Walking Tours

Modernist Pittsburgh Friday, November 7 10:00 a.m. / 1:00 p.m. / 3:00 p.m.

Saturday 10:00 a.m. / 1:30 p.m.

The Pittsburgh organizing committee is pleased to be able to offer three walking tours of downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, Nov. 7 and two walking tours on Saturday, Nov. 8.

Join us and learn how Pittsburgh was a crucible for modernist architecture, modern urban planning, and engineering innovations in glass, steel, and aluminum. After touring the newly renovated Mellon Square, participants will see landmarks on Grant Street, the Boulevard of the Allies, Gateway Center, and Point State Park. Wear comfortable shoes for a fast-paced walk, and dress for the weather.

All tours will be introduced by Albert Tannler, author of Pittsburgh Architecture in the Twentieth Century, who will set the stage for the tour with introductory remarks on the high quality of design and surprising number of "firsts" in the region.

The 10:00 a.m. Friday and 1:30 Saturday tours will be conducted by Louise Sturgess, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Executive Director and co-editor/photographer of Pittsburgh Architecture in the Twentieth Century

The 1:00 p.m. Friday and 10:00 a.m. Saturday tours will be conducted by David J. Vater, RA, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Community Advisory Board Member and co-editor of Pittsburgh Architecture in the Twentieth Century

The 3:00 p.m. Friday tour will be conducted by Jeff Slack, AICP, Preservation Planner, Pfaffmann + Associates; instructor, University of Pittsburgh Architectural Studies Program; board member, Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Board

Walking Tour of Willa Cather's Downtown Pittsburgh Saturday, November 8
10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Tour Organizers: Tim Bintrim and James Jaap

Pittsburgh was Willa Cather's primary address from 1896 to 1906, and she took extended working vacations here through 1913. Important works such as "Paul's Case" and "Double Birthday" have Pittsburgh settings, while O Pioneers! and The Song of the Lark were composed in part at the McClung home on Murrayhill Avenue.

The tour of Willa Cather’s Pittsburgh, led in small groups by trained docents, will introduce MSA 16 attendees to downtown landmarks that persist from the turn of the century and figure in Cather's six stories set in the Burgh.

Sites may include H.H. Richardson’s Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail, the former Central High School (a setting of "Paul's Case"), the Frick Building, the Times Building, and the Chinatown Inn, a remnant of Pittsburgh's Chinatown.