John Beale

John Beale teaches photojournalism in the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State’s University Park campus. His photography has been published extensively by many major newspapers, magazines and websites; including ESPN​.com, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times. His work has been recognized with numerous regional and national awards.

The Deserted Streets of Pittsburgh 

In Downtown Pittsburgh, a beat cop checks the doors of businesses along Penn Avenue. The streets are empty except for the occasional person waiting at a bus stop. Market Square has an eerie feeling; eateries remain open for takeout, but few people pass through. On quiet Grant Street, an Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department vehicle passes …

The Deserted Streets of Pittsburgh  Read More »

Hard Times in Yellow Dog

In 2014, Joe Meyer moved across Pennsylvania with a dream of transforming Yellow Dog Village, an abandoned limestone mining town in Armstrong County, into a living historic site where tourists could experience life in the early 1900s. Five years later, facing tax liens and unable to secure financing, Meyer’s dream of restoring Yellow Dog into …

Hard Times in Yellow Dog Read More »

Indiana County Tree Farmers Keep the Green in Christmas

When your friends in Florida or your relatives in Virginia gather around their live Christmas tree this season, there’s a chance the evergreen was grown and harvested from a hillside in Indiana County, Pa. Flemings Christmas Tree Farm in Indiana is just one of 20 tree farms in the county that claims to be “The …

Indiana County Tree Farmers Keep the Green in Christmas Read More »

Ageless Wisdom: Dick Groat, 87

Dick Groat, 87, shares his path to becoming a professional athlete, golf course operator and broadcaster. My family made me whatever I might be. I had great parents and two sisters that were school teachers and two brothers who were athletes at Pitt. I was a very fortunate person to have grown up, as the …

Ageless Wisdom: Dick Groat, 87 Read More »

Ageless Wisdom: Thaddeus Mosley, 92

Thaddeus Mosley, 92, talks about his work as a sculptor and living a life of contentment. The secret to longevity? Good luck and good genes. I’m lucky that I’ve had good health for most of my life… The biggest thrill, or the most excitement comes from when you conceive of an idea and you work …

Ageless Wisdom: Thaddeus Mosley, 92 Read More »

Ageless Wisdom: Cyril Wecht, 87

In part five of this video series, Cyril Wecht, age 87, shares his path to forensic pathology and discusses what is important in life. The secret to longevity? It’s probably genetics, over which I have no control. My father and mother, who were immigrants, lived beyond their life expectancy, despite the very hard work they …

Ageless Wisdom: Cyril Wecht, 87 Read More »

Ageless Wisdom: Patricia Wilde, 90

In part four of this video series, Patricia Wilde, age 90, talks about how she entered the world of ballet and her experiences with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. I was born in the countryside outside of Ottawa, Canada and there were five of us in the family. The first part of the family were all …

Ageless Wisdom: Patricia Wilde, 90 Read More »

Ageless Wisdom: Carol Brown, 85

In part three of this video series, Carol Brown, age 85, shares thoughts on choosing a profession, living a satisfying life and building the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The advice that I give my four grandchildren is spend your life on a profession that you really love, something that you genuinely enjoy. And if it’s something …

Ageless Wisdom: Carol Brown, 85 Read More »

Ageless Wisdom: Betty Lane, 80

In part two of this video series, Betty Lane, age 80, shares her thoughts on life and work from her experiences with the Hill House and community. I am excited about being 80 years old. It allows me to do all the things that maybe I couldn’t do when I was younger. I can take …

Ageless Wisdom: Betty Lane, 80 Read More »

Ageless Wisdom: Jim Roddey, 85

In part one of this video series, Jim Roddey, age 85, discusses his contributions to Pittsburgh as a businessman and first Allegheny County Executive. My wife and I came to Pittsburgh to buy a company. We had promised to stay five years, but we’ve ended up being here almost 40. My advice to Pittsburghers is …

Ageless Wisdom: Jim Roddey, 85 Read More »

Saying Goodbye

As a child, my mother often reminded me that we all enter and leave this world the same way. It’s what we do between those two events that will define our lives. It’s likely that my mother, Edith Beale, wasn’t much different than other mothers raising families in and around towns lining the valleys of …

Saying Goodbye Read More »

Pittsburgh’s 3 Seasons

Forget about winter, spring, summer and fall. For Pittsburgh’s most faithful sports fans, there are only three seasons: hockey, baseball, and football. They tattoo their bodies with the names of their favorite teams and paint their cars and homes black and gold. They plan their vacations to accommodate a trip to Steelers training camp, and …

Pittsburgh’s 3 Seasons Read More »

Strip Stake

Pittsburgh’s Strip District is the place where everyone comes for everything. With redevelopment occurring on every edge of this one-half square mile tract, city planners, business owners and residents are looking to strike the right balance. Bring in the new developments and luxury condominiums, but keep the character—the boutiques and bars, ethnic restaurants and groceries, …

Strip Stake Read More »

On the Road to Prosperity

Prosperity means different things to different people. But to the residents of a village by that name in Washington County that’s been significantly affected by fluctuations in the coal and Marcellus Shale gas industries, Prosperity is home. Some of the 1,105 residents have made a lot of money. Some are working hard to just get …

On the Road to Prosperity Read More »

Life on the Monongahela

In the last Ice Age—10,000 to 110,000 years ago—what is now the Monongahela River flowed north across Pennsylvania into the St. Lawrence watershed. At some point, an ice dam gave rise to Lake Monongahela, which was 200 miles long, 100 miles wide and hundreds of feet deep. Now, a series of locks and dams largely …

Life on the Monongahela Read More »

The Lincoln Highway at 100

Imagine the year is 1910. You are making the journey by automobile from suburban Pittsburgh to Gettysburg on winding roads made primarily of packed dirt. Dry weather makes for a dusty drive. When it rains, cars bottom out in pools of mud. Most roads are impassable in snow and ice. No restaurants or gas stations …

The Lincoln Highway at 100 Read More »

Dogs of Our Lives

Dogs play a significant role in the daily lives of many in our region. In Allegheny County, there were 102,289 dogs licensed in 2011. Dogs can add to quality of life both as companions and in service, as exemplified by “Daisy,” a Golden Retriever and Standard Poodle mix who is trained as a diabetes alert …

Dogs of Our Lives Read More »

Faces of the Marcellus Shale

In the past several years, ancient organic matter trapped more than a mile beneath the surface of the earth has changed life in Greater Pittsburgh. The vast deposits of natural gas deep in rock are known collectively as the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus has softened the Great Recession and brought a cash infusion to previously …

Faces of the Marcellus Shale Read More »

Bridges of Allegheny County

Whether they’re crossing chasms, spanning rivers or connecting communities, bridges have always been the metaphoric heart of Pittsburgh. Their architects and builders— from 18th-century military pragmatists to the best design firms in the world—have expanded the art of the possible, from the humble to the magnificent, from arch to suspension to truss. Presented here is …

Bridges of Allegheny County Read More »

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. Photographer John Beale, also a professor of photojournalism at Penn State University, has spent a year capturing images of life along Penn, and a portion of that …

Portrait of Penn Avenue Read More »

The River Starts Here

For the Allegheny River, a journey of 352 miles begins with a single drop of water. Emerging from a hillside in rural, wooded Potter County, in northern Pennsylvania, the trickle swells to a river that provides drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people, 72 miles of navigable waterway for barges and industry and a …

The River Starts Here Read More »