History

The Uncertain Fate of The Abrams House

The Uncertain Fate of The Abrams House

Tucked away off Woodland Drive near Chatham University, a wonderfully eclectic residence remains one of Pittsburgh’s crown jewels of unorthodox architecture. The Abrams House, as it is affectionately called, is the work of Pritzker Architecture Prize-Winner Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. The house oozes of postmodern style and is a testament to the curated, quirky style of late owner Betty Abrams. And while this

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Harbison-Walker: The Pittsburgh Company that Helped to Construct the Steel Industry

Harbison-Walker: The Pittsburgh Company that Helped to Construct the Steel Industry

There is a saying: a rising tide lifts all boats. That certainly applies to Harbison-Walker International. Founded in Pittsburgh, Harbison-Walker’s refractories and its success enabled Andrew Carnegie to build his steel mills and establish Pittsburgh as the economic powerhouse known as Steel City. The company was founded in 1864 by J. K. Lemon and ten other Allegheny County residents. It was originally called the Star

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The Alcoa Buildings

The Alcoa Buildings

From the time that chemistry student Charles Martin Hall discovered the process for producing aluminum, the metal has had a huge impact on Pittsburgh. From establishing the city as Alcoa’s–The Aluminum Company of America–world headquarters to creating thousands of jobs and producing numerous materials from aluminum, there may be no grander testament to aluminum’s impact on our city than the Alcoa Building itself. Now known

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The Homestead Stacks 

The Homestead Stacks 

Have you ever gone across the Homestead Grays Bridge (formerly the Homestead High Level Bridge), or driven to the Waterfront and noticed a dozen red brick monoliths towering over the area? Is this Pittsburgh’s answer to Stonehenge? No, it’s The Homestead Stacks, a reminder of our industrial past and how much our workforce and economy has changed in the last 100 years. In the 20th

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Pittsburgh Spotlight: The Grand Carousel at Kennywood Park

Pittsburgh Spotlight: The Grand Carousel at Kennywood Park

When it comes to the Grand Carousel at Kennywood, Philadelphia’s loss was Pittsburgh’s gain. Originally built by William Dentzel for Philadelphia’s sesquicentennial in 1926, the carousel wasn’t finished in time and was offered to Kennywood Park instead. Dentzel built Kennywood’s first carousel, and the park bought his new one for $25,000. Unfortunately, park officials didn’t realize before they purchased it that the carousel, at 54

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Kaufmann’s Clock

Kaufmann’s Clock

Although Kaufmann’s department store is no longer in existence, the clock that has been attached to what was once known as the Kaufmann’s building at the corner of Smithfield Street and Fifth Avenue, where the store was located, is still there keeping time. Prior to this clock, there was a free-standing clock on a tall pedestal at the corner. However, since 1913, this 2,500-pound ornately

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Pittsburgh’s Union Trust Building-Beautiful Inside and Out

Pittsburgh’s Union Trust Building-Beautiful Inside and Out

During its century plus history, the Union Trust Building has been known by several different names, but one thing that has not changed about the building is its beauty. Located at 501 Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh, the 11-story Union Trust building opened in 1917 as the Union Arcade. It was designed for Industrialist Henry Clay Frick by noted Pittsburgh architect Frederick Osterling, who also

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Exploring the History of Pittsburgh’s Market Square

Exploring the History of Pittsburgh’s Market Square

Market Square truly is the many faceted jewel in the heart of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh was founded at The Point, where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers merged to form the Ohio Rivers, but it was at Market Square where Pittsburghers gathered. As the budding community at Fort Pitt grew beyond the settlement there, it became apparent that the developing city needed some direction. In 1784, Philadelphia

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George Westinghouse: A Man Ahead of His Times in Many Ways

George Westinghouse: A Man Ahead of His Times in Many Ways

If you’ve lived or spent anytime in Pittsburgh, you know the name Westinghouse. In addition to the corporation bearing his name, he has many other namesakes: the George Westinghouse Memorial Bridge in East Pittsburgh, that carries Route 30 over the Turtle Creek Valley; Westinghouse High School, a Pittsburgh Public School located in Homewood; the Westinghouse Memorial in Schenley Park; Westinghouse Park in Point Breeze; and

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Mike Fink—The Livin’ Large Legend from Pittsburgh

Mike Fink—The Livin’ Large Legend from Pittsburgh

Before there were hard-partying Hollywood hellions and trash-talking sports stars, there was Mike Fink, the larger-than-life legend from Pittsburgh. The fact that this common worker has entered American folklore and is still known centuries later attests to his out-sized reputation. Born Miche Phinck around 1780 to French Canadian parents near Fort Pitt, Phinck anglicized his name to Mike Fink and spent his youth honing his

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