Preservation Opportunities & Awards

PHLF: Lecture – Opening Up, Beyond the Porch

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Thursday, May 20
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Fee: $5.00

This lecture will be held via Zoom Conference. Click here to purchase a ticket and RSVP.

(You will receive an e-mail with a link to Zoom at on the day of the lecture. Don’t see the e-mail? Please be sure to check your spam or junk folders. Log in at 5:45 pm to allow us enough time to let you in to the lecture.)

Beyond the Porch

The story of the public realm is not just of streets and sidewalks and parks. It is also about the buildings that border public space, from shops and offices to homes and restaurants. Before air conditioning and the rise of the automobile, the structures that lined public spaces opened to the street in multiple ways, from covered second-story porches so familiar to many Pittsburgh neighborhoods to the fronts of workshops and wide-doored storefronts.

As we reopen our business districts and neighborhoods, yet at the same time design for a new normal, the places where the private realm opens up to the public are more important than ever. They have been and may continue to be seen as a kind of “safer” space for social interaction and exchange. The practice of earlier generations can contribute to designing future urbanism that opens up buildings to the public realm in new and historic ways, from industrial legacy structures to neighborhood main streets and beyond.

About the presenter: Ray Gastil is the Director of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he holds the David Lewis/Heinz Endowments Directorship of Urban Design and Regional Engagement. A former Director of Planning for the City of Pittsburgh, Gastil led neighborhood planning, resilient community, affordable housing, waterfront, preservation, and mobility initiatives. He previously served as a director in the planning departments of Seattle and New York City and was also a founding director of the Van Alen Institute.

PHLF: Lecture – History, Design and Architecture of Heinz Memorial Chapel

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Tuesday, May 18
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Fee: $5.00

This lecture will be held via Zoom Conference. Click here to purchase a ticket and RSVP.

(You will receive an e-mail with a link to Zoom at on the day of the lecture. Don’t see the e-mail? Please be sure to check your spam or junk folders. Log in at 5:45 pm to allow us enough time to let you in to the lecture.)

Heinz Memorial Chapel

The Heinz Memorial Chapel is one of the iconic landmarks on the grounds of the University of Pittsburgh campus in Oakland. It is celebrated as much for its location, beauty, and history. Constructed between 1933 and 1938, the chapel was built to honor the memory of the mother of H.J. Heinz an American entrepreneur. In this lecture, Frank Kurtik will share insights into the history, design, and architecture of the Gothic building designed by Philadelphia architect Charles Klauder.

About the presenter: Frank J. Kurtik is a long-time researcher, writer, and lecturer on the history of Western Pennsylvania. A former Research Fellow with the Heinz Family Foundation in Washington D.C., he currently works at the University of Pittsburgh where he serves on the staff of the staff Heinz Memorial Chapel, for which he is a docent and an event coordinator. Frank’s articles have appeared in many publications including the Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Carnegie Magazine, and Western Pennsylvania History. He has lectured on topics ranging from Western Pennsylvania iron furnaces to H. J. Heinz’s role in the Sunday School movement to Monongahela rye whiskey.

PHLF: Live Virtual Tour – Market Square and Point Park

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Thursday, May 13
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Fee: $7.50

This live virtual tour will be held via Zoom Conference. Click here to purchase a ticket and RSVP.

(You will receive an e-mail with a link to Zoom at on the day of the tour. Don’t see the e-mail? Please be sure to check your spam or junk folders. Log in at 5:45 pm to allow us enough time to let you in to the tour.)

Market Sq and PPU

Join Tracy Myers and Sarah Greenwald co-directors of education, on a virtual tour of the preservation efforts that helped revitalize the Market Square area and Point Park University campus over the last fifteen years. In this area where the historic architecture meets ground-up construction, we will see how a full range of preservation strategies helped to create a vibrant, dynamic Downtown core.

This tour will focus on our organization’s role in helping defeat a 1990s proposal to gut the Fifth-and-Forbes corridor and take deep dives into our ongoing efforts in and near Market Square and on Wood Street.

PHLF: Lecture on Virgil Cantini’s Public Art

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Thurssday, April 22
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Fee: $5

This live virtual tour will be held via Zoom Conference. Click here to purchase a ticket and RSVP.

(You will receive an e-mail with a link to Zoom at 5:00 pm on the day of the lecture. Don’t see the e-mail? Please be sure to check your spam or junk folders. Log-in 15 minutes before the lecture’s scheduled start to ensure that it begins on time.)

Virgil Cantini Lecture

Virgil Cantini was an artist and sculptor best known for creating large works of public art in Pittsburgh in the middle part of the 20th Century. He aimed to make art free and accessible to all, as well as long-lasting, but the changing priorities in a dynamic city have caused many of his works to be relocated.

Holden Slattery interviewed Cantini for The Pitt News, and Cantini made such an impression on him that he chose to continue researching and writing about him more than a decade later. While working on a recently published essay about Cantini, Slattery learned much more about Cantini and the challenges to maintaining and preserving public art, as well as the advocates working to preserve it. In this lecture, Holden will share some of his findings in his more than a decade-long interest in Cantini and his work.

PHLF: Live Virtual Architecture Tour – Grant Street

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Thurssday, April 15
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Fee: $5

This live virtual tour will be held via Zoom Conference. Click here to purchase a ticket and RSVP.

(You will receive an e-mail with a link to Zoom at 1:00 pm on the day of the tour. Don’t see the e-mail? Please be sure to check your spam or junk folders. Log-in 15 minutes before the tour’s scheduled start to ensure that it begins on time.)

Grant Street Downtown

This tour covers the northern half of a street that the American Planning Association designated one of America’s Ten Great Streets in 2012. From the quintessentially Modernist U.S. Steel Tower to the elegant Beaux-Arts Pennsylvanian (formerly Union Station), and with glorious Art Deco gems in between, this part of Grant Street is populated by outstanding civic and corporate buildings. Examples of adaptive re-use of historic buildings in this corridor demonstrate the economic value of historic preservation. Tour participants also will learn of the wide influence—sometimes explicit, other times less so—of businessman, philanthropist, politician, art collector, and Pittsburgh native Andrew W. Mellon on this important street.

PHLF Landmarks Scholarship: Apply by April 20

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The deadline to apply for the PHLF Landmarks Scholarship is Tuesday, April 20. The scholarship is available to high-school seniors in Allegheny County who will be attending college or university in the fall of 2021. Launched in 1999, the Landmarks Scholarship provides $6,000 payable over four years for book and tuition expenses.

We encourage students with a 3.25 grade point average or above, and are involved in their community, and care deeply about the Pittsburgh region to apply. Click here to download the application.

Funded by the Brashear Family Fund, the McSwigan Family Foundation Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Scholarship Committee members, and the Landmarks Scholarship Fund, the program gives students an incentive to excel in school, become involved in the preservation of architecture in their communities, and explore their city in a meaningful way.

 “It is so refreshing to me to know that we have so many students in this region who stop for a minute and think about [historic] places. I am amazed by their insights,” Louise Sturgess, PHLF Education Advisor, said of the scholarship in a 2017 interview with SLB Radio Productions.

“High school students,” she added, “are capable of absolute artistry and beauty in their words about historic places.” Click here to listen to the full recording with SLB Radio Host Larry Berger and five other former scholarship recipients between 2001 and 2017.

Click here to donate and help support the Landmarks Scholarship Program.

PHLF: Virtual Tour of Point Breeze

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Live, Virtual Architecture Tour: Western Shadyside

Wednesday, March 31
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Fee: $7.50

Described as “Chateau Country” by PHLF’s co-founder Jamie Van Trump, Point Breeze was once home to Pittsburgh industrialists of great wealth: Andrew Carnegie, H.J. Heinz, George Westinghouse, and Henry Clay Frick, among others. Only Frick’s grand home, “Clayton,” survives, as part of The Frick Pittsburgh, but there is still much to see and explore in this large, residential city neighborhood.

Point Breeze Tour

The tour will amble among Point Breeze’s lovely streets and include the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (originally the home of Durbin Horne, son of Joseph Horne); Pittsburgh New Church; nearby main street shops; and Engine House No. 16, now the home of Fireman Creative.

This live virtual tour will be held via Zoom Conference. 

Click here to purchase a ticket for your household and you will receive an e-mail with a link to Zoom at 9:00 am on the day of the tour. Don’t see an e-mail? Please check your Junk/Spam folders. Login 15 minutes before the tour’s scheduled start to ensure that it begins on time. Please disregard the QR code in the confirmation you receive. Our link to the Zoom connection is your entry to the tour.

Memorial Tree Planting

Submitted by Fran Barbush

In the past, we have planted trees in memoriam of departed neighbors and friends of the neighborhood. We recently learned of the passing of our long-time neighbor, Mrs. Patricia Rooney.  She was a champion and fundraiser for the Allegheny Commons, and a positive spokesperson for the North Side. We also learned of the death of Greta Coleman. Her husband, Moe, and she were neighbors for many years. Moe passed away last year.

We did not purchase any trees last year, due to the pandemic. If you would like to make contributions toward memorial trees, you can prepare a check and make it out to AWCC, and put it through the mail slot at 806 Western Avenue; or contact treasurer@alleghenywest.org. Thank you for your consideration.

 

CCAC Presentations will Highlight Industrialists of Allegheny West

From Ann Gilligan:

You may recall that representatives of CCAC Allegheny’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, Alpha Mu Theta,  joined us at our December Membership meeting.  Their Honors in Action research project is focusing on the legacy of industrialism and industrialists in our Allegheny West neighborhood. They’ve researched local residents with ties to industry in our area, particularly the Denny family and the Painter family who had homes on campus grounds, and the effect they’ve had on our immediate neighborhood and the region as a whole. They’ve also examined the future of industry in our area and are planning to incorporate a discussion on CCAC’s new Workforce Training Center into a future presentation.

 

They are hosting a series of Zoom events on Thursdays in February.  The first event on Thursday February 11, (info available here) will introduce the greater topic of industrialism and its overarching effects on society and will feature Dr. Jacqueline Cavalier, Professor of History at CCAC and active member of local historical societies and organizations. Our second event will focus on the legacy of industry in Allegheny West, and the third event will focus on CCAC’s new Workforce Training Center and the future of industry in our region, details are TBA.

 

Everyone is welcome to join.

Lecture: America’s Best Antique Skyscrapers

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America’s Best Antique Skyscrapers

Mark Houser
Writer and Tour Guide
MultiStories

Thursday, February 18
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Fee: $5

This lecture will be held via ZOOM conference. Click here to get your ticket and RSVP.

Pittsburgh writer and skyscraper tour guide Mark Houser spent two years traveling the country for his new book, MultiStories, seeking out the most beautiful turn-of-the-century office towers. He will share his own photos of Beaux-Arts facades, dazzling lobbies, rooftop decks, and several behind-the-scenes surprises in venerable high-rises from New York to Chicago, Boston to San Francisco, Milwaukee to Miami — even Vancouver and Liverpool. He’ll also reveal some fascinating details about the early millionaires who transformed American cities by commissioning the world’s first skyscrapers.

Antique Skyscrapers

About the presenter: Mark Houser is the author of MultiStories: 55 Antique Skyscrapers & the Business Tycoons Who Built Them. He is a frequent contributor to Pittsburgh Magazine and gives occasional Downtown rooftop tours for Doors Open Pittsburgh. Houser is director of news and information at Robert Morris University and a former newspaper reporter and editor. More at HouserTalks.com.