2007 Fall

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

2007 Fall

Updating a Brandon Smith

Following in the footsteps of Brandon Smith would be a daunting task for most architects. He left his imprint throughout the region, designing in his lifetime (18891962) many Western Pennsylvania landmarks.

A Frame to Conjure With

A few years ago, if you had the good fortune to work as a porter at one of the major auction houses in New York or London, you might have had the greater good fortune to be handed a picture frame, discarded by one of the purchasers of the painting.…

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.

Saunders, Gibson, Dietz, Perkins, Nollen, Astorga, Dayan, Suver, Wright

Thomas D. Saunders is the new president and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Saunders was most recently in Gainesville, Fla., where he was community development director for the city for the past 10 years, directing planning, growth management, redevelopment, housing, historic preservation and neighborhood planning.Prior to that, he directed…

The Bionic Entrepreneur?

For me, fall marks not only the return of autumn leaves, cider and football, but returning to my role as a college entrepreneurship instructor. Despite this being my third year teaching this subject, I’m still troubled by a gnawing, fundamental question: Can you actually teach someone to be an entrepreneur?…

Thomas Hales: The Proof of the Proof

The message went out without fanfare on a quiet summer morning. Thomas Hales finally was done — or so it seemed.

Rich Engler, Music Promoter and Entrepreneur

I was born in New Kensington, Pa., and grew up in Creighton, across the river. My father was a glass worker at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. My mother worked for the county. I studied art education at Youngstown State, then at Carnegie Mellon.

Bet the Farm

Selected by owners Jack and Dale Duff from a small field of candidates, they have been operating the venerable Blackberry Meadows Farm all summer under a lease/​purchase agreement.

Getting It Right

Time flies even when you are not always having fun. That’s the lesson I take away from 18 months publishing indicators on pitts​burghto​day​.org and writing about them in this space. My ambivalence is a product of pride that we have developed a regional information system that can serve us well…

A Flight of Fancy

A casual glance at Tom Erdner’s Gibsonia patio on this fine Sunday wouldn’t reveal anything unusual.But there are a few clues.For instance, on the table where he’s sitting, there’s a pen, note pad, watch, calculator and cell phone.Then there’s the serious look on Erdner’s face as he keeps looking back…

Andrew W. Mellon: Building a Banking Empire

The year was 1866. With monotonous regularity, an older man and a little boy boarded the train in East Liberty for the short run downtown. The older man, attired in a long-​tailed frock coat and a high-​starched wing collar, spoke to the boy about matters of consequence; he spoke to…

His Last Resort

I don’t want to be mayor of Pittsburgh. I want to change Pittsburgh forever, and I’m convinced the best way to do that is as mayor. There are, however, other ways to make our city better. You could work for an extraordinary politician who cares for this city like no…

The China Syndrome

Annie Wang was 9 when her parents vanished behind the Bamboo Curtain. It was the start of China’s “Cultural Revolution,” a terrible time for anyone in that country with money or status.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

The gift of opportunity

In October, one of Pittsburgh’s children is coming home and throwing a big party. That child is the Carnegie Corp. of New York and the “party” is a two-​day celebration of the most recent winners of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Polluted air /​Festival of Lights

In the stocks: Polluted air When we recall Pittsburgh’s old nickname, “The Smoky City,” we think of it as a pejorative description of a dirty, industrial place. But when Pittsburgh first got that appellation, in the still agrarian 19th century, it was a badge of honor. Smoke meant factories, and…
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