More than 1000 enthusiastic supporters joined the community celebration at Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark in Carnegie on Monday as skateboard legend Tony Hawk inaugurated the park and performed with six members of his Birdhouse Skateboards team.
The 17,000 square-foot concrete skateboard center, designed and built by Grindline Skateparks of Seattle at a cost of $600,000, is one of its kind in the area and expected to be a destination for skate boarders from all over Pittsburgh when it officially opens to the public in the fall.
The park was made possible by Mary Shea Pitcher of Dormont, mother of Vincent, 21, and Stephen, 19, who drowned in the Allegheny National Forest in 2008. Mary, who attended the ceremony yesterday, raised money through fundraising events and solicitations, including a $10,000 donation from Tony Hawk. Her sons were skateboarding and BMX enthusiasts.
Thor Erikson, community programs manager for the Design Center, won an online contest sponsored by Mini Cooper to meet Tony Hawk before the dedication. Thor arrived at 4 p.m. for a meet and greet with Hawk and the Birdmen and came away deeply impressed by all. “It’s a fantastic design with a top caliber full pipe and a lot of nice elements you don’t normally see in a skate park,” he said.
“The turnout for this event was outstanding,” he added. “It was great to be at this event to view the community’s commitment to this memorial skatepark. The 16-year-old boy in me was grinning ear to ear when I met Tony.”
Pitcher Park, located on Forsythe Rd. in Carnegie, could open to the public as early as September.
Carnegie Park is the primary park for the borough of Carnegie and features one of the few dog parks in the area.