Architecture & Neighborhoods

A Sustainable Aesthetic

What is sustainable, or green architecture, anyway, and what is it supposed to look like? The fact remains that the operation of buildings uses 40 percent of the earth’s energy resources, so construction aimed at reducing that consumption is both admirable and necessary. But do you know it when you…

For the children and the community

by Charles Rosenblum
Mist emerges with an audible hiss from the vertical stainless steel poles of “Cloud Arbor,” the new artwork by Ned Kahn in the redesigned Buhl Community Park on the North Side across from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. A delighted toddler runs toward it, to assess the wafting, San Francisco-​like…

Downtown!

by Tim Fisher
I moved to Pittsburgh with my wife, Audrey, on May 1, 1972 when I accepted a job with The Hillman Company. We moved here from sunny Denver, Colo., and in our first month, it rained 28 days. We thought it was among the dumbest decisions we had ever made, but…

Steel City Spectacle

by Melanie Linn Gutowski
In recent years, it has been difficult to imagine the Highland Building as a “great success as the modern office building,” as proclaimed in a 1910 newspaper ad. The property on South Highland Avenue facing East Liberty Presbyterian Church hasn’t been occupied for a generation. Twenty-​five years of neglect have…

Bridges of Allegheny County

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

The Golden Triangle Shines

Ten years ago, the death knell tolled for a much-​vaunted plan to re-​energize Downtown Pittsburgh through an explosion of eminent domain and new retail. The ambitious plan, led by Mayor Tom Murphy, succeeded in creating a gleaming new building that housed a Lazarus department store, as well as an unfortunate…

Portrait of Penn Avenue

Whether the cultural district or the Strip District, Garfield, Point Breeze or Wilkinsburg, Pittsburghers know Penn Avenue as the heart of every neighborhood that grew up along it.

Song of Shadyside

The word “trendy” has been surgically attached to the word “Shadyside” since days of yore — far more yore than you think. That most elegant and affluent neighborhood in Pittsburgh’s East End is home to what Andy Warhol dubbed the Beautiful People, and the upscale shops that cater to their needs.

Song of Mount Washington

The first Native Americans to spot the first white men approaching their halcyon Green Triangle did so from the same basic observation deck — give or take a few hundred yards — where native ’Burghers admire their Golden Triangle today. By moonlight, those Indian sentries had a perfect view of all telltale torches and…

Song of Slippery Rock

This “Song” even has lyrics — of a sort — in the form of Jack M. MacDonald’s How Slippery Rock Got Its Name, written for the town’s 1975 sesquicentennial:

Song of Washington, Pa.

The mother of all Washingtons occupies the federal District of Columbia, yet smaller ones abound. The Father of His Country sired no children but, by way of surrogate progeny, he begat towns bearing his surname in no fewer than 27 states.

Song of Sewickley

Would you be shocked to learn that Sewickley — the patriotic, upper-​crust town just downriver of Pittsburgh — holds an annual American flag-​burning in broad daylight on public property?

Song of Greensburg

A thousand feet up the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the beautiful Laurel Highlands lies the city of Greensburg, an hour southeast of downtown Pittsburgh. A major business and cultural center, its 16,000 population doubles during work hours, giving it one of highest daytime-​growth rates in the country.

Song of Canonsburg

The bustling borough of Canonsburg, 20 miles due south of Pittsburgh, was incorporated Feb. 22, 1802, on what Mother always called George Birthington’s Washday. Yes, it was a bit disrespectful. But so was Mother. And so, for that matter, was George.

Song of Lawrenceville

As a child growing up in Pittsburgh in the ‘50s, I thought that Lawrenceville was named for our mayor and that the soldier statue at Butler and 34th Street was David L. Lawrence as a young man.
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