Mellon Square

Mellon Square

Great cities have great urban parks. Before 1955, downtown Pittsburgh lacked a great park, but that’s understandable. When your city is shrouded in smog, you have bigger problems than lack of a green space. But when Pittsburgh native Richard King Mellon returned to Pittsburgh after serving in World War II to take over the helm of Mellon Bank, he was appalled at how dilapidated Pittsburgh

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Art Rooney, Sr.

Art Rooney, Sr.

Did you know the boyhood home of Art Rooney Sr. once stood on the same spot where Three Rivers Stadium would be built many years later, and where Mr. Rooney himself would be hailed as “The Chief”? Art Rooney was born in Coultersville, a town east of Pittsburgh, into a family that made their living as coal miners and steel workers.  His parents moved their

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Johnny Angel

Johnny Angel

If Los Angeles is known as the “City of Angels,” then Pittsburgh could be known as the “City of the Angel”. Johnny Angel, to be exact. Johnny Angel and his bandmates, the Halos, have been ruling the Pittsburgh music realm since 1972. “I think we are the longest surviving group in the area,” said Jack Hunt, who is more prominently known by his stage name,

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Johnny Appleseed and His Pittsburgh Roots

Johnny Appleseed and His Pittsburgh Roots

Like St. Nicholas, whose life morphed into the legendary figure of Santa Claus, or Phoebe Moses, who became Annie Oakley, John Chapman’s real life was so unusual that it inspired a legend: Johnny Appleseed. While legends are often dressed up in the fairy tale garb of whimsy, fantasy, and out-sized virtue, the real stories of the people behind the legends are often more interesting and

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Jonas Salk

Jonas Salk

Humanity is truly fortunate that Jonas Salk, a son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, choose medicine over his original goal of becoming an attorney.  Or perhaps we should thank his mother, who never thought he would be a good lawyer!  Whatever the final motivation, love of medicine or a mother’s desire for her son to be a doctor, Jonas Salk started down a path that would save

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Pittsburgh’s Dark History

Pittsburgh's Dark History

Pittsburgh, the “Smoky City” Pittsburgh was once known as the “Smoky City” or “Hell With the Lid Off” due to the overwhelmingly foul conditions that plagued it for over a century. Its geographic location and natural resource endowments made it an ideal home for the industries that inevitably created the pollution problem. The city’s dark past has been described as a cautionary tale for cities

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The Fort Pitt Blockhouse

The Fort Pitt Blockhouse

George Washington visited the area in 1753 and found the land at the Point to be an ideal place for a fort. At this time, Marquis Duquesne, who was the governor of Canada, was planning to seize the Ohio Valley for the French. He planned to construct a fort at the Point. Washington and the English retaliated. Captain William Trent arrived at the Point in

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H.J. Heinz Company in Pittsburgh

H.J. Heinz Company in Pittsburgh

H.J. Heinz Company in Pittsburgh The Heinz factory was famous for its cleanliness.  In fact, Henry insisted upon it throughout the entire plant.  Women were supplied with uniforms and there were showers and changing rooms for both males and females on the premises for the employees to use.  The “factory tour” was invented by Heinz himself in 1899 so that people who wanted to watch

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H.J. Heinz: A Pittsburgh Legacy

H.J. Heinz: A Pittsburgh Legacy

Henry John Heinz left a considerable legacy in the city of Pittsburgh. Henry John was the oldest of eight children born to German immigrants. He was a hard working businessman who grew it into a multi-million dollar enterprise based in Pittsburgh. Henry was both shrewd and careful with his wealth. He gave generously to charitable and educational institutions. His endowment has carried on his charitable

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H.J. Heinz: Marketing

H.J. Heinz: Marketing

Heinz: A Pittsburgh Marketer Ahead of His Time Heinz was a brilliant marketer, always thinking of ways to promote his company and its products.  He introduced the “pickle charm” to the world in 1893 at the Chicago World’s Fair.  That pickle charm evolved in his famous “pickle pin.”  At that fair Henry was not happy to have his company’s exhibit on the second floor of

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