Justin Hopper

Journalist and author Justin Hopper focuses his work on two disparate places: his adopted hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, and the rolling hills of Southern England. Covering the former, Hopper has won Keystone and Golden Quill awards for his writing about music and the arts, and recently published Making the Connections, a book about community projects enacted as a part of Pittsburghs 250th anniversary. For the latter, he has written for publications such as Paste and Spin magazines, and is currently finishing a book on the 100-mile-long South Downs Way.

A  World Leader

Sitting in the bright, airy café at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Richard Piacentini stamps his foot on the floor. The tiles he thuds against are simple white squares. However, that hardly noticed floor has proven to be both bane and catalyst to a sea change in thinking about every aspect of Phipps’s operations. In …

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The Gospel of Brass

Pointing a handheld video camera at himself, James Gourlay made an eccentric sight on the streets of Pittsburgh, as the native of Scotland made tiny films literally “picturing” what it would be like to live in this city. The eminent tuba player, educator and brass band director was in town not quite two years ago …

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A City-Centric Provost

To hear Patricia Beeson describe it, driving into Pittsburgh through the Fort Pitt tunnel is like stumbling upon some kind of hidden Brigadoon. When she arrived in the city in 1983 after driving across the country from her native Oregon, Beeson had Simon and Garfunkel’s on-the-road anthem “America”—complete with reference to Pittsburgh—cued up for that first view …

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Dramatic Movement

In an empty annex of the Strip District’s typically post-industrial Gage Building, propped against a supporting beam on the hard factory floor, disparate objects sit like the sad leftovers from a garage sale. Karla Boos, founder and artistic director of Quantum Theatre, surveys the items with Jed Harris, veteran Pittsburgh written theater experimentalist and director …

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Pittsburgh’s Stealth Renaissance

When it was announced 12 years ago that Jared Cohon would become president of Carnegie Mellon, he returned to his Yale office to find a bouquet of flowers. The name on the card read Mark Nordenberg, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. It was the beginning of a relationship between Cohon, Nordenberg and UPMC President …

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Full Circle for the Square

At noontime on a summer’s friday, Mellon Square—the green public space that lashes together so many of Downtown Pittsburgh’s office buildings, hotels, and businesses—is bustling. Ties loosen, heels are exchanged for sneakers and brown bags and sidewalk-stand hot dogs come out as office workers begin the brisk business of a respite from the cubicle by …

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