Cantini Mosaic Reconceptulization and Relocation Recommendations

Project Overview

The Cantini Mosaic is a public art installation created by Virgil Cantini in 1964, and installed in a pedestrian underpass beneath Bigelow Boulevard near Chatham Street in Pittsburgh’s Central Business District. It consists of 28 abstract sculptural mosaic panels, designed as two sections of 14 panels, made of cast concrete and glass tiles. The panels were intentionally installed in a deliberate order and arrangement for people passing through in either direction. The art piece was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority specifically for the pedestrian underpass as a part of the Lower Hill Redevelopment program. 

Core Services Performed:

  • Visioning Meetings
  • Stakeholder Coordination
  • Public Outreach & Surveys
  • Relocation Research & Recommendations
  • Reinstallation Feasibility Study
  • Reinstallation Budget Study

Client: City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Timeline:  September 2020 – September 2021

Community Engagement

In 2017, the City of Pittsburgh approved plans for the “Cap” Project (officially named Frankie Pace Park), a new three-acre public space spanning a structure over a portion of the I-579 Crosstown Boulevard. This project was funded by a federal grant given to the City of Pittsburgh and affected the site of the Cantini Mosaic. After a Section 106 consultation process culminated in a determination of eligibility for National Register of Historic Places listing, the a Programmatic Agreement was signed by the City and other parties, requiring the reinstallation of the Mosaic in a new location by the end of 2024.

In April 2019, the Mosaic panels were removed and placed into City storage. Later that year, the tunnel was demolished to begin construction of the Cap. In late 2020 E. Holdings, Inc was engaged by the City of Pittsburgh to facilitate the reconceptualization project.

Our efforts involved working with a group of key stakeholders, representing the Section 106 Consulting Parties, to identify and evaluate potential locations within the City of Pittsburgh that met the established criteria from the Character Defining Features document. Over a six-month time frame, we met with a variety of community organizations and stakeholders, surveyed over 100 interested parties, coordinated multiple site visits, and held a public meeting to collect feedback on proposed locations. The final plan provided a summary of the process, an evaluation matrix of locations, and a detailed analysis of three priority locations. Each of these locations offers conceptual renderings depicting the Mosaic reconceptualized within the space, design intent and style guidelines, lighting considerations, and opinions of probable cost. The City will use this document to guide its next steps in choosing the final location and completing the reinstallation of the Cantini Mosaic in its new home. 

Location Recommendations

Point State Park Location Recommendation
Steel Plaza Location Reommendation
Pages from Cantini_ReportDocument_REVISEDDRAFT9.27.21
View Final Recommendations Report
Mosaic Removal by McKay Lodge
Original Location Video

Dave Broniecki
Data Engineer, Associate Project Manager

Dave is a NASSCO certified Mechanical Engineer. Specializing in retrieving and analyzing data from various sources to support condition assessment and capital improvement planning activities. Utilizing data to coordinate and track progress on key organizational performance indicators, he assists stakeholders in making decisions related to strategic planning. He has been integral in establishing data management programs essential for planning the future repair and management of large-scale sewer networks.  David works with clients to develop training programs and SOPs that address current maintenance needs and future Capital Improvement Planning.


Christine Barton, PE, PLS
Project Engineer

Christine Barton is a registered civil engineer and land surveyor with expert experience in site design, land development, water resources design for civil/site projects including layouts, utility plans, and permitting, and coordination/management of field survey work.  She has successfully held positions as project manager, project designer, and office manager to serve the needs of the clients within the residential, commercial, military, industrial, and healthcare industries. Core proficiencies include coordination with local land development planning agencies, county conservation districts, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the  Pennsylvania Department of Environment.


Irvin Williams, President

As the President and founder of E. Holdings, Irvin is currently focused on the company’s succession, strategic growth, and development. He has both a professional and personal interest in Pittsburgh’s success.  A Pittsburgh native and founder of several development companies, he has an extensive understanding of finance and business, which are vital to the success of this company. He has served in numerous management positions including financial advisor, senior vice president, project manager, general contractor, developer, and construction manager. Active in the local community, he made the decision to dedicate his expertise to rebuilding economically sustainable communities with the approval of their existing residents. In 1996, he and his wife became the first African Americans in Western Pennsylvania to develop and own a commercial office building, Williams Square. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with an AAS in Mathematics.

Contact: | 412-434-6290

Amy Wiles, AICP
Manager of Planning & Design

Amy’s professional experience crosses a variety of disciplines, ranging from county and multi-municipal comprehensive plans and land use ordinances (zoning and subdivision and land development) to specialized planning studies, such as wayfinding master plans and parks, recreation, trails and greenways plans. She has been employed by E. Holdings for two years and has 20 years of professional experience.

Contact: | 724-448-0286

Alexis Meier, MPP
Director of Communications

Alexis is the Director of Communications at E. Holdings. There she has worked as the Municipal Coordinator for an in-depth municipal assessment project for the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN). She oversees all of E. Holding’s public relations and public outreach efforts. She also brings experience as a Government Affairs Manager for Duane Morris Government Strategies. She worked on community development projects and developing and executing government relations strategies as well as fundraising efforts. She has also spent time navigating our political system in Washington D.C. as the Legislative Staff Assistant for U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. Her understanding of legislation and politics gives her a unique viewpoint when collaborating on civic projects. 

Contact: | 412-656-8850

Janai Williams Smith, MCP
Managing Director and EVP

Janai Smith is the Managing Director and Principal of E. Holdings, Inc. Janai is a versatile, goal-oriented Program Manager with 20+ years of experience supporting the strategic direction of large-scale programs, setting budgets and managing risks while achieving overall company goals and exceeding customer expectations. As a planner and economist, Janai has been involved in a diverse array of projects, among them master plans, urban revitalization plan, visioning studies, brownfield and infill redevelopment projects, strategic planning and infrastructure improvement programs.

Janai’s interest in urban planning, design and infrastructure programs is rooted in a passion for the creation of sustainable communities that deliver equity in planning and implementation by making connections with people and their built environment. Her affinity for complex problem-solving can be seen in the diverse array of projects in which she’s been engaged from revitalization plans for depressed urban neighborhoods to brand new communities and programs. Leading a process-oriented, multidisciplinary team, Janai’s dedication to achieving consensus in her client’s goals and stakeholders’ vision has made a significant contribution to the successful development of numerous projects. 

Contact: | 412-728-5726