"On each wall of this tunnel are colorful mosaic panels of pieces of stained and painted glass arranged in textured concrete, panels that sparkle when shafts of sunlight come through... Brittany Reilly, founder of Design Nation, and filmmaker Will Zavala met me in the tunnel recently to bring it to public attention. We will all find out together how hard it will be to extract the panels, how many it is possible to save, how many might end up in the park over the Crosstown and what other options exist for display...
A park capping the Crosstown will solve the impasse, muffle the noise of traffic and — with some good luck, maybe an angel, maybe a nice surprise, a light-bulb idea — offer room for Mr. Cantini’s mural to sparkle, as complete as possible, out in the open."
Diana Nelson Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 21, 2017
"The Young Preservationists Association, founded 15 year ago, met Thursday at Alphabet City and released its annual list of 10 artworks or places that need to be saved. Topping the list is a Downtown artwork by artist and educator Virgil Cantini, an Italian immigrant who died in 2009. In the mid- 1960s Cantini created and installed 36 mosaic panels in a 60-foot long pedestrian tunnel that runs under Bigelow Boulevard, linking Chatham Street to Seventh Avenue. The city plans to create a new park that caps the Crosstown Expressway, and it is considering filling in or burying the pedestrian tunnel..."
Marylynne Pitz, Pittsburgh post-gazette, October 6, 2017
"Every year for past 15 years, the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh has highlighted 10 historic structures in Western Pennsylvania whose existence is in peril. This year, the number one spot goes to Virgil Cantini’s “Mosaic Tunnel” inside the pedestrian tunnel at Chatham and Seventh Downtown. Created in 1964, the installation, made up of three dozen individual mosaic panels, may end up a casualty of the plan to cap the Crosstown Expressway with a park..."
Brian Conway, NEXT Pittsburgh, October 12, 2017
"For the Downtown side of the park to match the elevation of the Lower Hill, a swale behind the DoubleTree Hotel has to be filled in. That brings us to the 28 Virgil Cantini mosaic panels on both sides of a pedestrian tunnel behind the hotel. In order not to be buried under the park, they have to be removed.
Doug Straley, project executive for the Sports & Exhibition Authority, said the SEA is committed to removing the panels, but he said there would only be room for three in the park.
Such abridgment of the artist’s intent would be jarring. In Cantini’s vision statements, it was clear the panels, while separate, were meant as one work, like movements that make up a symphony.
If they all can be removed intact, it would be better if they all stayed together for installation elsewhere.
Since Cantini’s commission was specific to its setting, a tunnel, it’s no stretch to suggest that such a location probably already exists to accommodate the artwork."
Diana Nelson Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 4, 2017