Panther Hollow Lake

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Panther Hollow Lake
A picture of the lake with the Panther Hollow Bridge rising above it
LocationPanther Hollow, Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coordinates40°26′13″N 79°56′53″W / 40.43685°N 79.94810°W / 40.43685; -79.94810Coordinates: 40°26′13″N 79°56′53″W / 40.43685°N 79.94810°W / 40.43685; -79.94810
TypeArtificial lake
Part ofPanther Hollow Watershed
Primary inflowsPhipps Run
Panther Hollow Run
Primary outflowsFour Mile Run

Panther Hollow Lake is a human-made lake in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The lake as seen from Panther Hollow Bridge.


The lake serves as a catch basin for the 300-acre (120 ha) Panther Hollow Watershed, which includes sections of Schenley Park and Squirrel Hill. It receives storm drain from the watershed, which it sends to the Monongahela River via the Four Mile Run.[1] Two streams, Phipps Run and Panther Hollow Run, flow through Schenley Park, feeding the lake.[2]


Before the park[edit]

Before Schenley Park was built and Squirrel Hill was heavily settled, there were several tributaries throughout the park and Squirrel Hill which comprised a part of the watershed. Today, the streams in Squirrel Hill are buried, and feed the city sewer system instead of the lake.[1]

A part of the park[edit]

The lake was constructed between the years of 1907 and 1909, at around the same time as other infrastructure projects in Schenley Park, like the Panther Hollow Bridge and the tufa bridges. The lake was constructed from an already existing, but small body of water at the site.[3]

Decline and 1st Renovation[edit]

Over the years, sediment and silt built up in the lake, raising the bottom of the lake-bed significantly. A major renovation was ordered in 1957 by then‑mayor David L. Lawrence, in which the lake was drained completely, the walls of the lake re-constructed, and the lake re-filled with small shrubs. However, after a 2-year period of shrubs, water was returned into the lake.[4]

Popular Activities[edit]

Originally, there was a boathouse located on the lake, which provided patrons with a pastime. Ice skating was also popular on the lake up until the 70's.[4]

2nd Decline and 2nd Renovation[edit]

After many years of neglect, the boathouse was demolished in 1979,[4] and the lake gradually fell out of use with the general public. The lake sediment began to pile up again, rendering the majority of the lake less than 4 feet (1.2 m) deep. Currently, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has adopted a plan to bring the lake back to its original splendor; including a full restoration of the lake, a rehabilitation of the watershed, and a reconstruction of the boathouse.[5]

External links[edit]