David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Favorite thing: David L. Lawrence Convention Center, completed in 2003, is not to be confused with the original David L. Lawrence Convention Center that was completed in the 1960s or 70s. This convention center is state of the art, the largest certified green facility in the world. This is also the site of the September 2009 G-20 conference, a gathering of the leaders of the 20 great economic powers.
The David L. Lawrence Convention Center is is the largest LEED-certified 'green' building in the world. This 1.5 million square foot facility is owned by the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and managed by SMG. It cost $375 million to construct.
The convention center is named for Davis L. Lawrence, four-time mayor of Pittsburgh, and governor of Pennsylvania from 1959-1963.
Site of Fort Lafayette
Favorite thing: Fort Lafayette was constructed at present day Penn Avenue and Ninth Street. It was completed in 1792 after the end of the Revolutionary War, as hostilities continued between natives and local settlers. Fort Pitt was no longer serviceable, so Fort Lafayette was created in its place, mainly to serve as a supply deport for Fort McIntosh. Later in 1794 General Anthony Wayne defeated the Ohio Indians near modern Toledo, Ohio at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, largely ending the conflict in the region.
Fort Lafayette was again in use in 1803 when it was used as a staging area for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
During the War of 1812, the fort was used by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry as a supply base in his fight against the British.
Stood on this site. It
was completed in 1792.
Built to protect Pitts-
burgh against Indian
attacks and to serve as
a chief supply base
for Gen. Wayne's army,
during the war of 1812.
Site sold in 1813.
Union Station (AKA Penn Station)
Favorite thing: Built from 1898 to 1903, Pittsburgh's Union Station connected the Pennsylvania Railroad to several regional lines such as the Pennsylvania and Steubenville Railroad, the Pennsylvania and Charleston Railroad, the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad, Western Pennsylvania Railroad, and the Allegheny Valley Railroad.
This is the fourth Union Station constructed in Pittsburgh. The first, built in 1854, was located at the intersection of Grant St and 7th Avenue, just a block from the present site. The second Union Station was located along Liberty Avenue at the site of the present station; built in 1865, it was destroyed by the riots of 1877. The third Union Station was constructed on the same site, but only lasted until the present structure was built from 1898 to 1903. In 1912, the station was renamed Penn Station to match names of the other stations on the Pennsylvania Railroad.
The present Union/Penn Station consists of a great rotunda with four arched pillars in front of the station; this was the passenger waiting area. The station itself is topped with a tall building that was originally a hotel. The brownish-red exterior is actually terra cotta.
In the 1980s the station was restored, with the old hotel becoming an exclusive apartment building. The railroad station is still in use by Amtrak trains and regional buses.
Epiphany Catholic Church
Favorite thing: Epiphany Parish began in 1834 when St. Paul's Church was built on Grant Street. This church was destroyed by fire in 1851, but replaced just a few years later in the same location. This church was sold in 1901 due to the parish's overwhelming debt and the high value of the land, and the lot became the Union Arcade (now the Union Trust Building).
Epiphany Church construction began in 1902, and built in the Romanesque style with byzantine details. It opened in 1903, but detail work continued until around 1910. One unique feature of the church was the daily 2:30 am mass, specially approved by Rome, to serve the workers at one of the city's seven local newspapers.
In 2007 the city's Sports and Exhibition Authority purchased some of the church's out buildings, such as the rectory, in order to build the new Consol Energy Center for the Penguins.
A plaque at the church reads:
Epiphany Roman Catholic Church
Edward Stotz, Architect
John T. Comes, Interior Designer
Pittsburgh History &
Address: 1018 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3596
Telephone: (412) 471-0654
next time, go with the German
Fondest memory: Since we would be staying with friends, we wanted to take them out for dinner but the brewery I wanted most to visit, The Church Brew Works, was quite pricey. As chance would have it, our friends wanted to take us out for dinner, to one of my favorite US lager producers, Penn Brewing. It was a tough choice for me as I had always wanted to go to The Church Brew Works and their beers are not available outside of the brewpub. Penn Brewing beers, on the other hand, are readily available even in my home state of Florida. Since going to both brewpubs would have been greedy on my part and they insisted on taking us to dinner, we went with their second choice, Primanti Brothers. This great Pittsburgh institution is the best pizza parlor in town. We are lucky to have two of them in our native hometown of Fort Lauderdale, the only place outside of Pittsburgh to have any outposts.
The evening went really well and we hit if off grandly even though D had only met my old friends once at a wedding a few years earlier. Unfortunately, my buddy from high school is a pilot and was flying that night so could not have a beer and had to leave after dinner but his wife was more than happy to drive us to The Church Brew Works. This brewpub turned out to be disappointing and we actually passed by Penn Brewing with a sign for its Oktoberfest. Our friend explained it's the best time of year to visit the brewery and if there fine Germanic beers are any indication, I'm sure the food is great, hardy, and they put on a great Fest. I silently kicked myself for not choosing the old standby rather than exploring new uncharted territory. She offered to stop in for a beer but I knew I had pushed the limits of my beer loving as far as I could or should with my very understanding wife. But next time, I go with the tried and true. I go with Penn Brewing. I go with the German. After all, that's who I came with
- Road Trip
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
too many breweries for even me?
Favorite thing: I must confess I've not seen enough of Pittsburgh to say what its greatest sights are. Our stop was to visit friends and in that sense, even though it was very short, it was a great stop. Thanks to Ed & Ann for their hospitality. We hope to see you again soon.
If you are asking what my favorite brewpub is I would have to say Penn Brewing even though I've not been there yet. I've had their beer and my guess is if their food is as good as their beer, it has to be a better brewpub than The Church Beer Works.
Fondest memory: Sure, we were heading to a good friends' house in Pittsburgh but that would undoubtedly lead to yet another brewery stop. My friends know me well and a visit by me means a visit to the local brewery. This even happens when I am not in the mood. They can't wait to show me their local stuff. I guess my reputation precedes me. To set the scene, my wife and I had been to around 50 top brewpubs during our six-month trip around the US. We had been choosey about the places we stopped, trying to keep our budget under control and save our livers for the rigors of backpacking which was the real purpose of the trip, after all. But that part of the trip was over and now we found ourselves driving cross country, “back east” to the area I had grown up before finally making our way back down to our home in Florida. Obviously there would be a few beery stops along the way, all well-chosen. The problem was we were making such good progress on our trek east, it was only natural we would run into quite a few top ones clustered too closely together. In fact, we had been to two the day before, we were driving from one now, and we were surely heading towards another one that very night. That would make four breweries in two days, a lot for even me when not in Franconia. (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
- Road Trip
Union Trust Building
Favorite thing: The Union Trust Building was built from 1915 to 1916 by the industrialist and millionaire Henry Clay Frick. The building, originally named the Union Arcade, was a shopping center with some 240 shops spread over four of its fifteen floors. Today the entire building houses various offices, but the interior's circular rotunda is amazingly beautiful. The roof has some features that resemble a cathedral, because the building sits on the site of one of Pittsburgh's Roman Catholic churches, and the architect retained some religious design elements.
Henry Clay Frick was born and raised in Westmoreland County, who earned his fortune by age 30 by making coke, a key ingredient in steel, from coal. Andrew Mellon loaned him the money to buy his company, and he later became a business partner with Andrew Carnegie in the Carnegie Steel Company, the predecessor to the US Steel Company which still exists today. After almost being assassinated, he created the St. Clair Steel Company, which boasted the largest coke works in the world. Andrew Frick is also credited with forming the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club whose dam failed in 1889 causing the Johnstown Flood. In Pittsburgh, Frick funded construction of the Union Trust Building, the William Penn Hotel (1916), the Frick Building (1902), and the Frick Annex (now Allegheny Building, built in 1906). Frick's name can also be seen in the Frick Collection, an art gallery in New York, and Frick Park, the city of Pittsburgh's largest park.
Address: 501 Grant St., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Favorite thing: My top recommendations for Pittsburgh are the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's dinosaur exhibit, and while you're there, the Carnegie Museum of Art's rotating exhibit. For contemporary art, go to the Mattress Factory (and if you like Andy Warhol, go to his museum). Go up the incline and view the city from Mt. Washington.
I put more recommendations by interest on my travel page.
Fort Pitt Tunnel Is Amazing At Night
Favorite thing: My favorite part of our trip to Pittsburgh, is coming through the Fort Pitt Tunnel at night. We arrived very late, and didn't know what to expect. I had always heard that the view of the city when you first came out of the tunnel was beautiful, but I was amazed. When you come out of that tunnel at night, it is unbelievable. If I have one recommendation about a trip to Pittsburgh, if you are driving from the west or from the airport, is to take your first view of Pittsburgh coming out of that tunnel at night. You won't be disappointed.
Fondest memory: The sight on my wife's face. I had surprised here with a trip to Pittsburgh. When we crossed through the tunnel the expression on her face was worth the drive.
WiFi in Pittsburgh
Favorite thing: Downtown Pittsburgh offers two free hours of wireless Internet access daily in outdoor locations throughout the the entire downtown Pittsburgh area, including the North Shore and lower Hill District. If you sit near a window, you can pick up the free WiFi in some indoor locations as well.
The following link provides wifi hotspots in Pittsburgh. You'll notice the major coffee chains as Starbucks as well as US bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Borders. Both with a few exceptions will have a cafe with the usual items. The link will have a map and contact info. Wifi in Pittsburgh
stop and go
Favorite thing: This is a link to real-time traffic information for all the major highways in Pittsburgh. It is really handy if you are in the area when construction (destruction) or weather hazards or during taffic times or if there is an accident occur and you need to route around the problem.
There is a general area map that shows the various problems on the major routes and then there is a video-audio option that tells you which areas to avoid and why.
- Road Trip
fair weather or foul
Favorite thing: with this web link you can check on the general weather conditions in Pittsburgh.
- Road Trip
Carnegie Mellon University
Favorite thing: Carnegie Mellon, 5000 Forbes Avenue, is one of the premier Engineering schools in the nation and top in robotics! There have been some who say they have successfully competed with the techno-savvy Japanese in that area.
The University was conceived by Industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, who wanted to build a first class technological school for the sons of his mill workers. His dream was finalized in 1905 with the opening of the school.
CMU is known for its Engineering, Science, Drama and Fine Arts programs. It merged with Mellon Institute in 1967 to create a successful and diversified program of education. For more information call 412-268-2479.
Favorite thing: Duquesne offers a 40 acre campus complete with tree-lined walkways in a park-like, hilltop setting. This is a Catholic university whose mission is ¨to serve God by serving students, by committing to excellence in liberal and professional educations, upholding moral and spiritual values in the church and in its commitment to the community and the world´´.
The residence halls, academic buildings and recreation areas are all within easy walking distance. The McNulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, School of Nursing, School of Law, Mylan School of Pharmacy and Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law are only a few of the schools comprising the university.
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Duquesne University is well thought of in the world of academics! It was founded in 1878 by a group of Catholic priests and brothers of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit who were referred to as The Spiritans. This group was first established in France in 1703.
The Tamburitzens, a multicultural academy dedicated to the preservation and presentation of folk songs and dance are established here and travel all over the world introducing ethnic culture to a wide audience.
Duquesne was rated as one of the safest campuses in the nation by USA Today. For more information call 412-396-6000 or toll fee 800-456-0590.
- Arts and Culture
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