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An Introduction to the University of Pittsburgh and its facilities
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CrazyPaco Online
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An Introduction to the University of Pittsburgh and its facilities
You've clicked on this thread, so you are probably curious about Pitt. Nothing works better than pictures. After all, they're worth a 1,000 words right? What follows is an photographic introduction to Pitt, starting with its athletic facilities, then its academic facilities, and finally, the university neighborhood that makes up the unique culture and experience of the University of Pittsburgh. Look like a lot to see? It is, and it is definitely worth a visit if you can get to the Oakland section of Pittsburgh for a day. Until then, welcome to Pitt through the images below!

Click on the photos for larger sizes and the available links for more information.

Since this is primarily an athletics message board, let's start with the University's athletic facilities. Most of you know about Heinz Field which sits about 3 miles from campus and was built to be shared by Pitt and the Steelers.

Athletic Facilities
[Image: 5913393667_ddf70d6146_b.jpg]

[Image: Heinz-Field-PA.jpg] [Image: HeinzField-Pittsburgh_display_image.jpg?1285186112] [Image: 1465456711_8af7818762.jpg?v=0] [Image: 20021103pppanther_230.jpg] [Image: 800px-GreatHallentranceGateB.jpg] [Image: 3154448055_485cd95a97_m.jpg]

Our football practice facilities include the one-of-a-kind University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Sports Performance Complex which is located right across the Hot Metal Bridge from Pitt's campus and is also shared with the Steelers.

Here's a quick video about the football facilities at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex.




[Image: duratzsc82907.jpg] [Image: sportscenter_big.jpg] [Image: IndoorField.jpg] [Image: 300px-UPMCSportsPracticeFields.jpg] [Image: OutdoorFields.jpg]

For additional information on the football program, which claims nine national championships, is among the top 20 teams in all-time wins, and is eighth in the total all-time number of consensus All-Americans, I would suggest you consult the Wikipedia article on Pitt football.

Our on campus basketball facility, the Petersen Events Center, is directly across the street from our medical school and also houses a food court and recreation facilities which are open daily for student use.
[Image: 5.jpg] [Image: 400px-PetersonEventsWINDOW.jpg] [Image: 800px-Petersen_events_center_inside.jpg] [Image: PEC102809.jpg]

Other athletic facilities include Trees Pool (left), one of the largest and nicest natatoriums in the East. Fitzgerald Field House, (middle), which was our basketball facility until 2002, has since been refurbished for volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics. A new facility for baseball, soccer and softball (right) was completed in 2011.

[Image: Pitt_treespool_1.jpg] [Image: 6872172.jpeg] [Image: sports-fields-photo.jpg]

In addition to the indoor practice facility at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex above, we also have an indoor football field, the Cost Center, on campus adjacent to the basketball arena and baseball field. This indoor facility is now mostly used for olympic sports and intramurals. For more on our athletic facilities, click here.
[Image: 250px-Costcenterinside.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2015 04:15 PM by CrazyPaco.)
04-02-2012 04:32 AM
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RE: An Introduction to the University of Pittsburgh and its facilities
Academic Campus

Pitt's primary academic campus is quite urban and nestled in the middle of the Schenley Farms National Historic District, which is also the site of the main cultural and educational district of Pittsburgh called Oakland (hence this is why the basketball student section is called the "Oakland Zoo"). However, the campus contains several large green spaces and lawns and is also adjacent to Schenley Park, one of the nation's largest urban parks.

Here's a quick video about the campus produced for the football program.




Our centerpiece building is the one-of-a-kind 535ft tall gothic Cathedral of Learning, the second tallest university building in the world, and the tallest in the Western Hemisphere. It is not an exaggeration to state that, inside and out, there is nothing else like it anywhere in the world.

Here's a short YouTube Video about it that appeared on the Travel Channel.



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The interior of the Cathedral of Learning contains a massive 1/2 acre, four-story tall gothic study hall called the Commons Room.

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The corridors ringing the Gothic Hall...

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...contain a unique collection of 30 Nationality Rooms, that represent the homelands of the ethnic communities that built Pittsburgh. All rooms are designed to represent a period prior to the University's founding in 1787. Except for two that are now only display rooms, these are functional classrooms that are used daily by faculty and students. Six more are in the planning stages. These, along with most Pitt buildings, are open to the public to tour (as long as class isn't in session in that particular room).

[Image: ArmenianRoom.jpg] [Image: 2615081870_55673be890.jpg] [Image: 2700507224_fd4e02d4ab_o.jpg]

[Image: 300px-Indianroom.jpg] [Image: 800px-ItalianNationalityRoomPitt.jpg] [Image: 300px-Syria-Lebanon_Room_-_Pitt_-_IMG_0515.jpg]

[Image: 800px-EnglishNationalityRoom2.jpg] [Image: 1024px-Cathedral_of_Learning_Israel_Heri...737%29.jpg] [Image: 167866223_8b86648b70.jpg]
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The University’s Honors College is based on the 35th and 36th floor of the Cathedral of Learning. The Honors College has churned out a multiple Rhodes, Marshall, and Trumans scholars, and in 2012, it’s fourth Rhodes Scholar in six years. If you get to tour the Cathedral of Learning and the Nationality Rooms, a trip up to the Honors College is a must for the view.

[Image: Pitt_Honors_College_staircase.jpg] [Image: 5965758487_129d9996b7.jpg] [Image: 4624527371_a3aa8c0432_z.jpg]

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Staying on the gothic section of campus, close to the Cathedral of Learning, is our french gothic revival nondenominational Heinz Memorial Chapel, which contains among the tallest stained glass windows in the world. It also has the single largest collection of Charles Connick designed windows in one place.

[Image: 400px-HeinzChapelSouth.jpg.jpg] [Image: 6025274564_3cfaeb67c5_b.jpg] [Image: 2496487066_e2f906fb6d_b.jpg]
[Image: 6849046533_4a91775237_n.jpg] [Image: 300px-HeinzNorthTranseptWindows.JPG]


Our primary performing arts theater facility, the Stephen Foster Memorial, essentially completes the tour of the gothic section of Pitt's campus.
[Image: 450px-Stephen_Foster_Memorial%2C_Univers...G_0803.jpg] [Image: 4494863805_4824918817.jpg] [Image: 800px-StephenFosterWinter.jpg] [Image: 800px-SFosterMemorialLobby.jpg]

[Image: 800px-StephenfosterMemorialbustwindow.jpg] [Image: 449px-StphFostMemShrine.jpg] [Image: 369px-CharityrandallatPitt.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 07-29-2017 10:47 AM by CrazyPaco.)
04-02-2012 04:34 AM
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RE: An Introduction to the University of Pittsburgh and its facilities
Nearby, Pitt's neo-renaissance art facility, the Frick Fine Art Building, sits on the edge of 456 acre Schenley Park.

[Image: 7.jpg] [Image: 448px-FrickFineArtsCourtyard.jpg] [Image: 800px-Frick_Fine_Arts_Building_-_Pitt_-_IMG_0767.jpg] [Image: 448px-FrickFineArtsLibrary.jpg] [Image: Lochoff2.jpg]

The beaux-arts William Pitt Union is our student union, and has been restored to its former glory, complete with Louis XV interiors, when it served as the premeire luxury hotel in the city.

[Image: 8.jpg] [Image: 200px-WPUForbesAve.jpg] [Image: 449px-NordysPlaceWPU.JPG] [Image: 250px-WPUballroom.jpg] [Image: 250px-WPUTV.jpg] [Image: 800px-WPUloby.jpg]


The O'Hara Student Center is Pitt's newest renovation. Essentially an extension of the William Pitt Union, it provides space for student lounges, activities, events, and offices for student organizations. It also houses the math and writing centers.
[Image: 800px-Concordia_Club_Pittsburgh3.jpg] [Image: staircase.JPG]

[Image: auditorium.JPG] [Image: student-lounge1.jpg]


The Greek revival Alumni Hall contains the Pitt Alumni Association and office of admissions, but also has study areas, lecture halls, and other various academic spaces.

[Image: AlumniHallatPitt.jpg] [Image: 800px-LegacyGalleryAlumniHall.jpg] [Image: 410134510_c622e522e8_o.jpg] [Image: 800px-MellonFinancialHall.jpg] [Image: 800px-AlumniHallStudy.jpg]


Our music facilities include our Richardsonian Romanesque Music Building that was the site of the original set of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood....

[Image: 13.jpg]


...and also the Italianate Bellefield Hall, which beside having a music hall and recording studio, also houses a basketball court and swimming pool.
[Image: 449px-BellefieldHallentrance.JPG] [Image: 800px-Bellefieldauditor.jpg] [Image: 6844872215_e02bbdee51.jpg]

The University Club houses a faculty club, meeting and lecture spaces, and restaurants.

[Image: uclub1.jpg] [Image: 797px-PittUClubLobby.jpg] [Image: 800px-UCLibraryPitt.JPG]

[Image: 449px-UClubroofColPitt.JPG] [Image: 4787451909_7fbb85aa8c_z.jpg] [Image: 4787451879_3463056c06_z.jpg]


The math department and student advising is housed in Thackeray Hall.

[Image: ThackerayHallPitt.jpg] [Image: 800px-ThackeraylobbyPitt.JPG]
(This post was last modified: 02-09-2013 07:12 PM by CrazyPaco.)
04-02-2012 04:36 AM
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RE: An Introduction to the University of Pittsburgh and its facilities
Salk Hall, where Jonas Salk created the world's first Polio vaccine, is home to the Dental and Pharmacy schools and is in the processes of receiving a $50.6 million addition. It also contains small pharmacy (middle) and dental (right) museums.

[Image: 300px-Pitt_Salk_Hall.jpg] [Image: museum.jpeg] [Image: museum01.jpg]


Our main library facility is Hillman Library, which features several specialty rooms and collections. By volumes held, Pitt's library system is the 29th largest library (21st largest college library) in the US, and enjoys reciprocal agreements with neighboring Carnegie Mellon University and the main public library of Pittsburgh, which is literally just across the street.

[Image: HillmanLibUnivPitt.jpg] [Image: hillman.jpg] [Image: 800px-Hillmanstudyarea.jpg]

Two themed rooms, the Latin American Reading Room and Leroy Irvis Reading Room, respectively, are located in Hillman Library.
[Image: 800px-LatinroomHillman.jpg] [Image: 799px-IrvisRoomHillman.jpg]


Pitt's Katz Graduate School of Business is housed in Mervis Hall

[Image: 9.jpg] [Image: 800px-MervisHallLoungePitt.jpg] [Image: 603px-MervisFinancialLabPitt.JPG]


Pitt's School of Education laboratory school is Falk School on the upper campus.
[Image: 800px-FalkSchool.jpg]


Benedum Hall, home to our Swanson School of Engineering, has recently undergone $90 million in renovations.

[Image: 3.jpg] [Image: 5.jpg]


Schenley Quadrangle is a historic, former luxury apartment complex turned into residence halls.
[Image: 448px-SchenleyQuadcolumn.jpg] [Image: bruce.jpg] [Image: SchenleyQuadfromForbesl.jpg]


Allen Hall (left) as well as in Thaw Hall (right), house physics, geology, and other departments.
[Image: 800px-AllenHall.jpg] [Image: 4305460880_ea0b66cd4f.jpg] [Image: 800px-ThawPitt.jpg]


Chevron Science Centeris home to the chemistry department, as is Eberly Hall (right).
[Image: PSTOCK_005_SLD_00000112_01.jpg] [Image: Eberlyhallside.jpg]


Biology is housed in Clapp Hall.
[Image: 800px-Clapp_Hall_Edit.JPG] [Image: GreenHouse1.jpg]

Posvar Hall, the largest building on campus by square footage, was built on the site of the Pittsburgh Pirates' former baseball stadium, Forbes Field. Inside Posvar, the original home plate of Forbes Field is embedded in the floor close to its original location. Outside, near the entrance, stands the original left-center outfield field wall and flagpole. Also inside Posvar, one of two remaining aerodromes built by Samuel Langley is on display. Langley was an aviation pioneer and former Pitt professor (and namesake of Langley, Virginia and Langley Air Force Base).

[Image: Wesley_Wentz_Posvar_Hall.JPG] [Image: 2938380455_04b41ddf3a.jpg] [Image: LangleyAirInPosvar.jpg]


The primary freshman dorms are the 22-, 19-, and 16-story Litchfield Towers. You can tell from the photo why at one time the school was known as "Skyscraper U".
[Image: 542px-TowersfromPosvar.jpg] [Image: 479858929_a39c1f0e9f.jpg]


Pennsylvania and Panther Halls are residence halls on the upper campus with great views of lower Oakland
[Image: 450px-PennsylvaniaHallPittUpperCampus.jpg] [Image: 3909943845_cc09bc87d9.jpg] [Image: 800px-CathedralfromPAHall.jpg]


Bouquet Gardens are apartment-style student residences on the lower campus.
[Image: 768px-BouquetGardensPitt.jpg] [Image: 2277322917_42e7000d6b_m.jpg]


Forbes Quad (below left), also sits on the former site of the Pittsburgh Pirate's Forbes Field. The photo on the right is the Omicron Delta Kappa Walk on the lawn of Cathedral of Learning.

[Image: Forbes_Quadrangle2.jpg] [Image: 3.jpg]

Below is another portion of the Cathedral Lawn.
[Image: 800px-PITT_grass.JPG]
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2015 03:12 AM by CrazyPaco.)
04-02-2012 04:36 AM
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RE: An Introduction to the University of Pittsburgh and its facilities
Attractions

There are a ton of things to do in Pittsburgh. I'm going to restrict this next section to attractions on or near campus. Before I begin, I'll mention that for the area around Heinz Field, which is the Northside neighborhood, there are plenty of things to check out like the Andy Warhol Museum, National Aviary, Rivers Casino, Carnegie Science Center and Sports Works, Mattress Factory (it's a contemporary art museum), and the best baseball park in America: PNC Park (if the Buccos are still in season). But just sticking to the Oakland neighborhood where Pitt's campus is, here is what is on or adjacent to the university:

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is directly across the street from the Cathedral of Learning and is free for Pitt students and staff. It also serves as a secondary home for some of Pitt's faculty. It is one of the six largest such museums in the nation and has the third largest dinosaur collection in the world.
[Image: 211140804_65a836f7d2.jpg] [Image: 800px-Dinos_at_Carnegie_-_IMG_0718.jpg] [Image: 800px-Hillman_Hall_of_Minerals_and_Gems_-_IMG_0646.jpg]


Adjoining the Museum of Natural History is the Carnegie Museum of Art which is also free for Pitt affiliates. It is known for its rare collection of plaster casts of architectural masterpieces, the largest such collection in the US, as well as its mid-19th Century to present art collections, including significant French impressionists.
[Image: carnegie_museum_of_art.jpg] [Image: carnegie_museum_of_art2.jpg] [Image: v-carnegie-int395.2.jpg] [Image: 1045870950_6ee10201ce.jpg]


Also adjoined to the museums is the Carnegie Music Hall, which is sometimes used for Pitt functions like the Honors Convocation,....
[Image: 6675850203_dbf8639184_z.jpg] [Image: oak_music_hall_lg.jpg]

...as well as the main branch of the Carnegie Public Library of Pittsburgh (right), which is also available to Pitt students.
[Image: 800px-PittsburghCarnegieLibrarymainbranch.jpg] [Image: 800px-Carnegie_Library_of_Pittsburgh_-_IMG_1162.JPG] [Image: 800px-Carnegie_Library_of_Pittsburgh_-_IMG_1166.JPG]

Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial, located smack in the middle of campus, is regularly used to host various university functions and is open daily for tours. It was the sight of the infamous "de-facing" scene in Silence of the Lambs when it stood in for a Memphis court house.

[Image: SoldiersMemorial_Pittsburgh.jpg] [Image: 5-600.png] [Image: Soldiers-Sailors-Memorial-Hall.jpg]

Between Pitt's library, Pitt's Frick Fine Arts Building, and the city's public library lies Schenley Plaza, a public lawn with wireless internet access, food kiosks, a performance tent, and a carousel. It essentially serves as another quad for Pitt.

[Image: 800px-Schenley_PlazaPano.jpg]

[Image: 800px-Carousel_at_Shenley_Plaza.JPG] [Image: 739812965_47c74847a0.jpg?v=0]


If you continue just past Pitt's Frick Fine Arts Building and go over the Schenley Bridge, you'll wind up in the 456-acre Schenley Park. Here you'll find wooded jogging trails, playing fields, tennis courts, monuments, an outdoor ice rink, frisbee golf, a public golf course, and among other things, some Panther statues.

[Image: Panther_Hollow_Bridge.jpg] [Image: 1024px-SchenleyPark_Bridge_Pittsburgh.jpg] [Image: Panther0658.jpg] [Image: 800px-SchenleyPark.jpg]


Just inside Schenley Park, you'll also find the 19th Century Victorian Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens which, again, is free to Pitt students and affiliates. It has recently undertaken a major expansion and has also obtained a significant collection of Chihuly glass.

[Image: 1110d_phipps1_b.jpg] [Image: Phipps6.jpg] [Image: 2009-03-22-phipps-01.jpg] [Image: 450px-Phipps_Conservatory_%26_Botanical_Gardens_208.jpg]


I should probably also mention that Pitt's campus includes its medical school, bioscience research facilities, and the flagship hospitals of its medical center (located in an area of campus that is quite overgrown): the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. UPMC has grown into one of the world's largest health care providers with over 20 hospitals including locations in Ireland, Italy, and the UK.

Pitt's campus also literal abuts Carlow University, a small liberal arts school next to our med campus, and Carnegie-Mellon University (which is not to be confused with the independent Carnegie Institute that runs the city's museums and the Carnegie Public Library depicted above). Pitt and Carnegie-Mellon have an extremely close working relationship, with a myriad of joint academic and research programs and other collaborative projects. CMU has some interesting architectural buildings as well, so it may be worth a look. With the city's major hospitals, museums, libraries, as well as three universities, Oakland truely is the educational, medical, and cultural heart of the city. It is also the third most densely populated district in Pennsylvania, behind Center City Philadelphia and Downtown Pittsburgh.
(This post was last modified: 07-29-2017 10:58 AM by CrazyPaco.)
04-02-2012 04:37 AM
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RE: An Introduction to the University of Pittsburgh and its facilities
Food


This section will be an attempt to provide a sample of the classic and unique college fare around campus. It obviously can't include every restaurant, eatery, or bar; but I will include the longer standing classics.

Essie's Original Hot Dog Shop, often referred to as "The O" or "The Dirty O", has had a campus presence since 1960 and is a traditional late night student eatery. In 2001, Gourmet Magazine ranked the hot dogs fourth-best in America and The New York Times named it to a list of one of the "high spots in a nation of hot-dog heavens" in 2002. It is also known for its heaping portion of french fries, listed as some of the nation's best by CNN, and its cheap pizzas.

[Image: 3308578922_c4e060875a.jpg] [Image: 800px-TheDirtyOinOakland.jpg] [Image: 2691426343_1662b2d86f_m.jpg] [Image: 3795682853_e361baf1ce_m.jpg] [Image: original_stephen_1676_600.jpg]

For out-of-towners, no trip to Pittsburgh is complete without a stop at Primanti Brothers. Luckily, Pitt has one right next to campus on Forbes Avenue. Their sandwiches are always profiled on tv, and they have a national reputation for their size and components which include french fries and their special coleslaw.
[Image: 3945633707_63f944e4be.jpg] [Image: 197564060_22e27280f4.jpg?v=0] [Image: primanti-brothers.jpg]

Another long standing campus eatery is Uncle Sams Subs, known for their cheesesteaks. They're not exactly what you get in Philly, but they're pretty good and the best in the 'burgh.
[Image: 4027809741_d4d1dae9b3.jpg] [Image: 3094605554_5fc2e19347.jpg] [Image: 1721345179_aa4ad6412f.jpg]

Right next to Sams is Fuel & Fuddle, a bar with a decent sit down brick oven menu. Good sweet potato fries.
[Image: 3703920437_b5589e6e62.jpg?v=0] [Image: fuel-and-fuddle-inside.jpg] [Image: 3941868063_5cbedfc000.jpg]

The best ice cream in Pittsburgh, and one of the best I've had anywhere, is Dave & Andy's. It's old fashioned homemade style, made right in the store. It repeatedly ranks as Pittsburgh's best, and was ranked as one of the top 10 non-chain ice cream shops in the nation by USA Today.
[Image: 4028512492_8dd4b23f4d.jpg] [Image: 1244821771_f5212606ae_m.jpg] [Image: o.jpg]

For on campus pizza, I often went with Sorrento's (pictured below), which has been around since 1973. I also like Milano's but some people swear by Antoon's.
[Image: 4027742783_55b1e2a8fa.jpg] [Image: Sorrentos_Pizza_Pie.jpg]

And the best breakfast, without a doubt, is at Pamela's, which has giant omelets, crepes, pancakes, and the like. Pamela's left such an impression on Barack Obama during his campaign tour that he brought them to DC to cater events at the White House.
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For straight out pub fair, Peter's Pub in Oakland is the oldest continuous operating campus bar as far as I am aware. One can get good Pittsburgh-style steak and chicken salads (that means expect fries on top of your salad). It is a good place to catch a game and it turns into a full fledged college bar in the evening, sometimes providing live music upstairs.
[Image: 2256178876_f59907ebcd_m.jpg] [Image: l.jpg] [Image: 3116613563_9169781254_m.jpg]

Of course, there are more places to eat. There are tons of good ethnic food restaurants such as Spice Island Tea House that features Burmese/Indonesian, India Garden, Lu Lu's Noodles for Chinese, Ali Baba for Middle Eastern, Korea Garden, and Mad Mex. For more upscale eateries, try the The Porch or The Union Grille. There are also the typical chains like Five Guys, Chipolte, Qdoba, Subway, Bruegger's Bagels, Panera Bread, etc.

Anyway, hope this helped to give you a feel for Pitt. Feel free to post or PM any questions you may have if you are planning to visit in person!

----

[Image: CrazyPacoavatar.jpg]
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(This post was last modified: 07-29-2017 10:24 AM by CrazyPaco.)
04-02-2012 04:37 AM
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RE: An Introduction to the University of Pittsburgh and its facilities
Things to do in the City

When you come to a game in Pittsburgh, you are obviously coming to a city, not just a campus or college town. That means, obviously, there are a lot of interesting and unique highlights and attractions to see that are outside of the campus area. Pitt often uses the slogan, "The City is Our Campus", and visitors will want to take that to heart as well.

As mentioned above, the one thing you must have, it is a Primanti's. It is not that I even think this is the best thing to eat in Pittsburgh, but it is quintessential Pittsburgh, and unique to the culture of Pittsburgh.

But definitely, get a Primantis. These are available throughout the city, including in Heinz Field and in Oakland section where the university is located.

The original Primantis location in the Strip District.
[Image: 800px-Pittsburgh_Strip_District_Primanti_Bros.jpg] [Image: primantis.jpg]

The other thing you should know, if you order a chicken salad or a steak salad in Pittsburgh, expect it to come with french fries on top. Pittsburgh is also a big time perogie town, as evidenced by the racing perogie mascots during Pirate games.

Another thing unique to Pittsburgh is its answer to San Francisco's cable cars: the Inclines. They are some of the only working funiculars left in the country, and a trip up one of the inclines will result in a spectacular view of downtown Pittsburgh from Mount Washington. This view was once rated as the 2nd most beautiful vista in the US (after one in Hawaii) by USA Today Weekend.

Don't be fooled by the rolling look of the vegetation covered hill that these cars climb. It is a steep, sheer cliff, and without fail every year, emergency crews have to chopper out some stupid kids who think they can climb down after a night of drinking.
[Image: 1.jpg] [Image: mong58.JPG] [Image: 20incline600.1.jpg]

View from Mount Washington after taking the Mon Incline.
[Image: pittsburgh-skyline-night-pan.jpg]

There are two working inclines, the Monongahela and the Duquesne. If you are in for a weekend game and stay to Sunday, I'd recommend heading over to Station Square (on the South Side) for the Sunday Brunch Buffet (menu) at the Grand Concourse (Every Sun. 10am-3pm). I think it is $25, but it is rather indulgent and has been written up in the NYTimes, etc. Don't miss the donut machine for fresh donuts. Despite the fancy look, you can go casual.

Grand Concourse
[Image: grand-concourse-at-station-square-in-pit...233806.jpg]

Thus, you can hit brunch at the Grand Concourse and then walk across the street and head up the incline to take in the view from Mount Washington if you hadn't already done that the night before.

Other sites and things to do may depend on your interests.

If you are a baseball fan and it is in the fall, you definitely want to check out PNC Park if there is a homestand the same weekend. PNC is constantly rated as one of the two or three best ball parks in America...often as the #1.
[Image: pnc-park.jpg]

If you are into architecture, Fallingwater is a must, but it will require driving outside the city. Another Frank Lloyd Wright house, Kentuck Knob is just down the road from Fallingwater so it really makes the excursion worthwhile. If you don't have time to leave the city, then there are various walking architecture tours of downtown (see the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation for details). Pittsburgh is one of the highest rated architectural cities for its size. A can't miss is the Allegheny County Courthouse which is Henry Hobson Richardson's masterpiece.
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If you are into art, and don't want to stray far from the North Side where Heinz Stadium and PNC Park are, hit up the Andy Warhol Museum. It is the largest single-artist museum in the country, and even if you aren't a big fan of Warhol, it is pretty neat to check out. There is also a art installation museum nearby the Warhol called the Mattress Factory. The city's main art museum, the Carnegie, is in Oakland across from Pitt's Cathedral of Leaning and is connected to the main Museum of Natural History. There also is the smaller Frick Art and Historical Center in Point Breeze which is a few miles past Oakland, as well as the Toonseum downtown.
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If you are into gambling, there is Rivers Casino right next to Heinz Field.
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If you are into birds, animals or nature, the National Aviary is also on the northside next to the stadium. There is the Zoo and Aquarium, which is nice, but unless you have an urge specifically for a zoo, I would save that for a later trip, plus the fact that it is located in a part of the city that is a little out of the way from other attractions (and you can see zoos in other cities). Botanists and flower lovers will definitely want to check out Phipps Conservatory in Schenley Park in Oakland, one of the biggest and nicest victorian-style greenhouse botanical gardens left in America. It now also boasts of being the "greenest" building in the world. And of course, there is Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland across from Pitt's Cathedral of Learning. and one of the only full T Rex skeletons. It is connected to the Carnegie Museum of Art, so you get two museums for one price....and as I said, the Cathedral of Learning and its Nationality Rooms are across the street so you could hit all three: Phipps, Cathedral, and Carnegie Museums if you have the good part of a day.
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History buffs will may want to check out the Heinz History Center museum (a Smithsonian affiliate) and the Fort Pitt Blockhouse and museum (now run by the history center). The Fort Pitt Blockhouse is the only structure left of the British Fort Pitt that once commanded the rivers from the Point. There is a lot of French & Indian War history in and around Pittsburgh, and of note, this area is where British Colonel George Washington cut his teeth as a military officer. Outside the city, Fort Necessity was constructed by George Washington to defend against the French and the present day reconstructed fort occasionally offers reenactments. The Oliver Miller Homestead is only open on Sundays, but brings you to ground zero of the Whiskey Rebellion. You can also look to explore the area's industrial history with tours of the massive relics of big steel at the Homestead Works Carrie Furnace or take other tours and trails offered by the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area. Not far outside the city in Ambridge, a unique slice of religious communal life can be toured at Old Economy Village.
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If you have kids, the Children's Museum and Carnegie Science Center (with the included interactive SportsWorks) may be of interest.
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If your lucky enough to come up during the early fall, and love rollercoasters, Kennywood has some of the best. A throwback, turn-of-the-century traditional amusement park, Kennywood is one of the few surviving trolley parks left in America. Small in square footage, it is packed with rides and some old-time dark amusements not often found at other parks these days. The "Steel Phantom's Revenge" and "Thunderbolt" are continually ranked as among the top steel and wooden coasters in the world by enthusiasts.
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And for foodies and shoppers, hit up the The Strip District, Pittsburgh's old produce and warehouse district that is now full of shops and eats, as well as still being a produce terminal for the region. It is especially lively on weekend mornings or early afternoons.
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People looking for outdoor activities, depending on the time of year, can rent kayaks or stand-up paddle boards right in the city (kayak rentals right next to PNC Park...or you can do something less strenuous like take a Gateway Clipper Cruise). Class II to V whitewater rapids are available outside the city at Ohiopyle State Park (out of the city by Fallingwater). The Yough River at Ohiopyle is ranked among the five best rivers in country for white water. Public golf courses are also scattered throughout the city and suburbs.
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Night owls will probably want to hit up East Carson Street on the South Side for one of the longest strips of bars in the country. Beer connoisseurs should check out Penn Brewery or Church Brew Works, among others. Of course, if evening performances are your thing, Pittsburgh has professional performance art and musical companies of just about every type and taste.
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I could keep going on. Really, you are not going to see everything in weekend football trip to Pittsburgh, which is good, since you'll probably be back more than once.

And while I may seem like a homer here, I don't currently live in Pittsburgh and I grew up two hours east of the city. I have lived there (while at Pitt), but I've also lived in Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. I can honestly say, without reservation, it is probably the most under-the-radar city in the nation...although, it keeps winning awards and most livable rankings and was one of only two locations in the US to make National Geographic's places to visit last year, so perhaps it not under the radar anymore.
(This post was last modified: 07-29-2017 11:11 AM by CrazyPaco.)
04-02-2012 04:49 AM
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