Demolition of old Children's Hospital, county green roof approved

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The Pittsburgh Planning Commission Tuesday approved the University of Pittsburgh's plans to demolish the DeSoto Building of the former Children's Hospital in Oakland and Allegheny County's plans to install a green roof on the County Office Building, 542 Forbes Ave.

The commission also approved changes to Duquesne University's master plan that could allow a 12-story residence hall on Stevenson Street adjacent to McCloskey Field, although that height would come under zoning review once the building plans are submitted.

The demolition of the DeSoto Building should be complete by the end of summer, said Dick Myers of IKM Inc. Architects. The tower will remain, and landscaping of the surrounding grounds will serve as a placeholder for the university's long-range building plans.

The county's green roof -- on 8,500 of the 30,000-square-foot area -- will be installed by June with almost $613,000 in energy efficiency conservation block grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, said Kevin Evanto, spokesman for County Executive Dan Onorato.

The roof is a demonstration project to show its effects on stormwater retention and building insulation, he said.

"A little more than a fourth of the roof will be converted, and we will have monitoring stations" that will show efficiency readings live on the Internet.

Diana Nelson Jones: or 412-263-1626. Read her blog City Walkabout at


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