Highland Park is both a park and a city neighborhood of the same name that stretches a mile from East Liberty to the Allegheny River. Park and neighborhood both illustrate the profound influence Edward Bigelow had on the urban development of Pittsburgh, a legacy that also survives in his three boulevards and in Schenley Park. Working here with the city's trolley czar Christopher Lyman Magee, Bigelow surreptitiously bought 360 acres of hilly woodlands bordering the river and conveyed them to the city as a park in 1893. Magee developed approximately one-third of the park into the Pittsburgh Zoo in 1898, then profited for years for his generosity by running trolley lines to the zoo through the newborn neighborhood.
The landscape architect was probably German-born Berthold Froesch. Bigelow was always careful to adorn his development projects with both fine plantings and good sculpture. Here, as at Schenley Park, his collaborator was Giuseppe Moretti, whose heroically scaled statuary in bronze and granite greets visitors at the Highland and Stanton avenue entrances to the park. These were restored in 2000 for the park's centenary.
In 2000, the PPG Aquarium (Indovina Associates Architects) opened in its splendid new 45,000-square-foot facility, a modernization and enlargement of the original aquarium of 1967. The same architects designed Water's Edge (2006–2007) for polar bears, walruses, and other water-loving animals.