. They brought together engineers, scientists, historians and others to create a civic dialogue about public space in the context of an urban brownfield. The team conducted ecological studies and created diverse alternative art works such as a construction trailer as a site of public expression, a pirate citizens radio station, a website as a tool for civic dialogue, post-modern interpretive recartography, and policy analysis, as if people and places mattered.

Project Philosophy
Transforming Nine Mile Run CD-ROM
Introducing Clifton McGill CD-ROM
Nine Mile Run Education Project

Video Wall
This video is a compilation of four separate video projects. The four video-windows provide a dynamic overview of the Nine Mile Run site. Using the multiple image approach, this video allows us to see the stream, the slag, and the Monongahela River Valley as we listen to a range of local citizens. We hear about the opportunities and challenges we face as a post-industrial community.

Top Left: "Changing Our Point of View" Video The Monongahela River Valley by helicopter. From the Point in downtown Pittsburgh upstream along the Monongahela, then up Nine Mile Run. The images graphically illustrate the lack of public access, the meaning of "brownfield" and the enormous opportunity that ecological restoration can bring to the decidedly barren post-industrial waterfronts of Pittsburgh.
Top Right:
History Video The people, provides both historic background as well as an overview of the diverse ideas and thoughts that emerge from an intimate knowledge and experience of this post-industrial landscape.
Bottom Right: The land, illustrates the conditions and changes that are occurring on the slag slopes today as nature struggles for a foothold and the development proceeds with its site preparation.
Bottom Left: The stream, illustrating the latent opportunity of this forgotten stream in the middle of the urban communities of the east end. Healthy trees, shale cliffs, fish and even Trillium define NMR.


History Wall
Nine Mile Run has a history of appreciation, neglect and, now, restoration. The story of the agricultural - industrial use of the Nine Mile Run valley was presented in a timeline, and a series of quotes abd images outlining the last 100 years in the valley. Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and Jane Swisshelm are all represented in images and quotes.

Community Design Concept Guidelines
The boards presented on this wall present the results of the public dialogue in the East End of Pittsburgh. The project team worked to identify specific opportunities in the context of a mountain of slag and a stream polluted by leaking and mis-managed municipal sewer systems. The opportunity to link Frick Park to the Monongahela, is best realized through a program of integrated stream and land restoration.

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Context: Time, Policy, Culture, Nature
Five aerial photographs since 1939 present the changes in Nine Mile Run over time. Horizontal texts outline the cultural policies and decisions of the last 100 years. An audio tape and tiny pin-mounted photographs of 200+ birds either historically or presently found on the site provide the final element of this presentation.

The Trailer as a Site of Public Expression
Functioning as shelter, base of operations, research field station, pirate radio station, symbol, site for community access, public discourse and expression.

The Nine Mile Run Greenway Project and exhibition are supported by the Heinz Endowments, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Sustainable Community Program, through a partnership with Pittsburgh City Planning.