PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On Thursday, the city and Rooney family honored Patricia Rooney’s legacy to Alleghney Commons and the park’s fountain.
The late Patricia lived close to the park her whole life. She worked to make sure the North Side gem lasted for generations to come.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Hot, Humid Conditions Continue
As the fountain turned on, a plaque was unveiled in front of it to remember one of its biggest supporters.
“What a beautiful day to be in a park,” said Mayor Bill Peduto during the unveiling.
The late matriarch of the Steelers was a life-long North Side neighbor. Born in the Mexican War Streets, the fountain and park were never far away.
“For my mother, this park was the center of her life,” Steeler owner Art Rooney II said.
Then in married life, she lived on Cedar Avenue next to Allegheny Commons. One of Art’s earliest memories of the park is building a snowman, before a couple of kids knocked it over.
“So my mother went to the door and started screaming at them to get out of here,” Rooney said with a laugh. “She was a true North Sider in that way. That’s for sure.”READ MORE: Police Investigating Two Overnight Hazelwood Shootings
When the fountain needed a rebirth, Mrs. Rooney stepped up so others can make their own memories there.
“She was the driving force that brought everyone else around it and allowed all of us to be a part of it,” Mayor Peduto said.
PNC Bank dedicated a bench so people remember her charitable works.
“For folks to enjoy when they’re here thinking about Mrs. Rooney and reflecting and hopefully having the thoughts of being so compassionate, and so caring and so giving to the rest of the city like she was,” PNC Pittsburgh Regional President Louis Costello said.
Even in her later days, Allegheny Commons stayed closed to Mrs. Rooney.
“Her last days she lived on the other side of the park on Lincoln Avenue,” Art Rooney II said.MORE NEWS: Department Of Defense To Conduct Planned Training Exercises In, Around Pittsburgh Area
According to Mayor Peduto, her work and efforts are why the park saw so many improvements recently. He said legislation is being sent to City Council to recognize and rededicate the fountain in her name.