Allegheny Commons was Allegheny City’s first park, designated in 1867. The park was designed by Mitchell & Grant to give residents a place to experience nature at a time when Pittsburgh was a sooty, smoky industrial center. Allegheny City became a part of the City of Pittsburgh in 1907, and the park was renamed West Park. The current landscape design surrounding Lake Elizabeth, including the concrete bridges, was developed in 1967 by John Orsbee Simonds. The bridges span the man-made lake, which replaces the pond that was a part of the original park. The project was recognized as a Marvel of Modernism in 2009 by the Cultural Landscape Foundation.
Simonds & Simonds was the firm established by renown modernist landscape architect, John Ormsbee Simonds and his brother, Phil. Simonds' firm, which would later be known as the Environmental Planning and Development Partnership was responsible for the design of several notable projects including Mellon Square and the Pittsburgh Aviary- Conservatory.