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Pittsburgh History

Gulf Tower History

Gulf Tower History

The Gulf Tower was originally built as the headquarters for the Gulf Oil Company in 1932. It is located at 707 Grant Street downtown. The tower was built on the same location as the first oil refinery in the United States. Samuel M. Kier had built a refinery along Seventh Avenue that helped develop the petroleum industry. The tower was designed by Trowbridge & Livingston […]

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Meadowcroft Rockshelter: North America’s Oldest Site of Human Habitation

Meadowcroft Rockshelter: North America’s Oldest Site of Human Habitation

The story alone of how Meadowcroft was discovered is the stuff that makes for good folktales or points to the hand of Divine Providence. On November 12, 1955, Albert Miller, a farmer and history buff, was out hiking through his land, which included a high cliffside alcove shielded by a rock overhang somewhat like a stone awning. There he saw a groundhog dip into a […]

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What the Heck are Constables and Does Pittsburgh Need Them?

What the Heck are Constables and Does Pittsburgh Need Them?

  You’ve probably heard the term constable before, but do you know exactly what a constable is and what one does? Unless, you’ve had a run in with the law, you may not. Constables Go Way Back Constables have been around for centuries, and the term “constable” comes from the Old French word conestable meaning “steward.” The first constables were established in France at the […]

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The Duquesne Incline: Pittsburgh’s City Treasure

The Duquesne Incline: Pittsburgh’s City Treasure

The term “national treasure” is often bandied about when talking about monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, or the Washington Monument. Is there such a thing as a city treasure, and if so, does Pittsburgh have one? The Duquesne Incline: a Pittsburgh Treasure Certainly, there are special buildings and places that are undeniably Pittsburgh like the Block House, the Cathedral of Learning, […]

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Pittsburgh’s Black History Comes into Focus  

Pittsburgh's Black History Comes into Focus  

: Pittsburgh’s cemeteries are both interesting and educational. From the stately beauty of Allegheny Cemetery to the new Green Burial practices of Penn Forest Natural Burial Park, there is something to interest everyone.

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The History of Light Up Night in Pittsburgh: Light Up Night Celebrates Its 55th Anniversary

The History of Light Up Night in Pittsburgh: Light Up Night Celebrates Its 55th Anniversary

At more than five decades old, Pittsburgh’s Light Up Night is looking more beautiful and luminous than ever. This year, Light Up Night celebrates its 55th birthday on Friday, November 20, with its customary tree-lighting ceremonies and fireworks that kick off the holiday season. Light Up Night wasn’t always held in winter in honor of the Christmas season, and technically, it isn’t really 55 years […]

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The Times They Are-A-Changing for Pittsburgh

The Times They Are-A-Changing for Pittsburgh

Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.                                                                                       […]

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Pittsburgh’s Whiskey Heritage

Pittsburgh's Whiskey Heritage

The people who came to this area and settled Western Pennsylvania were a resourceful lot, making use of everything at their disposal and wasting nothing.  Those characteristics are still present in residents here today. The first settlers in this area faced a savage wilderness.  They were isolated; Indians were often hostile; and their lives depended upon scratching out an existence from the untamed land.  Most of […]

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History of Riots in Pittsburgh

History of Riots in Pittsburgh

The dictionary defines a riot as a “violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd.”  Riots start for different reasons. Pittsburgh’s first riot occurred in 1794.  Unfortunately, it was not the last riot to be seen in Southwest Pennsylvania. Whiskey Rebellion After the Revolutionary War, the newly formed United States government was deeply in debt.  At the urging of the Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, […]

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The Wearin’ of the Boots

The Wearin' of the Boots

Ah, St. Patrick’s Day. Shamrocks. Green beer. Parades. Rubber boots. For Floyd Hughes, my late grandfather, St. Patrick’s Day always reminded him of rubber boots. In March 1936, Pup-Pup, as his grandchild and great-grandchildren called him, was a 21-year-old shipping clerk for Eastman Kodak in Pittsburgh. He began his career at the 606 Wood St. location seven years earlier at the tender age of 14, […]

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