Pittsburgh: City of Bridges
Pittsburgh known primarily for blue collar, working class, steel mills, etc. has a bevy of interesting destinations. Pittsburgh also is a city that has experienced transformation in the coming years. As a city delved deeply in steel production in the early 1900’s, Pittsburgh has now become a hub for technology, along with a strong healthcare with UPMC. As a tourist you can experience Pittsburgh’s rich culture by visiting historic landmarks, going to a museum, or going to a sporting event. Whatever the case I’m sure that you will come out of your trip with a greater understanding of the city, and possibly have the urge to comeback. Now to begin it’s only fitting to start with Pittsburgh main attraction: Their sports teams, we will start with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Established in 1933, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the city’s football team, and are engrained within the sports heart of its citizens. Winning six Super Bowl championships (the all-time most) Pittsburghers have a lot of pride in the black & gold. To see a game you would hop on one of the city’s major highways and land at Heinz Field in the North Shore (formerly three rivers stadium). If you really want to get a true experience maybe make a few friends, and go to a tailgating event (just make sure you have water). Pittsburgh is also host to the Penguins and Pirates their professional hockey and baseball teams. The Penguins were founded in 1967 and are the current Stanley Cup champions. They host their games at the PPG Paints Arena (formerly the Civic Arena) located right next to Duquesne University. The Pittsburgh Pirates are the oldest Pittsburgh sports team. Established in 1882, The “Buccos” are most known for the famous 1960 World Series against the New York Yankees on a game-winning walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski. The Pirates Ballpark: PNC Park is located in the Northshore (formerly Three Rivers Stadium). With all of the teams winning 5 or more championships, you can see why Pittsburgh is dubbed the City of Champions, now let’s see what else Pittsburgh has to offer.
If you appreciate the planning and designing of buildings the North Shore has an 1895 neogothic church: Calvary Methodist designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the church’s stained glass windows are some of the largest and most elaborate work Tiffany has every created. Shifting to The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, this church contains opulently decorated edifice enamored by Old World flourishes. The church is one of the finest examples of Polish Cathedral styled churches that overlooks the Polish Hill. If you are going to mention architecture you can’t leave out two of Pittsburgh most famous examples: The Allegheny County Courthouse (established in 1886) located in downtown Pittsburgh, designed by H.H. Richardson and the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning (established in 1937), at 42 stories the Cathedral is the second tallest collegiate building in the world.
Undoubtedly The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is one of Pittsburgh main attractions to tourists. Founded in 1895, the symphony performs at the grand Heinz Hall located in Pittsburgh’s downtown Cultural District. The symphony presents classical, pops, education, community engagement, and special concerts throughout the year at Heinz Hall and in the community, and is a good way to get immersed in Pittsburgh’s rich culture. Many people forget Pittsburgh’s Jazz roots. Being a gateway between the north, south, east, and west of the U.S. Pittsburgh was instrumental in the development of Jazz in the early 1900’s. This was most prominent in The Hill District also known as “Little Harlem” from the 1920’s until early 1950’s. There were many venues that hosted jazz music, but the most famous was the Crawford Grill in the Hill District. Jazz was also had a strong foothold in the East End regions of Homewood and East Liberty.
Museums, Art, and the Incline:
It would be a mistake to not include Pittsburgh’s Museums and Art centers. The Andy Warhol museum located in the North Shore holds work from Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and many other famous artists. If you swing by the Strip District you can visit the Heinz History Center, as the largest history museum in Pennsylvania the museum would be a jump start to seeing Pittsburgh’s history and culture. To set you off right at some point during your stay in Pittsburgh a visit to the Duquesne Incline is definitely necessary. Located in the South Side’s Mt. Washington it will give you a breath taking view of Pittsburgh and a cool ride for only 5 dollars.
I hope this blog can shed light on what Pittsburgh has to offer, enjoy your stay in the Steel City!