2011 Winter

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

2011 Winter

Bridges of Allegheny County

Whether they’re crossing chasms, spanning rivers or connecting communities, bridges have always been the metaphoric heart of Pittsburgh.

A Gilded Age holiday

In 1882, Henry Clay Frick purchased an Italianate-​style mansion on Penn Avenue in Point Breeze. The “Coke King” named it Clayton, commissioning two major renovations for his growing family. Within 10 years, though, Frick and his wife, Adelaide, suffered the loss of two of their four children, 8-​year-​old Martha and…

Chu, James, Fox, Sobehart, Gourlay, Wheeler, Kulielski, Baumann

Dr. Edward Chu is chief of the Division of Hematology/​Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and deputy director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. A native of New England, Dr. Chu comes to Pittsburgh from Yale University School of Medicine, where he was a professor of…

The Bald Eagle

Whenever I see something white in a riverbank tree, I’m hopeful it’s a Bald Eagle. More than once, I’ve called out the sighting in eastern Pennsylvania, crossing the Susquehanna at 70 miles an hour. Most of the time, I’ve been wrong. And why would there be a Bald Eagle in…

Point and Shoot

You would never have thought it. That an ordinary medium, which simply traps the light that falls onto a surface and somehow saves it could be so powerful. You could rank it with the invention of the printing press. Nearly 200 years later, my little point-​and-​shoot may surprise you, as…

A Bauhaus Masterpiece

At a glance, the buff-​colored residence nestled among the more traditional homes on Woodland Road seems an oddity, an almost institutional-​looking structure resplendent in its obscurity.

Masters of their Fate

Dawn was still hours away when Jim Rohr emerged from National City Corp. headquarters in downtown Cleveland on Oct. 24, 2008. The streets were empty, but familiar. His grandfather’s deli had stood just across the street.

Found in Translation

Come on, Ima, vamanos! That was the exhortation from my 3-​year-​old recently when she wanted me to hurry up and get out the play dough. Like now, Mommy — before I scream…

Chip Ganassi, Auto Racing Entrepreneur

Growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, Pittsburgh was the center of the universe. All the biggest companies were here: U.S. Steel, Gulf Oil, Alcoa, PPG, Westinghouse; you name it. And on top of that, we had the Pirates and the Steelers. The city was firing on all cylinders, and…

Baby Byron Turns 18

In the 1990s, the “Baby Byron” case exposed the nation to Allegheny County’s child welfare system — and one family’s ultimately unsuccessful battle to complete a cross-​racial adoption. “Baby Byron” turned 18 in July. And his story is far from over.

E Pluribus Region?

It is often said that “a new era is at hand.” On an individual level, new eras can present themselves whenever a person chooses to see and act in the world in a different way. For a nation, new eras are harder to come by, though with every federal election,…

Bear Run

Bear run, the stream that inspired Fallingwater, flows under the famous Frank Lloyd Wright house. In dramatic cascades, it drops in gradient 30 feet to provide the iconic waterfall view that we all know.

Our Water and the Marcellus Shale

The rig, a 70-​foot steel spire, soared above the manmade moonscape atop the plateau that Chesapeake Energy’s contractors had hewn out of the hillside on my family farm in Wyoming County.

Triangle Bar & Grill

The Bermuda Triangle — that vortex in the Atlantic Ocean that starts at Miami, follows a line southeast to Puerto Rico, then north to Bermuda and back to Miami — forms a region that some have imbued with mysterious powers. Over the decades, many ships have entered this triangle, never to be seen again.

The Power of the Pelt

by Sandra Levis
Behold the beaver! Beady-​eyed, snubnosed and bucktoothed, it is hardly a thing of beauty, yet the pursuit of this oversized rodent across North America launched more ships (and keelboats, rafts and canoes) than the lovely Helen of Troy, for all her charms.
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