Paul Riis, a landscape architect and the first Director of the Allegheny County Parks (1928-1932), included many natural stone features in his prairie style design for South Park. Several have survived the past 90 years but are now in need of restoration or they may be lost.
Edgebrook Shelter is one of the oven shelters built under Riis’ tenure. Throughout South Park’s history, oven shelters have played a prominent role as one of the amenities available for the use of park patrons. They added beauty and interest to the park, as well as convenience, by providing visitors with a dry area to cook and take shelter throughout the year. These shelters included fireplaces and seating areas.
The objective of this project is to restore the Edgebrook Shelter for safe, practical use and interpretation related to its historic origins. Previous shelter restorations have included site preparation, masonry restoration, flooring and roofing updates, and chimney updates. Interpretive signage to educate park users about the history and the project will be installed at the shelter.
This project is currently in the design phase.
“Camp Ovens and Oven Shelters” from the August 1931 issue of Parks and Recreation Magazine, page 685.