Walking Tour of August Wilson’s Hill District

With PHLF’s new guidebook in hand, August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays, and guides from PHLF and the Hill District, will lead a walking tour from Crawford to Kirkpatrick Street, along Bedford, Wylie, and Centre Avenues. They will point out places in the Hill associated with August Wilson’s childhood––and brought to life in his ten plays chronicling the African American experience in each decade of the twentieth century. Bring a water bottle and wear a sun hat and comfortable shoes!

The walk is strenuous, including uphill and downhill climbs.

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Market Square Area Walking Tour

Redevelopment of the Market Square area is moving ahead, and key projects are incorporating historic preservation and “green” building principles. Private local developers, the City of Pittsburgh, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the preservation community have developed a plan that balances new construction with renovation. You’ll see Three PNC Plaza, Market Square Place, and Market at Fifth, plus two green spaces: Market Square, the city’s first public space, and PNC’s Triangle Park, the city’s newest.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation
marylu@phlf.org
412-471-5808, Ext. 527

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PHLF Testimony on Civic Arena

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

Testimony Regarding the Nomination of the Civic Arena to Become a City-Designated Historic Structure

City of Pittsburgh, City Council Public Hearing

May 23, 2011

Good afternoon, my name is Anne Nelson. I am the general counsel of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, and I am here today on behalf of the organization.

The Civic Arena was part of a project conceived by philanthropist Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr. and funded as an innovative public-private partnership that was intended to be a grand contribution to the region––a “civic” auditorium and convention center.  James A. Mitchell of Mitchell & Ritchey (1938-1957), the premier Pittsburgh architectural firm during the City’s Renaissance, designed the Arena in 1954; it was completed in altered form in 1961.  It was a daring, contemporary design and an extraordinary feat of engineering with the world’s largest retractable roof.  Mr. Mitchell also designed Mellon Square Park, and the firm served as associate architects for the Alcoa Office Building (now the Regional Enterprise Tower).  For these reasons, Landmarks supported the Arena’s nomination in 2003 to become a City-Designated Historic Structure, particularly under criteria three of the City’s historic preservation ordinance, which is still applicable today.

Whether you all approve the nomination or not in 2011, we want to reiterate two points for your consideration that Landmarks has articulated in a position paper as a result of the SEA’s September 2011 vote to demolish the Arena.

First, we believe there is the possibility of jeopardizing the future use of federal funds for the redevelopment of the entire 28-acre Lower Hill site if Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act is not complied with prior to the demolition of the Arena.  Section 110(K) of the Act prohibits “anticipatory demolitions” by placing a penalty on applicants of federal funds, including local governments that intentionally destroy or harm historic properties prior to the completion of the Section 106 review process.  The State History Code review that was recently completed by the SEA does not fulfill the requirements and processes that are clearly defined in the Section 106 regulations.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, our organization, and others have informed the SEA that proceeding with the demolition of the Arena may jeopardize the future use of federal funds at the site and make the funds vulnerable to legal challenge.

Second, in the case of the Arena, we would favor its preservation if a practical plan were to be put forth that did not add to the financial burden of the City or County, that generated tax revenues from the land in the Lower Hill and development opportunities as well, and was supported by Hill District residents.

If the Arena is to be removed, we then support the plan to establish an urban street grid, opening the land to provide a variety of developments opportunities, and we will suggest that a high standard of contemporary design be required.

We encourage City Council to carefully consider all of the information provided when considering the nomination, but especially the sentiments of the Hill District residents since this decision directly impacts their community.

Thank you for your time.

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PHLF Awards $4,000 Scholarships to Five College-Bound Students

The Landmarks Scholarship Committee of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation (PHLF) has selected five high-school graduates from Allegheny County to receive $4,000 college scholarships (payable over four years), for book and tuition expenses only. “Forty-five students from Allegheny County have been awarded college scholarships since the program’s inception in 1999,” said Committee Chair David Brashear. “Several of those recipients are now employed in Pittsburgh as architects, bridge inspectors, engineers, teachers, and researchers––and all of them are accomplished people, involved in their communities and proud of Pittsburgh.”

A luncheon celebration is scheduled on Monday, June 20 for the five 2011 winners and former recipients.

PHLF received 70 applications this year––a record number––and was able to award five scholarships, thanks to the continuing support of the Brashear Family Fund at PHLF and generous donations from others. “This program helps us connect with young people who value Pittsburgh’s history, architecture, and landscape design, and who we believe will contribute to Pittsburgh during their lifetime,” said Louise Sturgess, executive director of PHLF. The five scholarship recipients are:

  • Shane A. Fischbach of Pittsburgh Allderdice High School, who has been admitted to Brown University’s Program in Liberal Medical Education and will be majoring in History and Urban Studies;
  • Lisa M. Stabryla of Pittsburgh Carrick High School, who will be majoring in Engineering atthe University of Pittsburgh;
  • Jaela C. Wesley of Pittsburgh Schenley High School, who will be studying History, Languages, and International Studies at Spelman College;
  • Anthony N. Chmura of North Hills High School, who will be studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame;
  • Christopher J. Guyan of South Fayette High School, who will be majoring in Civil Engineeringat Penn State University;

The Landmarks Scholarship Program is the culmination of PHLF’s educational programs for thousands of students (K-12) in Allegheny and surrounding counties. It gives Allegheny County students an incentive to excel in school, become involved in their communities, and express their commitment to this region in a meaningful way.

The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation Scholarship Program is offered each year. Applications for the 2011-12 school year will be available in January 2012. Applicants must:

  • live in Allegheny County;
  • be a high school senior who has been accepted to a college or university;
  • have a cumulative Grade Point Average at the end of the first semester senior year of 3.25 or greater; and
  • write an essay on a certain topic, complete an application, and submit two letters of recommendation.

2011 Landmarks Scholarship Recipients: Essay Excerpts

Scholarship applicants were asked to write about a place in Allegheny County that is important to them and has affected them personally. The essays of all scholarship applicants, from 1999 to 2011, are archived at the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

Shane A. Fischbach

A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice High School, Shane Fischbach has been admitted to Brown University’s Program in Liberal Medical Education and will be majoring in History and Urban Studies.

In his scholarship essay, Shane wrote that “My school, Taylor Allderdice High School, has withstood economic and architectural assaults, evolving into a historical landmark which encapsulates the growth, decline, and resurgence of the Pittsburgh community it serves . . . If Mr. Trimble [the architect] could revisit his educational masterpiece, would he shudder? Or would he be pragmatic and forgive the utilitarian architectural additions that were instituted in response to economic, cultural and political evolution? I am confident that he would perceive the durability and sustainability of his original design in spite of modern, superficial and practical modifications. Even with its architectural imperfections, Allderdice is “home.” I am proud that it has evolved from a mythical Mount Olympus into an institution that accommodates an integrated and more equitable society of learners. The impressive façade might have lost its original grandeur, but the temple on the hill was transformed into a superior educational institution, which has withstood the ravages of architectural compromises and epitomizes the theme of accessibility in public education.”

Lisa M. Stabryla

A graduate of Pittsburgh Carrick High School, Lisa Stabryla will be majoring in Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

In her scholarship essay, Lisa describes her experience at the Carnegie Library of Homestead: “Growing up in Allegheny County you will find yourself encompassed by a vast number of communities and neighborhoods, each unique in its own way. . . . For me, my excitement lies within the walls of the Carnegie Library of Homestead, majestically standing on a hilltop overlooking the town and river. . . . As I walk up the steps leading to the main entrance of the library, there is a feeling of greatness that surrounds me. The pure force of the architecture draws me in. . . . The library not only houses books, but offers so much more to the community. It is a place where the community can meet to learn and socialize. . . . I am glad to make the library a special part of my life as it was to my grandmother; I continue to impart and bestow those values onto my niece, and maybe someday onto my children. As voices are heard echoing throughout, the history contained in these walls is endless. The Carnegie Library of Homestead unites all generations of people together.”

Jaela C. Wesley

A graduate of Pittsburgh Schenley High School, Jaela Wesley will be attending the University of Miami to study History, Languages, and International Studies.

In her scholarship essay, Jaela wrote: “Imagine it’s a sunny day and you are leaving Downtown Pittsburgh walking up Centre Avenue past the Mellon Arena towards the Hill District. . . . You look up the street to see just how much more you have to climb before the street levels off and something catches your eye in the distance. You ask yourself, ‘What is that on top of that church on the corner?’ . . . The landmark is the statue of St. Benedict the Moor. . . . Even though I am not Catholic, I am always in awe when I look up at that statue. There seems to be a certain sense of calm about St. Benedict. You can feel the peace and serenity. . . . Welcome to the Hill District and its rich history!”

Anthony N. Chmura

A graduate of North Hills High School, Anthony Chmura will be attending the University of Notre Dame to study Mechanical Engineering.

In his scholarship essay, Anthony wrote that the “Sarah Heinz House Boys and Girls Club on the North Side of Pittsburgh epitomizes the term important. . . . Robert Maurice Trimble designed the building . . . [which] still contains the original Stickley furniture in the lobby. The stained glass windows in the stairwells were designed and installed by the esteemed J. Horace Rudy. . . . Sarah Heinz House is also LEED certified. . . . Despite the impact of the building itself, it is what goes on inside Sarah Heinz House that makes it truly special. I have been attending Heinz House for twelve years, and without my involvement there, I would not be who I am today. I was a shy, introverted kid. My insecurities truly blocked me from progressing socially, mentally, and physically. . . . Sarah Heinz House opened numerous doors for me. . . . I have discovered my two great passions: serving youth and engineering. Through robotics, I have learned many things. I unknowingly gained a greater grasp of math and science, while having a lot of fun. I learned I enjoy designing and building. . . . More importantly, I have learned the true value of being a mentor and friend. Spiderman’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I realize how blessed I have been, and I feel compelled to give back.

Christopher J. Guyan

A graduate of South Fayette High School, Christopher Guyan will be attending Penn State University to study Civil Engineering.

In his scholarship essay, Christopher wrote: “PPG Place is quintessential ‘Pittsburgh.’ It blends the old and the new into an impressive icon that streaks above the skyline of downtown. . . . The complex consists of a 40-story tower and five satellite buildings. The design is in a Neo-Gothic style, inspired by the Cathedral of Learning and the Allegheny County Courthouse. Each building has a façade of modern glass with traditional gothic spires adorning the top. This blend successfully captures the history and heritage of Pittsburgh. . . . I have really enjoyed living so close to the city and being able to experience all of the history and architecture in the area. I have always been interested in art and drawing, and have drawn pictures that included parts of Pittsburgh. . . . The exposure to the city has also helped me to decide on my college major and my future career. I found a true passion for architecture when I moved here. . . . I enjoy roads and bridges, and the architecture of Pittsburgh has led me to decide to be a transportation engineer.”

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Two Special Saturday Afternoon Tours: June 4 and June 25

There are just a few more spots available on “August Wilson’s Hill District Walking Tour,” on Saturday, June 4, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Make your reservations. (see below). The free tour is based on PHLF’s recently published guidebook, August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays. Authors Laurence A. Glasco and Christopher Rawson will participate in the tour, along with Kimberly C. Ellis, Terri Baltimore, and PHLF docents, among others.

The tour begins and ends in Freedom Corner (Centre Avenue and Crawford Street), and includes visits inside St. Benedict the Moor Church, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh––Hill District, the New Granada Theater, and Hill House Association.

 

On Saturday, June 25, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., explore the full-length of Grant Street, Pittsburgh’s grand civic boulevard. We’ll begin at PNC Firstside Park and hear about China Town (and sample a spring roll). After walking by skyscrapers, historic landmarks, and BNY Mellon Green, we’ll end up at Liberty Avenue with a view of the area from seven stories up. There is a $10 per person fee for this tour.

Reservations are required for both tours: marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext. 527. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. Click here for a calendar of events and to register for these tours.

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Grant Street & More Walking Tour

With its concentration of major historic buildings and modern skyscrapers, Grant Street is downtown Pittsburgh’s showcase thoroughfare. You’ll explore some of Pittsburgh’s grandest buildings—the Allegheny County Courthouse, City-County Building, Frick Building, Union Trust Building, and William Penn Hotel, among others—and enjoy views from two urban spaces: Mellon Green and Mellon Square. Grant Street is rich in history and full of architectural details that delight the eye.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation
marylu@phlf.org
412-471-5808, Ext. 527

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Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self Guided Tour

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005. Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext 527

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Grant Street & More Walking Tour

With its concentration of major historic buildings and modern skyscrapers, Grant Street is downtown Pittsburgh’s showcase thoroughfare. You’ll explore some of Pittsburgh’s grandest buildings—the Allegheny County Courthouse, City-County Building, Frick Building, Union Trust Building, and William Penn Hotel, among others—and enjoy views from two urban spaces: Mellon Green and Mellon Square. Grant Street is rich in history and full of architectural details that delight the eye.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation
marylu@phlf.org
412-471-5808, Ext. 527

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Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self Guided Tour

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005. Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext 527

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Career Assessment and Awareness Program – FocusNOW

This free career assessment and awareness program presented by Dr. Herman L. Reid, Jr., EdD, is for young adults (ages 12 to 25) who are interested in developing a personal career plan. Parents are welcome to attend the Saturday session too. Following pizza and introductions, Dr. Reid will talk about career options and skills needed. After taking a brief personality test, participants will create career plans based on their strengths.
Career paths to be discussed include: accounting, auto and diesel mechanic, building maintenance, computer programming, computer specialist, dental assistant, electrician, graphic design, heating and air conditioning, hospitality and travel, legal administration, medical assistant, merchandising management, network management, office administration, paralegal, and welding.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation is facilitating this series of six Saturday sessions in historic neighborhoods where it is at work.

Each session is limited to 20 young adults (plus parents)

RSVP required by the Tuesday preceding the Saturday event.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation
marylu@phlf.org
1-412-471-5808

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Grant Street & More Walking Tour

With its concentration of major historic buildings and modern skyscrapers, Grant Street is downtown Pittsburgh’s showcase thoroughfare. You’ll explore some of Pittsburgh’s grandest buildings—the Allegheny County Courthouse, City-County Building, Frick Building, Union Trust Building, and William Penn Hotel, among others—and enjoy views from two urban spaces: Mellon Green and Mellon Square. Grant Street is rich in history and full of architectural details that delight the eye.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation
marylu@phlf.org
412-471-5808, Ext. 527

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Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self Guided Tour

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005. Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext 527

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Grant Street & More Walking Tour

With its concentration of major historic buildings and modern skyscrapers, Grant Street is downtown Pittsburgh’s showcase thoroughfare. You’ll explore some of Pittsburgh’s grandest buildings—the Allegheny County Courthouse, City-County Building, Frick Building, Union Trust Building, and William Penn Hotel, among others—and enjoy views from two urban spaces: Mellon Green and Mellon Square. Grant Street is rich in history and full of architectural details that delight the eye.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation
marylu@phlf.org
412-471-5808, Ext. 527

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Seven College Students Complete Internships With PHLF

We thank the following interns for volunteering with the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation from January through April: Zachary Adams (University of Pittsburgh), Allison Ake (Duquesne University), Kelly Benninger (Carlow University), Colleen Gribbin (University of Pittsburgh), Elise Oberdick (Robert Morris University), Elena Ramsey (University of Pittsburgh), and Elizabeth Stoyle (University of Pittsburgh). They helped primarily with educational programs, publications, and research/archival activities. Read more about the internship of Elise Oberdick.

In addition, Michal Gould (Chatham University) has been assisting us with historical research. Julie Edwards (Kent State University graduate) and Megan Miller (University of Cincinnati) have been using their interior design skills to create new signage for a main street business in Leechburg, and have been a tremendous help with the “People Who Work to Improve Our Communities” career education program.

Beginning in May, PHLF welcomes a new group of about ten more college interns on an unpaid basis to help with summer educational programs, research activities, and preservation activities.

To learn more about PHLF’s internship program, click here.

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Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self Guided Tour

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005. Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext 527

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Student Reflects on Her Experience at PHLF

Elise Oberdick, a Robert Morris University Student, recently completed her internship with us. Below are a few sentiments on her experience at PHLF.

When searching for a nonprofit organization where I could complete my final internship, I had no idea how life altering my choice would be. Since my first day at the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation to my last, I thoroughly enjoyed every second that I spent there.

I was fortunate enough to work on a multitude of projects that furthered my nonprofit business knowledge, and also had the opportunity to work directly with PHLF’s education department. This assisted me in developing skills necessary to realizing my passion––working with children.

One of the most fulfilling projects that I worked on while at PHLF was assisting with a new career education program for the Pittsburgh Public Schools titled, “People Who Work to Improve Our Communities.” I was able to see the program develop and help throughout all the stages. When the program was completed, I was also able to assist with presenting the program to fourth-grade students. This provided me with the opportunity to interact with the students, and to see how much work goes into developing an education program. I was so fortunate to be able to work so closely with the program and gained invaluable experience while doing so.

Another opportunity that PHLF provided to me was being able to assist on some of their many tours. These tours were such an amazing educational experience and they were probably my favorite aspect of my internship. I was able to work with many different age groups and gained knowledge about Pittsburgh that I had not previously known.

The experience that I have been fortunate enough to have while at PHLF has been unequaled in my undergraduate college career. I am so thankful for the opportunity that they provided to me.

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Career Education Program Inspires Students

PHLF staff, docents, and volunteers from AIAPittsburgh’s Young Architect’s Forum (YAF) presented an 80-minute career education program to 12 Pittsburgh Public Schools in April. Teachers commended the program, titled “People Who Work to Improve Our Community,” for “captivating the students, introducing them to jobs they did not know about, and driving home the point that they need to graduate from high school.”

Another teacher added: “Very few times can someone come in and grab the attention of all students. Every student was engaged and ready to learn and explore.”

Fourth-grade students learned about 16 professions through huge, full color posters and “tools of the trade.” They also toured the school (including the boiler room when possible) and discussed the surrounding neighborhood. They figured out how urban designers, architects, engineers, landscape architects, developers, contractors, electricians, HVAC technicians, plumbers, carpenters, stone masons, small-business owners, bankers, lawyers, preservationists, and public officials would have been involved in creating or improving their school or neighborhood.

“The real-life objects were great. They really gave the students an opportunity to ‘pretend’,” noted one teacher.

Another added: “The program allowed students to see how things actually work in the school and community.”

PHLF thanks:

  • all the businesses who contributed photographs and information for use in the posters, and the “tools of the trade”;
  • The Alfred M. Oppenheimer Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Fine Foundation, and McSwigan Family Foundation whose support of PHLF’s educational programs helped underwrite this new resource; and
  • Joanna Beres, Valerie McDonough, Jenna Cramer, Phillips Iarrapino, and its docents and college interns (see below) for helping staff members present this program.

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School Tours in Full Swing

PHLF staff and docents are out every day now through mid-June, leading elementary through college-age students on walking tours of downtown Pittsburgh, Oakland, South Side, North Side, and the Strip District, among other places. Major funding support from the Alfred M. Oppenheimer Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Fine Foundation, and McSwigan Family Foundation make it possible for PHLF to keep the tours affordable to school groups.

We also thank the Gailliot Family Foundation and Grambrindi Davies Charitable Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation for underwriting the cost of printing 1,000 specially-designed T-shirts that are given to all students participating in our Downtown Dragons walking tour.

To schedule a school or group tour for the fall, contact Education Coordinator Karen Cahall (412-471-5808, ext. 537), or click here for tour details.

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See You at Kennywood: May 6 and May 24

Kennywood isn’t just about rides and fries. The National Historic Landmark is also a great place for students to sharpen their skills in math and develop an eye for architecture. During Kennywood Education Days on May 6 and 24, PHLF is releasing Geometry at Kennywood, a pocket-sized tablet with 18 problems to solve. Authors Kevin Connolly (Harvard University) and William Prince (University of Pittsburgh graduate) were summer interns with PHLF in 2010. If you want to figure out the diameter of the Merry-Go-Round, or find parallelograms and rhombuses, then contact Louise Sturgess (412-471-5808, ext. 536) at PHLF for a copy of Geometry at Kennywood. Funds from the McSwigan Family Foundation supported the design and printing of the workbook.

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Career Assesment and Awareness Program – FocusNOW

This free career assessment and awareness program presented by Dr. Herman L. Reid, Jr., EdD, is for young adults (ages 12 to 25) who are interested in developing a personal career plan. Parents are welcome to attend the Saturday session too. Following pizza and introductions, Dr. Reid will talk about career options and skills needed. After taking a brief personality test, participants will create career plans based on their strengths.
Career paths to be discussed include: accounting, auto and diesel mechanic, building maintenance, computer programming, computer specialist, dental assistant, electrician, graphic design, heating and air conditioning, hospitality and travel, legal administration, medical assistant, merchandising management, network management, office administration, paralegal, and welding.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation is facilitating this series of six Saturday sessions in historic neighborhoods where it is at work.

Each session is limited to 20 young adults (plus parents)

RSVP required by the Tuesday preceding the Saturday event.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation
marylu@phlf.org
1-412-471-5808


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Stretch Your Legs and Mind! Free Friday Walking Tours Begin May 6

Get out of the office and enjoy a free walking tour this Friday, May 6, from Noon to 1:00 p.m., or on any Friday in May. You’ll explore the Grant Street area and hear about the greatest of Pittsburgh’s great buildings, the tallest of its tall skyscrapers, and the leveling of a great hill.

Meet our tour guide at Noon on Grant Street near Sixth Avenue (in front of the Omni William Penn Hotel entrance).

Advance reservations are appreciated (so we can have enough tour guides and keep the groups small). Contact Mary Lu Denny (412-471-5808, ext. 527).

Each month features a different downtown walk. Join us for all five downtown walks, May through September, always Fridays at Noon. Bring your friends!

Click here for a calendar of events and to register for any of the free downtown walking tours.

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Teachers to Participate in PHLF Professional Education Course

A group of 14 teachers will participate in a fast-paced three-hour class, “Getting Real: Connecting Classroom Curricula to Your Community and City,” offered by PHLF on May 2. Teachers will ride the Monongahela Incline to view the city (and discuss its history and architecture); see a sampling of resources available from PHLF; and identify how they can use the built environment to enrich their classroom curriculum. Louise Sturgess, executive director of PHLF, is the course instructor; the course is offered through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

To register for PHLF’s three-credit summer course (June 21-30), “Community Connections: Pittsburgh Architecture and Resiliency Wellness,” please contact the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. For more details about the seven-day professional development course, contact Karen Cahall, PHLF’s education coordinator (412-471-5808, ext. 537).

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Fairbanks Feature: Pullman Porters and a “Red Cap” Family Story from a PHLF Member

James D. Van Trump Library | Frank B. Fairbanks Transportation Archive | Fairbanks Features

Showcasing a variety of materials located in the Frank B. Fairbanks Rail Transportation Archive

No. 9  Presentation

Fairbanks Feature: Pullman Porters and a “Red Cap” Family Story from a PHLF Member

Judith Esposito, a PHLF member and the daughter of Lewis and Ruth Anderson, has added to the Fairbanks Archive Biographical Railroad Sketches.

She has written a story about her father, Lewis Anderson, who worked for the railroad all of his life. He worked for the New York Central System, mostly in the Buffalo-New York area. In the 1950s and 60s, he was Train Master in Buffalo. At that time, he noticed a most able black man working as a “redcap.” He learned that this young man wanted to be a switchman. Using his influence and in spite of other workers’ displeasure, Lewis was able to get the man a switchman’s job.

You can read the complete Red Cap Story at the Fairbanks Archive, where you also can see the red cap (see photo 5) and the following:

  • Two articles from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (February 20, 2011).
  • Photographs from two of the many Pullman source books: Night Trains, by Peter T. Maiken, and 20th Century, by Lucius Beebe.
  • An original sign used by the Pullman Company.
  • Examples of two of the pamphlets used to promote services on the trains.
  • An original red cap hat from the New York Central System, on permanent display at the Fairbanks Archive. Although this cap was worn daily, it is still in wonderful condition.

The Frank B. Fairbanks Rail Transportation Archive is open by appointment on Wednesdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Use of the archive is free to PHLF members (one of the benefits!); non-members are assessed a $10 use fee.

The Archive is located on the fourth floor of The Landmarks Building at Station Square, in the offices of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

To schedule an appointment, email Judith Harvey: fairbanksarchive@phlf.org or contact Al Tannler (412-471-5808, ext. 515; al@phlf.org).

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Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self Guided Tour

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005. Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext 527

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Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self Guided Tour

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005. Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext 527

Print This Post Print This Post

Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self Guided Tour

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005. Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext 527

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PHLF General Counsel Featured by National Trust for Historic Preservation

Anne Nelson, general counsel of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, has been featured as one of the “Professionals in Preservation” by the The National Trust For Historic Preservation’s career center forum.

As the full-time general counsel of PHLF and its subsidiaries, Landmarks Development Corporation (a for-profit real estate development subsidiary), Landmarks Community Capital Corporation (a nonprofit lending subsidiary), and various limited partnerships, Anne was one of three preservation law professionals who discussed what they do and how preservation law is an essential aspect of historic preservation.

Click here for the story.

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Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self Guided Tour

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005. Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext 527

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Historic West End Church Seeks A Sympathetic Buyer

The former West End A.M.E. Zion Church at 623 S. Main Street in Elliott, is listed for sale.  Designed  in 1887 by the architecture firm, Longfellow, Alden & Harlow  as the West End United Methodist Church, the massive stone Romanesque church sits on a residential street close to the West End border. It has a slate gable roof and a cruciform plan. The gable ends on the north and east facades are dominated by semicircular arched leaded glass lunettes with ribbon windows beneath. The church’s other features include a northwest corner tower with a pyramid slate roof and arcaded open belfry and beneath it are a small stained glass sash and a signature stone. It has a wall turret in the west corner topped by a ball finial. The entrance-way is a large semicircular arch with a date stone above in a corner.

Awarded a PHLF Plaque in 1976, PHLF architectural historian Walter C. Kidney wrote in Pittsburgh’s Landmark Architecture, “[it] is a distinguished church in a hard-to-find place.”  In reality, it is only one block from West End’s historic main street. This building is a significant landmark worthy of saving and continued use.  Click here for more information on this property and its listing.

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Eight Teachers Are Participating in “Exploring Your City”

On Monday, March 21, teachers from Allegheny and Westmoreland County schools met for the first of four classes in “Exploring Your City: Pittsburgh’s Past and Present,” a one-credit, Act 48 professional development course offered by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

Each of the four Monday evening classes, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., combines classroom activities and discussion with outside-the-classroom experiences to explore Pittsburgh from different perspectives. Through a ride on the incline to view the city from atop Mt. Washington, to a scavenger hunt around Station Square, and a walking tour of Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle, teachers are learning how to “read” the city’s built environment and understand how the city has grown and changed over time. During the final class, they will present their ideas for enriching a classroom unit by connecting it to a city exploration or real-world project with their students.

With instructors Karen Cahall, education coordinator at PHLF, and Georgia Petropoulos-Muir, executive director of the Oakland Business Improvement District, teachers are discussing the qualities that make a city livable, urban renewal strategies that have and have not worked, and how Pittsburgh is continuing to redefine itself in the 21st century.

During the last two weeks of June, PHLF is offering a seven-day, three-credit course, “Community Connections: Pittsburgh Architecture and Resiliency Wellness.”

For more information, contact Karen Cahall: karen@phlf.org; 412-471-5808 ext. 537.

Click here for photos and general descriptions about PHLF’s professional development classes.

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August Wilson Book Complimented

More than 200 members and friends attended the book-signing celebration at Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 26 for August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays, by Laurence A. Glasco and Christopher Rawson.

The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation published the 166-page full-color guidebook with funding support from BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania; the Multicultural Arts Initiative; a Preserve America grant from the National Park Service, administered under the Preserving African American Heritage in Pennsylvania program of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; and contributions from 75 more members and friends.

Book sales are brisk and compliments are coming in consistently. To order a book ($8.95 plus sales tax) or for more information, click here to visit our store.

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150 Students Envision New Uses for the New Granada Theater

More than 150 middle and high school students from Westmoreland County Schools participated in the 15th Annual Architectural Design Challenge sponsored by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation in cooperation with the Hill Community Development Corporation and Hill House Association. After visiting the Hill District and touring the New Granada Theater on October 26, 2010, the middle and high school students worked in teams for five months to construct 3-D models showing their visions for the New Granada Theater. On March 3 and 4, 2011, thirty-two teams of students presented their models in front of a jury of architects at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

The students had exceptionally creative ideas and their models were beautifully detailed. They spoke with conviction about their ideas and described how their plans celebrated the history of the building and yet brought new energy and life to the vacant structure. After participating as one of the judges in the competition, Caitlin O’Hara from Urban Design Associates said: “Thank you for inviting me to be a part of such a wonderful experience today. Seeing the enthusiasm of the students and their attention to the specific details of the project was amazing! It was encouraging to see such a strong interest in the architecture profession and I couldn’t have been happier with all of the results that we saw.”

Architect Bob Baumbach added, “I thought the Architectural Design Challenge was a great success on many levels. The students were fully engaged in the project and they had an opportunity to get a better picture of the Hill District.”

Judges for the two-day event also included: Joanna Beres, Brian DiPietro, Julie Edwards, Sheri Kosh, Kelly Lyons, Canan Mutlu-Akin, Anne Riggs, Richard Schmitz, Leanne Stelluto, Marvin Walker, and Drew Weinheimer. We thank them for their time and thoughtful comments.

Marimba Milliones, executive director of the Hill Community Development Corporation, thanked the students for their hard work and interest in the New Granada. Terri Baltimore, program director from Hill House Association, thanked the students for “loving the New Granada back to life.”

Student recommendations for the New Granada included the following:

First floor: Cafe with WiFi, stage, and open mic; bookstore (with a section for new and old jazz selections); sports bar; 500-seat theater with a restored stage; poetry readings, theater classes, local band concerts, open Karaoke nights on Saturdays; theater for movies, plays, or local presentations; small cafes and dining areas surrounding an exhibit featuring the history of the building; Child Care Center; a skate park; grocery store and pharmacy; and an ESPN Zone restaurant and entertainment facility (for the entire building).

Second floor: A ballroom for dances, formal receptions, graduation parties, and birthday parties; a dinner theater with jazz musicians performing; classrooms for painting, sculpture, music, drama, etc.; a jazz-themed food court; a gym with bleachers, locker room, concession stand; a cafe with a stage and “open mic nights”: Yoga and Zumba classes; paintball; an organic grocery store; the Hill Museum with historical photos and artifacts; a gym and yoga center.

Third floor: Rental office space; a mall with spaces for one large store and eight smaller stores; a children’s art museum with space for local artists to hold classes; ballet, music, and art studios; a jazz-themed restaurant; spa; a community arts museum; batting cages and a pitching practice facility; a community center with computers and internet connections, pool tables, and a TV area.

Roof: Solar panels; a landscaped outdoor lunch area; a rooftop restaurant featuring organic food; an outdoor hot tub and Jacuzzi.

Vacant Lot: A community garden in the vacant lot; a parklet for children; an outdoor barbecue area.

Prizes were awarded and important lessons were learned. Student comments included the following:

“At first I thought old buildings were a waste of time. Now I see there are a lot of cool things in them.”

“It showed us that while you can keep the historical value of a building, you can also throw a new twist into it.”

“This is the most ambitious project that we do all year, and without it, our gifted program wouldn’t be as exciting.”

“I learned to see the greatness in old cities.”

“Fun! Fun! Fun! Do this next year.”

Funding support from the Alfred M. Oppenheimer Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Fine Foundation, and McSwigan Family Foundation make it possible for PHLF to offer educational programs such as these to more than 5,000 students in the Pittsburgh region.

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Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self Guided Tour

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005. Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext 527

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PHLF Preservation Society of Tavern Seekers

Pittsburgh’s taverns have long provided a place for good friends to sit back, relax, and enjoy good company. Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation’s (PHLF) Society of Tavern Seekers (SOTS) invites you to join us as we find out about Pittsburgh’s unique gathering places. You will get a chance to discover or rediscover local taverns, while finding out what PHLF is doing to preserve other favorite Pittsburgh spaces.

SOTS events will be held throughout 2011. Please join us in March for our first program of the year.

  • When: Thursday, March 24, 2011 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Where: Gandy Dancer Saloon inside the Landmarks Building at Station Square
    100 West Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, PA

There is a $5 cover charge at the door, which entitles you to drink and appetizer specials. For $15 you can participate in all three SOTS events in 2011 with the additional bonus of receiving a one- year PHLF membership, but you have to attend the first event on March 24th to take advantage of this membership offer.

RSVP to Mary Lu Denny by March 21, 2011 marylu@phlf.org 412-471-5808, Ext. 527

Or, contact Sara McGuire (saramcguire@phlf.org) for more information about SOTS events

YOU MAY PREORDER YOUR TICKETS BELOW, or PAY AT THE DOOR

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Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self Guided Tour

A PHLF docent is on hand to tell you the story of the place. Completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995, the former Allegheny County Jail was renovated between 1999 and 2001 to house the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the “Old Allegheny County Jail Museum.” The Jail Museum was created through a grant from the Drue Heinz Trust to PHLF, in cooperation with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court and Curator Ed Urban, former Deputy Warden. The Jail Museum opened in 2005. Enter the Family Court Facility through one of two entrances. In both cases, you must go through security and NO cameras are permitted.

  • Either enter through the main Ross Street entrance.
  • Or, enter through the great courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue.

Contact:

Mary Lu Denny, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, marylu@phlf.org or 412-471-5808, ext 527

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