2008 Summer

Staying Close to the Plow

Outside Neal’s Harness and Tack Shop in northern Lawrence County, cars and pickup trucks park alongside Amish horse-drawn buggies. A row of gasoline-powered washing machines, a sideline of Neal’s business, squat in a row beside the entrance. Inside, the smell of leather pervades. Harnesses, saddles, reins, tack and sleigh bells on straps hang from the …

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A River Runs By It

This is the story of a thoroughly modern dilemma that was solved by a building erected in 1901 along the banks of the Allegheny River. More than a full century later, the Armstrong Cork Factory in the Strip District is bustling with life and assorted pursuits of happiness. The massive structure designed by Frederick John …

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Zoo View

As creative director and volunteer photographer of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Paul A. Selvaggio has photographed animals for the past 17 years. But it’s not quite a matter of point and click. Unlike Annie Leibovitz, when Selvaggio photographs his subjects, he has to worry about becoming their lunch. The animals’ keepers have been …

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Purkey, Martin, Forrester, Beckwith, Lacey, Jones, Horan

Lee H. Lacey, 89: For nearly 30 years, Lacey was the president and CEO of Harmarville Rehabilitation Center. During his tenure, the facility, now part of HealthSouth, nearly tripled in capacity and changed from a home for poor mothers into a state-of-the-art center for people recovering from debilitating sicknesses and injuries. Robert T. Purkey, 78 …

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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. Only one of those little Washingtons was seriously naughty enough to provoke George himself …

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Klavon’s

Nothing says summer like a classic banana split. For some of us, it recalls going to the neighborhood drug store/soda fountain with no thought of caloric intake or cholesterol levels. For a step back in time to that more innocent — and way better — era, visit Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor in the Strip District. …

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The Rub of the Green

In the language of golf, there is always a “hidden gem.” The hidden gem is a golf course that is little known or even unknown, that someone has visited and then pronounced a marvel. The course generally has been sitting there, probably for many decades, known but to the locals. It could be a Ross, …

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On Nesting

While attention rightly goes to our region’s green buildings, the greenest construction puts them all to shame. It uses only native materials, costs nothing and is totally biodegradable. And the winner is: Bird nests, so many and so varied that we hardly notice them. Look around, and you’ll see evidence of nesting birds everywhere. While …

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The Revolutionary Frantz Fanon

This “novel” is novel indeed; a variform narrative incorporating, among other things, letters to a dead man and a tentative tale of a severed head. It’s a curious brew, heavily laced with impressions, observations and fantastic, almost hallucinatory images. (How else would one describe the author’s elderly mother giving birth to a full-grown man,who emerges …

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Lacking Nonconformity

Perhaps we can blame Richard Florida, the former Carnegie Mellon professor, who popularized the notion that, yes, there is a creative class of people and a direct relationship between their representation in a region’s population and the social and economic prospects of that community. As Florida still tells it, everyone loves to be in the …

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Where in the World is Point Park?

Back from the endangered list, the “little school that could” has a plan to revive Downtown. Can it create a Latin Quarter by the Mon? Point Park University, as it is now called (it was until recently a college), has been Downtown since the 1930s. For years, though, it’s had an identity problem. When most …

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Stocks & Pedestal, Summer 2008

Great cities take great care when it comes to aesthetics, and Pittsburgh is fortunate to be among the nation’s great architectural cities. It doesn’t continue by magic, though. It takes planning and vigilance. Going into the stocks this issue is the monstrous parking garage being planned by casino developers on the North Shore. The 10-story …

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One Myth Worth Dispelling

Sonoma, Calif. — On an unseasonably warm and beautiful April evening in the heart of the California wine country, an enthusiastic crowd with many Pittsburghers gathered to see the premiere screening of “My Tale of Two Cities,” a documentary about Pittsburgh and the life of the film’s creator, star and narrator, Carl Kurlander. Kurlander is …

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The Case for Consolidation

The governments of Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh – the two largest governments in our region – duplicate many departments and services, including parks, public works, human resources, computer services, emergency management and so forth. This redundancy of functions and services results in operational inefficiencies, public confusion and unnecessary costs.​ However, there are …

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The Path to Leadership

We have all heard more times than we can count how Pittsburgh can be its own worst enemy; how we as a region defeat ourselves through low self-esteem and low expectations, and how we just need to start believing in ourselves again. Perhaps we should not be so quick to judge our community for struggling …

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Robert F. Vagt, The Heinz Endowments

I can’t look at my career path and, with a straight face, tell anyone that it was the result of a plan. I was born in Delaware. My folks split up, and then my mother and I moved to Connecticut in the years before I went to college. My grandfather was a Presbyterian minister. My mom …

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H.J. Heinz: Relish Success

In the second half of the 19th century, as Pittsburgh emerged as one of America’s great cities, it did so on the back of heavy industry; steel predominantly, but also glass, oil and all manner of heavy machinery. Indeed, four of the five men novelist Edith Wharton dubbed the “Lords of Pittsburgh” built their fortunes …

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Taylor, Singleton, McGarry, Gideon, Rademacher, Littrell, Cooper, Wood

Samuel M. Taylor is the Director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, where he worked early in his career. A marine biologist and science educator by training, Taylor has been a museum consultant for the past eight years in New Jersey.Previously, he was chairman and curator of the education department at the California Academy …

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Here’s to you, Mrs. Henderson

Of all of the thousands of students attending classes at the University of Pittsburgh last fall, Elsie Henderson was perhaps the most extraordinary. For starters, she didn’t walk the Oakland campus with an iPod fixed to her ears or consumed in cell phone conversation. She doesn’t own either of those technologies. She doesn’t even own …

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Six CEOs

Enron’s spectacular collapse in 2001, followed by WorldCom’s demise after Bernie Ebbers enjoyed more than $400 million in loans approved by his board of directors, led to the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). SOX was intended to change the behavior and accountability of publicly traded companies, CEOs, boards of directors and public …

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You’ll Manage, Summer 2008

Mark Twain referred to golf as “a good walk spoiled.” I think of golf as more of a journey of revelation. It reveals whether you really want to do business with someone as you watch his behavior during a round. Or, as an unknown golfer said, “If there is any larceny in a man, a …

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From the Publisher, Summer 2008

They say you can’t break news in a quarterly magazine. Well, I’d like to give you two little news flashes that I suspect you haven’t read anywhere else. The first has to do with a new partnership we have with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. I’m pleased to announce that we’ll be publishing the quarterly calendar …

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