The Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh (BVRS) new home is 1816 Locust Street in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood. The design of this location was developed specifically to deliver BVRS’ services in a more efficient way with a client-centered, integrated approach. The five-story, 87,000sf headquarters building gives the programs and services that BVRS provides additional space in which to operate. The Locust St. location provides people who are blind, vision impaired, or who have other disabilities a place to learn, socialize, and engage in programming that meets their needs.

Serving as the general contractor on this non-profit project, A. Martini & Co. completed a full gut of the 100-year old existing building and is at the end of the new fit-out. The first floor will be home to the organizations industrial operations center. In addition, our team put on an entire new roof system, a new transformer, roof top units and elevators.

The location of this project is very challenging being directly on the Boulevard of the Allies. Safety, deliveries, and staging are all elements of the project that had to be very closely coordinated since this is not a site where streets can be easily shut down.

Additionally, a unique feature of this project is that the new building will have an accessible facility on the roof to provide adaptive training for clients who are blind or vision impaired. The Rooftop Sensory Garden will provide a controlled environment where rehabilitation instructors can help clients build confidence as they navigate various travel scenarios, such as concrete sidewalks, grassy areas, and raised curbs when going to work, school or shopping. The Rooftop Garden will also feature sensory stimulating plants, fountains, bird feeders and other features and will provide the staff and clients a safe place to exercise their guide dogs.


“Our new headquarters at 1816 Locust Street in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood is the realization of our vision and the leadership and commitment of the A. Martini and Company was key in making that vision a reality. [A. Martini & Co.] effectively identified issues as they arose and offered viable solutions with consideration to cost, scheduling, and overall impact on the project. We built not just a building, but a strong relationship that I hope will continue far into the future.”

– Erika Arbogast, CEO