2018 Spring

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

2018 Spring

Buying a Company Town

Joseph Meyer lives in the former manager’s home of an abandoned company town, where there is no running water, no cell service, and until recently, there was not a single resident. On this cold Saturday in December, 63-​year-​old Meyer splits wood to heat his three-​story home. The scene would be…

Hard to Swallow

by Kelly Casey
It started with a cough and the need to clear her throat whenever she ate. Eventually, swallowing became more difficult — and even dangerous — for Patricia Grimm, 63, of the North Side. “I’d be at Red Lobster eating a salad or in the car eating a hamburger and I’d start choking,” she says.…

Airport Overhaul

by Jeffery Fraser
As birthday celebrations go, this one was fairly harsh. The local news media was gathered at Pittsburgh International Airport’s Midfield Terminal on a late-​summer day last September. Earlier, they’d reported the terminal complex, once lauded for its innovative design, had turned 25. Now, with cameras rolling, airport officials noted its…

Our Changing Pastime

by John W. Miller
On a snowy night, I’m tossing winter batting practice in a gym to nine-​year-​old boys who play for Steel City Select, an elite Pittsburgh travel baseball club.

Gaining Critical Mass

by Jeffery Fraser
Alfred Hunt knew a good idea when he saw it. And Charles Martin Hall had one. In 1886, the 23-​year-​old chemist had discovered a smelting process to make aluminum inexpensively while working in a lab he cobbled together in a shed behind his parent’s house in northern Ohio.

John Fetterman, Public Servant

I was born in Reading, Pa., on Aug. 15, 1969. My parents, Karl and Susan Fetterman, were both only 19 years old at the time, so I was an “unplanned event.” But my mom and dad did get married and, as I matured and came to understand the circumstances surrounding…

A Foundation for the Future

by Marylynn Uricchio
The Benter Foundation has increasingly made a mark in Pittsburgh since it was founded 11 years ago by philanthropist Bill Benter. Dedicated to supporting “the leaders, organizations and ideas that help communities and individuals thrive,” the foundation’s primary focus has been local, with an emphasis on the arts and education.

Then and Now

After a foray into fashion, The Frick Art and Historical Center has returned to its comfort zone with “Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts” (March 17-​July 8, 2018).

A Life Caring for Fallingwater

Lynda S. Waggoner is vice president of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and director of Fallingwater. On the occasion of her retirement, we asked her to look back on more than 50 years at Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece.

Moby Dick Spouts at Pittsburgh Opera

When Herman Melville’s classic 1850 novel hits Pittsburgh March 17 for a four-​show run at the Pittsburgh Opera, audiences will set sail with Captain Ahab on his obsessive pursuit of the infamous white whale that robbed him of his leg and, perhaps, his sanity.

Man’s Best Friend

There once was a dog named Stormy. When he was very young, a man became his friend and carefully introduced him to all sorts of people, places and situations. He kept little Stormy away from frightening things, and Stormy grew up to love people and the world.

Making Maple Syrup

What is this? — syrup, maple syrup in a quart jar, syrup my grandfather made twenty-​five years ago for the last time.

The Economic Outlook for 2018

by Jeffery Fraser
Stronger hiring last year, rising wages and upcoming tax cuts lead those who read the economic tea leaves to be cautiously optimistic that 2018 could reward southwestern Pennsylvania with the largest increase in job growth in five years, finally shaking the malaise that works to contract the local labor force,…

Helping Children Heal and Thrive

When Pamela Schanwald was pregnant, doctors relayed a terrifying image from an ultrasound: extra skin on the back of her son’s neck indicated possible Down syndrome. She immediately began searching for day care options in the Pittsburgh area for children with special needs. She couldn’t find any.

A Terrific Look at the Sophisticated History of Black Pittsburgh

by John Allison
“Smoketown” is a gift to Pittsburgh on a number of levels. When an accomplished national journalist and author turns in a deeply researched and gracefully written work about your town, that’s a win. Beyond that, Mark Whitaker, a former editor of Newsweek, gives Pittsburghers the gift of enhanced understanding of…
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