Notorious Pittsburghers

Notorious Pittsburghers

Pittsburgh is proud of its famous sons and daughters, including William Pitt, Stephen Foster, Andrew Carnegie, Nellie Bly, and Fred Rogers. But like most families, Pittsburgh has had its share of black sheep.  Some of Pittsburgh’s most notorious residents have stories that still fascinate today. Simon Girty You may have heard of the stream called Girty’s Run.  A tributary of the Allegheny River that runs

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A Pair of Renaissances Shape Pittsburgh’s Cityscape

A Pair of Renaissances Shape Pittsburgh's Cityscape

By the conclusion of World War II Pittsburgh was looking a bit shabby.  Corporations found it increasingly difficult to lure talent to the city.  Consequently, many corporations threatened to leave the area.  Fearing an exodus, the city leaders deemed that Pittsburgh needed a facelift, a “renaissance.” Renaissance I To kick off this major urban renewal, later known as Renaissance I, the urban planners went back

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Pittsburgh’s Historical Skyline

Pittsburgh's Historical Skyline

A city’s skyline is its signature, distinguishing it from every other metropolis.  New York’s with the Chrysler Building and Empire State building cannot be confused with Seattle’s Space Needle or Chicago’s Sears Tower.  Likewise Pittsburgh’s own distinct skyline bears the mark of many who have written on the cityscape we know today. Fort Pitt Blockhouse and the Burke Building The oldest building in Pittsburgh is

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Pittsburgh’s Renaissance

Pittsburgh's Renaissance

Whether it’s Extreme Makeover, Oprah, or What Not to Wear, it seems no one can resist a makeover, watching a dud transform into a dazzler.  While the nation has been obsessed by these makeover fantasies, they’ve missed one of the greatest makeovers of all time: Pittsburgh’s!  Over the years our hometown has gone from outdated and dilapidated to positively gleaming and trendy. When the steel

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Western Pennsylvania’s Long History of Energy Production  

Western Pennsylvania's Long History of Energy Production  

Almost since the nation’s birth, Western Pennsylvania has played an important role in energy production for the country.  According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, active bituminous coal mines have been in operation in the state since the late 1700s. The first coal mined in PA was taken at Coal Hill on Mount Washington, across the Monongahela River from Pittsburgh.  The coal was transported

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The Terrible Towel is Poised to Strike! 

The Terrible Towel is Poised to Strike! 

Pittsburghers are no strangers to talismans.  During the 1966 Pirates baseball season, legendary broadcaster Bob Prince introduced the Green Weenie, a green plastic rattle that was shaped like a hot dog.  When shaken at an opposing team, the Green Weenie was supposed to jinx them.  Eventually, the Green Weenie lost its magic and was replaced by another Prince creation, the babushka.  In 1974, Pirates fans

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Three Tragedies That Changed Pittsburgh

Three Tragedies That Changed Pittsburgh

Explosions, fires, floods: it sometimes seems as if we are living in cataclysmic times, but if you open a book on the history of Pittsburgh, you’ll find that horrific disasters have happened before. For the most part, they have simply faded from our collective memory. While many are familiar with the Great Chicago fire of 1871 and the legend of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, few are

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Three Rivers Run Through It

Three Rivers Run Through It

If cities were alive, rivers would be their arteries. Since time immemorial, rivers have been the lifeblood of civilization. The greatest cities in the world are all built on rivers. The area around the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia is known as the “Cradle of Civilization” because it is believed that settled society began there. In Pittsburgh, we owe the existence of our own city

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Washington and Guyasuta: When Giants Truly Walked the Earth

Washington and Guyasuta: When Giants Truly Walked the Earth

When necessary, two disparate individuals can often forge a relationship based on a commonality, be it a mutual cause, a belief, a similar situation, or a character trait. Leadership, and the responsibility that inherently accompanies it, can be one of those binding elements. George Washington and Guyasuta must have recognized great leadership abilities in one other because these two titans, who crossed paths in southwestern

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