Neville Island

Construction began at Emsworth in 1919 and continued until 1922, with the locks first opening in September 1921. he Corps rebuilt and converted the dam to a gated structure between 1935 and 1938. This action raised the pool an additional 7 feet to accommodate larger, more modern barges. From 1981-86, some $30 million was invested in a major rehabilitation of the facility. Rehabilitation included the replacing of electrical systems, operating machinery and buildings and re-surfacing of the lock walls.
Emsworth averages about 470 commercial lockages every month, plus another 350-400 lockages of pleasure craft during the busy summer months.
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Both these pictures show Neville Island’s industry focuses. One being in making and recycling steel and other metals which is supplied here in Pittsburgh and also the surrounding area. Triad Metals is the company for the I steel beams shown. The other picture is of the Neville Chemical Company which is involved in making chemicals, but this is a small operation as they also have coal operation power plant at another end. This is also the infamous/famous Neville Light comes from where they are burning coal a bright light can be seen for miles.
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This is RMU’s arena. Mostly a giant sport complex where you can play any sport. Many people play Hockey in the roller hockey, but is a typical sport center
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Founded in 1919 by Francis Dravo as a commercial shipyard, the Dravo corporation quickly grew in both size and capability and garnered a name for itself for it’s sound and innovative construction techniques as it produced a number of towboats and recreational steamboats. Dravo was able to construct 147 LST’s, three Destroyer Escorts and employed over 16,000 people. Postwar, Dravo operated briefly as a ship scrapping facility before it returned to commercial shipbuilding in 1947 and operated for another 35 years before it finally closed it’s doors in 1982.
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By Lon Hambrice

The Carnegie Museum of Art

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The Carnegie Museum of Art (and Library) is located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, and was founded in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie wanted a place to house the development and progress of pictorial art. These works were originally housed in the Library (whose main campus is still attached to the museum) before being moved into their own institution in 1907.
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The gallery is known to be the first museum of Modern Art and has been hailed as an “unflawed paradise” by critics. When visiting the art museum approximately 1,800 works are presented to be viewed. In all there are seven galleries, each with their own genre.
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When visiting the art museum and the library, you cannot help but recognize how intricately these buildings have become a part of the hustle and bustle of every day city life. From the outside they seem to be thrown a bit haphazardly into the middle of a typical, American, college neighborhood (complete with cheap and delicious, Chinese, American, Italian, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants galore).
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Upon entering (and paying the $10-25 entrance fee), you find a truly remarkable display of appreciation for aesthetics. The top two things on my list of things that cannot be missed are the Hall of Sculpture and the Scaife Gallery, which houses and incredible collection of impressionist pieces. Truly your trip would be wasted if you missed the opportunity to stand among these stunning displays.
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The Scaife Gallery boasts a number of incredible paintings from the most renowned Impressionist artists, my favorite being the one below by Monet. It is nearly impossible to leave the Carnegie Museum of Art without feeling as though you have just been a witness to a major undertaking inspired by Andrew Carnegie himself to bring culture, art, and beauty to the people of Pittsburgh.
By Kylie Elliott
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The Hill District

The Hill District borders Downtown Pittsburgh, Polish Hill, and Oakland. It used to be known as the “Crossroads of the World”. During the 1960’s, “The Hill” endured hard times as the struggle for civil rights was occurring. The Hill is now becoming a safer and more stable district as it is experiencing a renaissance of its own. This is mainly a result of the Hill Community Development Corporation working to improve the area.

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Here is a view of Downtown from the Hill District. The Steel Tower is the tallest building in Pittsburgh as it dominates the horizon from the intersection of Webster and Manilla. This picture was taken less than a mile from the tower and even closer to Consol Energy Center.

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This is 1727 Bedford Avenue, which is where the playwright, August Wilson lived until he was five years old. His most famous work was “The Pittsburgh Cycle” which was made up of ten plays, nine of which were set in the Hill District. He also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama two times, in 1987 and 1990. This location was declared a national landmark in 2007, after Wilson’s passing in 2005.

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These are pictures of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, the front entrance and the street view (from the August Wilson Center website). The purpose is to present the performing and visual arts programs that celebrate the contributions of African Americans. This center opened in September 2009 and is a center for culture and art in Pittsburgh. Its downtown location makes it accessible and its unique shape makes it easy to recognize.

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This is a picture of the Miller African-Centered Academy on Bedford Avenue in the Hill District. The Pittsburgh Public School website says the school focuses on “teaching and promoting the history and culture of people of African descent and the principles of Nguzo Saba. The seven principles of Nguzo Saba are celebrated in the seven days of Kwanzaa.

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By Justin Brothers

PNC Park and Heinz Field

PNC Park and Heinz field are professional sporting stadiums located in the North Shore Pittsburgh. They were both built in order to replace Three Rivers Stadium, previously home to both the Pirates and Steelers.

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PNC Park has been home to the Pittsburgh Pirates since the 2001 season, but plans for the stadium had been in the works since 1991. Once Kevin McClatchy purchased the team in 1996, the plans for then new stadium became a reality and ground was broken on April 7, 1999, led by the teamwork of HOK Sport, Dick Corporation and Barton Malow. The ground breaking ceremony was held in conjunction with the renaming of the 6th Street Bridge to the Roberto Clemente Bridge, in honor of thefamous Pirates outfielder.

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The first game in the park was played on March 31, 2001 against the New York Mets, and has since hosted the 2006 MLB All-Star Game and has seen performing artists such as Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Buffett and Dave Matthews Band come through. The first playoff game in PNC Park was held on October 1, 2013 against the Cincinnati Reds, in which a park record 40,487 fans were in attendance.

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Heinz Field, home to both the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers football teams, was also opened in 2001 and was funded in the same project as PNC Park. The design was intended to reflect the history of the city, as well as the future to come, incorporating 12,000 tons of steel into the construction.
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Along with its regular tenants, Heinz Field has also been home to the yearly WPIAL High School Football championship games (Class A thru AAAA), the City League Championships, and the 2011 NHL Winter Classic between Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. Tickets for the natural grass stadium have become the most highly demanded item in the city during the NFL season, with every Steelers game having been sold out since its opening, continuing a streak that has been alive since 1972.
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Both PNC Park and Heinz field do a fantastic job of representing the city and its citizens. Not only does the design of stadiums visually incorporate the steel for which the history of Pittsburgh is built upon, but by placing the stadiums on the North Shore, the city skyline is very visible from the seating in the stadium, especially in PNC Park. Both stadiums are incredibly accessible to fans. They are surrounded by public parking lots, but many fans prefer to park in the various garages in the city and walk to the stadium with the use of the Roberto Clemente Bridge. One particular moment that truly demonstrated the city’s attachment to PNC Park was when hundreds of fans watched the first ever playoff game in PNC Park against the Cincinnati Reds while standing on the bridge.
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By Gary Horvath

East Liberty Presbyterian Church & the East End

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East Liberty Presbyterian Church, also known as the Cathedral of Hope, was originally created in 1819 and the current structure was completed in 1935. The gothic-styled church occupies a full block in east liberty and over $4 million was spent on its construction. A congregation of about 800 attends its various services throughout the week. The church has a music and art education outreach for youth called Hope Academy.

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The University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning is the second tallest educational building in the world. The 42-story construction project was started in 1926 and was completed in 1934. Two of the biggest attractions are the Commons Room and the Nationality Rooms. The half-acre Commons Room, pictured above, is four stories tall and is the main entryway. There are 29 Nationality Rooms that are designed to reflect each nationality that was influential in the development of Pittsburgh. 27 of the classrooms are working classrooms while the other 2 are permanent display rooms.

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The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is located on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University. It has permanent exhibits on dinosaurs, African wildlife, and ancient Egypt. Founded in 1896, the museum gained attention in 1899 when it discovered the fossils of Diplodocus. The museum is open year round and is a paid attraction.

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Shadyside is a popular destination in Pittsburgh for locals and tourists. Walnut Street in Shadyside has many shops and restaurants from national chains such as Gap and American Apparel to local favorites such as Henne Jewelers, Mario’s East Side Saloon, and Pamela’s Diner.

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East End is a great place to venture for a day. You can start off the day with brunch at Pamela’s in Shadyside. Then, head over to Oakland to check out the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and take a look at the Cathedral of Learning. After that, head back to Shadyside for some shopping and head to the Elbow Room for dinner and maybe get a few drinks at Mario’s East Side Saloon. If you are in town for a Sunday morning, head over to East Liberty Presbyterian Church for a service.

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By Kyle O’Keeffe

James Street Tavern

The James Street Tavern can be found at 422 Foreland St, in the North Side of Pittsburgh. Still sitting in the original building where it opened in 1890, the Tavern makes you feel like you are walking back into the history of the city. Numerous famous Jazz players, both from Pittsburgh and around the country sit on the wall staring at you as you enter the dinning room. One whole wall is dedicated to Jazz musicians who have played in the restaurant, filling the space with music and rhythm. Other pictures and furniture help to continue to offer an authentic air to the entire building. Even the restaurants menu’s represent it’s past, as it is made from old record albums. The rest of the Tavern features a bar, a ball room on the second floor, and a down stairs called the Speak Easy, where live Jazz performers still play Tuesday, and Friday through Sunday nights. 

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When the James Street Tavern first opened it was not meant to be only a restaurant, it was also a meeting place. When the first unions started in Pittsburgh they needed a place to go, and the Tavern became their favorite place. Union reps from all over the city would meet here to have a beer, talk union business, and listen to the different jazz musicians playing for their blue’s. The tavern was the union’s headquarters, and numerous decisions that would affect Pittsburgh up until today were made right in that building. One surprising fact that most people do not know is that on the fourth floor there was a screen and projector, and during the week people would come and watch different propaganda movies. I can personally tell you that the original projector is still up there. 
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Outside the restaurant the entire area still has an older architectural feel to it. Most buildings are under contract, and they must remain the same way as they were when they were built. Owners have to actually get permission to change anything on the outside of the house. Also, within a 10 minute walk are the Mexican War Streets, which with it’s history and art, is a interesting place for anyone to walk around and see. 
 
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Besides the classic history that surrounds you in the dining room, the food there is amazing. With a selection that offers a variety between salad, smoked pulled pork, seafood, and even a burger where the bun is made out of a doughnut. There is a little bit of something for everyone. The waiter that we had was very personable and outgoing, and could easily recommend 8-10 different entree’s that he enjoyed. He continued his excellent service by routinely stopping by the table, not only to check on our meals, but also just to create a comfortable conversation and connect with you. Between our waiter, food and dining atmosphere, I would say that this is definitely a place you should try for your night out on the town. 
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As I stated above the Tavern also contains a bar, dining hall and the Speak Easy lounge. The bar is separated from the dining room by a low wall, and is set up to accommodate any person who wants to stop in. It could prob fit an easy 15 people, and has two plasma televisions, so even with the old style atmosphere you can enjoy your sports. The dining room is on the second floor, where patrons can go to eat as well as listen to the music and dance if they wish. I did not see this personally as it was closed the night that I went, but I was assured that many locals, along with random customers enjoy coming and dancing in the hall. It can also be rented out for parties and such if you are looking for somewhere new to go. Lastly the Speak Easy is in the basement. Here is where all true Jazz fans would love to go. There is an $15 dollar per table cover charge at the door, but this will let you be there all night if you would like. Imagine an old style Jazz club and you are in the Speak Easy. With tables where you can eat, relax and enjoy the music coming from the musicians on the stage. You will soon forget your troubles, and that you are in fact, still in Pittsburgh. 
 
This was definitely one of the more unique restaurants that I know of in Pittsburgh. I was not aware that the city still offered restaurants with music, at least not with such authentic history to it. If you are unsure as to where to go on a weekend night, I strongly suggest you strap on your dancing shoes, and head over to the James Street Tavern for a beer, good food and a fun night. 
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By Adam Kephart

Market Square and PPG

Market Square is also known as “The Diamond.”  It was laid out by George Woods and Thomas Vickroy in 1784.  The square had two three-story buildings that were connected by a bridge on the top floor.  It was the largest city market where many residents of Pittsburgh and pioneers passing through the city came for supplies.  Market Square also contained the city hall and even after it was relocated, the square remained a place for commercial activity through the Civil War and early 1900’s. The first Allegheny County Courthouse was constructed in this area.  When the new courthouse on Grant Street was finished in 1841, the square returned to being just a public marketplace, which is what it was meant for.  In 1914, a public market house was built but was later demolished in 1961 to open up the space as a public park and meeting place.

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Market Square has a lot of important history.  In 1972, Market Square was designated by the city as the first historic district.  In 2009, Market Square was rejuvenated into a European-style plaza for various leisure activities including dining and shopping.  However, some of the businesses that were around when Market Square was first built are still in existence.  Nicholas Coffee and Tea Co. has been serving coffee since 1919.  The 1902 Tavern has been in Market Square for over 100 years.  Finally, the Original Oyster House from 1870 is the oldest union bar in the city and is designated a historic landmark by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.

PPG Place is a beautiful office complex also known as “the crown jewel in Pittsburgh’s skyline” and “the towering success of downtown Pittsburgh.”  The PPG Place office space opened in August of 1983, the retail shops opened in November 1984 and the complex was dedicated on April 11, 1984.  It was built during Pittsburgh’s “Renaissance II Period” which was when the economy was declining due to steel mill closures. During this time, Pittsburgh Steel Glass still remained a Fortune 500 company.  PPG Place is a six building complex with a 40-story glass tower surrounded by four 6-story glass buildings and a 14-story glass building all containing a total of 21 elevators.  Together, PPG occupies 5.5 acres.  Before it was built, an 8-foot-tall model was put together by Renato Chieruzzi in his own basement.  The architecture was designed in the neogothic style and was inspired by London’s Victoria Tower, H.H. Richardson’s Allegheny County Courthouse and Charles Klauder’s Cathedral of Learning.  During preparation for construction, anthropologists found over 10,000 artifacts in what was the Kings Garden and Kings Orchard about 1,000 feet from the gate to Fort Pitt.  The buildings have 231 glass spires and 19,750 pieces of PPG’s Solarban 550 Twindow, which is meant to be an advertisement for the insulating glass product.  The complex cost $200 million to construct.  The design is not only appealing but it is also high-energy efficient.  In the summer, heat is reflected away from the building by the glass and in the winter infrared heat is reflected and contained within the building.  The building also collects and utilizes heat from computer equipment.

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There are many wonderful year-round attractions at Market Square and PPG place.  PPG Plaza contains a 44-foot granite obelisk that stands on four spheres.  During the warm weather months, there is a 140 jet fountain that is accented by 280 underground lights.  In the winter, the same area is covered by a lighted Christmas tree with an ice skating rink surrounding it.  The rink is open mid-November through mid-February and for adults to skate it is $8 with a $3 skate rental fee.  Group rates and skating lessons are also available.  Saturdays during December, children can skate with Santa. There are several shops located in Two PPG Place including Serendipity and Chocolate and Chances.  There is also a food court and several restaurants including Ruth’s Chris Steak House.  For the convenience of visitors, there is a 700-space parking garage with a public entrance on Third Avenue.

For the winter months, there are several free holiday events.  A favorite event are the free horse-drawn carriage rides around Market Square that take place Saturdays November 23rd through December 21st.  Market Square is also set up with seasonal merchants that are very fun to visit. Wintergarden is an all-glass garden environment that is very bright and open with a 32-foot tree.  It is located in One PPG Place and holds free exhibits from late November through early January.  During these exhibits, donations to Children’s Hospital’s Free Care Fund are collected.  One exhibit is the annual Spirits of Giving around the World which features a display of life-size Santas and original paintings.  There is also an exhibit with gingerbread houses that were submitted by various organizations throughout Pittsburgh.  There is also a unique train exhibit created by a local artist Don Jones.  Every day during the month of December, Wintergarden hosts area musicians that play seasonal music.  The area can be rented for private functions, including small weddings.

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Market square is a wonderful place to visit.  There are always people walking around to visit the shops and restaurants.  PPG Place is a beautiful structure and worth the time just to look at it.  The winter events are well done and bring all different kinds of people together to celebrate the holidays.  Going there has been a great place to experience the livelihood of Pittsburgh.  I believe that Market Square truly has fulfilled its intent of being a public marketplace to bring people together.  I recommend to everyone spending time at Market Square and PPG Place – even if it is just visiting the Starbucks for a coffee, or getting a quick dinner at Chipotle or Noodles & Company- experiencing the charm of the city is worth every minute!

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By Brittany Goodwillie

U.S. Steel Tower

The U.S. Steel Tower Is the tallest building in Pittsburgh, fourth tallest in Pennsylvania, the 41st tallest in the United States, and 212th tallest in the world. At its time of construction, the architects considered making it the tallest building in the world. Nonetheless, on sunny days (rare in Pittsburgh), the building can be spotted from a little over 50 miles away.  Begun in 1967 and completed in 1970 as the U.S. Steel Tower, the name changed to the USX Tower in 1988 and then changed back to the U.S. Steel Tower in 2002. U.S. Steel is still the largest tenant of the Steel Tower (occupying over 500,000 square feet of space), and the building is currently owned and managed by Winthrop Management, a commercial real estate developer.

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There are 18 hollow columns in the building filled with a water/antifreeze/rust inhibitor mixture that is meant to stop the spread of a fire and slow the rusting process. It was the first building in the world to use this unique design to inhibit the spread of fires. The distinctive (and massive) steel columns were placed externally rather than internally to exhibit the new Cor-ten steel—manufactured in Pittsburgh—which was resistant to the corrosive effects of rain, snow, and ice. Cor-ten steel resists corrosion by forming a dark brown coat of oxidation over the metal. Unique in its composition, the steel has cut costs by eliminating the need to paint the building or invest in rust prevention maintenance.

Containing over 44,000 tons of steel, the structure creates a striking view first impression with its triangularly indented sides. The roof is said to be the largest in the world at its height or above (it is close to an acre in size). The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has been a major tenant since 2007, and had its name placed at the top by helicopter in mid-2008. Each Christmas, the U.S. Steel Tower displays a large nativity scene designed by the Pittsburgh architecture firm, L.D. Astorino Companies. It is said to be the only nativity scene in the United States to be directly sanctioned by the Vatican and is the world’s only known replica of the Vatican’s own nativity scene. The display is sponsored by Pittsburgh’s Christian Leaders Fellowship. Noted for its “green” design, the building has received recognition for it low-flow sinks and toilets and low-emitting carpet, furniture, and paint.

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At the time of its completion, the U.S. Steel Building was the tallest structure in the world outside of buildings in New York City and Philadelphia (it was quickly overtaken by the newly constructed Sears Tower in Chicago). It dwarfs its neighbor and the second tallest building in Pittsburgh, the Mellon Building, by 116 feet.  Though it still dominates the Pittsburgh skyline, the U.S. Steel Building falls short of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa of Dubai, by 1,876 feet! The building—even more imposing when it was first constructed—stands as a monument to the steel city. Though perhaps many would consider the building stark, harsh, and utilitarian, its steel columns convey a simple beauty. Its drab brown exterior is a reminder of the city’s recent past—a time when the entire downtown area was caked in layers of soot from the nearby steel mills. Even though there are many skyscrapers today which are taller, the width and angular design of the U.S. Steel Tower make it an imposing building that immediately catches and holds the eye. To get a full view of the building, it’s best to stand back a few blocks—or perhaps even better to view it from a nearby skyscraper such as the Mellon Building.

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The building is 64 total stories and contains 58 elevators. Visitors to the site would do best to park at the Consol Energy Center, and take the free shuttle which has a stop at the U.S. Steel Tower. In order to see more than simply the building itself, visitors might go during the Christmas season (November 21-January 5) to visit the impressive nativity scene. The stable is 64 feet wide, 42 feet high, and 36 feet deep, and weighs around 66,000 pounds. Inside the building, there are several options for dining, including Au bon Pain and the Pittsburgh Grille. Through the lobby, visitors also have access to the metro station, which they can take for free. The building provides services such as a gym to employees of its respective tenants.

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By Caleb Fuller

Station Square

Station Square is located at what used to be the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. The railroad was used so frequently that it came to be nicknamed the ‘Little Giant’. After the railroad was no longer being used, the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation decided to use the space as a commercial development, while keeping the ‘Station Square’ theme. It now houses over 20 retailers and restaurants.

The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation wanted to use as many of the original structures as possible for this reuse project. One building used to be a shack to house freight trains, and now features shops that sell Pittsburgh novelties as well as cigars, toys, etc. The building across from it (the ‘Grand Concourse’ restaurant) used to be the actual concourse of the station.

Buca di Beppo is one of the iconic restaurants located in Station Square that celebrates Pittsburgh’s large Italian culture by serving classic Italian dishes in ‘family style’ portions that are made for sharing. The restaurant also claims to mimic the Italian values of “friendship and hospitality”. Station Square has also historically featured an ‘Italian Heritage Festival’, which features music, dancing, and plenty of pasta.

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Buca di Beppo is only one of many restaurants and entertainment opportunities located in Station Square. Two restaurants in particular (the Grand Concourse and the Gandy Dancer Saloon) are rich with the history of the original station at Station Square. Constructed in 1901, the Grand Concourse still has the station’s accents of brass and marble. The Gandy Dancer Saloon is connected to the Grand Concourse and features a “legendary” happy hour with fresh seafood and oysters. My family has historically gone to the Grand Concourse to celebrate family birthdays, so I can attest to the fact that it is an amazing restaurant!

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Station Square celebrates Pittsburgh’s steel history (in the form of ‘Bessemer Court’). Bessemer Court features a fountain made from a Bessemer converter, which originally converted molten iron into steel. As most Pittsburghers know, Andrew Carnegie invested in these converters, which transformed the steel industry. The fountains at Bessemer Court host lighted water shows approximately 45 times a day. These shows are often choreographed to music from various song styles. Michael Jackson and Christina Aguilera (raised in Wexford!) are just a few examples.

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My experience in Station Square was a relaxing few hours spent with my mom. Although we both live in Pittsburgh, Station Square is not a frequent destination for either of us. Typically my family goes once a year (to celebrate my birthday at the Grand Concourse). We especially enjoyed some leisurely browsing in the unique shops- specifically the bookstore (see below). There were so many unique Pittsburgh artifacts, mostly celebrating the iconic Steelers and Penguins. My trip to Station Square was a special time to bond with my family and re-discover the history of this city in a tangible way.

By Kristen Kailer

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Sewickely

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The Sewickley Valley YMCA provides Sewickley and the surrounding cities with excellent workout facilities and many community programs. These programs include after-school opportunities for teens, family events, fundraising for local non-profits, and campaigns  to improve healthcare benefits for Veterans. Ultimately, their mission is “to build a healthy spirit, mind and body based on Christian principles and to improve the quality of life for children, individuals and families in the Ambridge Area, Cornell, Moon Area, and Quaker Valley school districts.”

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The Sweetwater began as a grass-roots effort developed by local members of the community. It finally opened its doors in 1975 an began its life as a fine arts education facility. This Sweetwater Center for the Arts is now a staple name in the Pittsburgh area when it coms to arts education. One community member said it is “a beautiful place that gives back to its community.

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The Sewickley Bridge was built by the American Bridge Company and opened on October 21, 1981. It is a steel truss bridge that connects Sewickley and Moon Township and comprises a significant part of the daily commute for many Pittsburgh Fellows. The current bridge is actually the second to occupy this location. The original bridge was built in 1911 but had deteriorated badly by the late 1970s.

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The Edgeworth Club is a private social and recreational club in Sewickley that was founded in 1893 for the purpose of “promoting friendship among its members and their social enjoyment.” The Pittsburgh Fellows use this club as the site for hosting their monthly Business Roundtables.

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The Sewickley Public Library was established in 1873 but did not move to its present location until 1923. Its founders’ original purpose was to provide a place for the “rational amusement and self improvement” for young men that would serve as an alternative to the local pub scene. Today, the mission of the SPL is “to serve as a center for lifelong learning by providing free access to informational, educational, cultural and recreational library resources that address the interests and needs of the children and adults in the greater Quaker Valley community.”

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  • Sewickely (pittsburghfellowsblog.wordpress.com)