PHLF, in cooperation with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and MACS, will be offering 3 special guided tours (March 14th, April 4th, April 25th from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm) of the MuseumLab Building to people who are especially interested in hearing how the former Allegheny Regional Library has been transformed. To make a reservation, please visit phlf.org/event/museumlab-transformation-free-guided-walking-tours/.
There’s no accounting for taste, goes the old aphorism, and yet things go in and out of style with almost mathematical predictability. Likewise, style in architecture is a specific set of historic formal properties in which geometry and precision figure notably by their presence or absence. These days, new styles may be driven entirely by algorithms and their use. There could be too much math or not enough. This lecture addresses numerical precision across several related topics in historic and current architecture, perpetually discussing mathematics without doing too much of it.
About the Presenter: Charles Rosenblum is a journalist, critic and scholar writing about architecture, art and other aspects of visual culture. For the past 20 years, he has taught the history of architecture and art at universities in Western Pennsylvania. His writing has appeared in books and publications nationally and regionally, including several for PHLF. He has won journalism awards for architectural writing in the Pittsburgh City Paper and Pittsburgh Quarterly. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia with a dissertation on the architecture of Henry Hornbostel.
The congregation at Rodef Shalom invites our members and friends to a lecture and discussion by architect Kent Bloomer on his unconventional sculpture design installed at the entrance to Freehof Hall. The discussion will focus on Bloomer’s groundbreaking 1965 sculpture, now in need of restoration.
Congregation members: $5
This event is sponsored in part by the Architectural Department of Carnegie Mellon University. In-kind supporters include the Heinz History Center, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, and Preservation Pittsburgh and its Pittsburgh Modern Committee.
In this lecture, Mark Houser takes a detailed look at two civil rights struggles that reached their boiling point in Pittsburgh 50 years ago. These struggles saw black activists shut down construction sites at the former Three Rivers Stadium and at the former U.S. Steel Building, while feminists picketed the former Pittsburgh Press newspaper in a battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Mark will also discuss other significant and quirky anecdotes about Pittsburgh history. For example: what happened to the person who drove off the Bridge to Nowhere — and survived!
About the Presenter: Mark Houser is a frequent Pittsburgh Magazine contributor who writes and speaks about Pittsburgh’s history. You can find more stories at his website, HouserTalks.com.
In this lecture, Don Carter, director of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, tells the story of Pittsburgh and other post-industrial cities through his recent book, Remaking Post-Industrial Cities: Lessons from North America and Europe. The book examines the transformation of ten post-industrial cities after the precipitous collapse of big industry in the 1980s on both sides of the Atlantic. Carter brings together in-depth case studies of five cities in North America (Buffalo, Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh) and five cities in Europe (Bilbao, Liverpool, Rotterdam, Ruhr Region, and Turin). The book documents the cities’ recoveries in the thirty-year period from 1985 to 2015.
About the Presenter: Don Carter is the David Lewis Director of Urban Design and Regional Engagement of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He also teaches in the Master of Urban Design program in the School of Architecture. Prior to joining CMU, Don was the president of Urban Design Associates in Pittsburgh, where he led many of the firm’s most complex projects, drawing upon his broad international experience as an architect, urban designer and developer over 36 years. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and a member of the Urban Land Institute where he was national Chair of the Inner-City Council. He holds a degree in Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University and did post-graduate study in urban design and regional planning at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Stories from the Monongahela River Valley and Revitalization through Placemaking
This lecture highlights historic sites, communities, and events in the Monongahela River valley to help explain the resilience of the region in the context of industrial loss. We consider how various cultural resources and tools of historic preservation have been or could be used to spark economic rejuvenation in Mon Valley communities. Through consideration of the history of places like the Carrie Furnace, McKeesport International Village, or Elizabeth’s Plum Street, this lecture will gauge traditional and unconventional solutions to promoting and improving reinvestment opportunities in communities with limited resources or capacity to change the perception of “down and out” places in the Mon Valley and beyond.
About the Presenter: William (Will) Prince is the Main Street Manager of the Washington Business District Authority of Washington County. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Will completed a two-year stint of national service through AmeriCorps and the Student Conservation Association. He also managed and helped expand the nation’s first Trail Town Program at The Progress Fund connecting outdoor recreation and small-town revitalization. A former board member and president of the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh, Will is a graduate of the Master of Preservation Studies program at Tulane University. A native of the Mon Valley town of Elizabeth, Will continues to volunteer for his hometown’s Area Development Corporation.
Join author and photographer Matthew Christopher for an exploration of ruins across our cities and countryside, as he shares a hauntingly beautiful portrait of the abandoned America around us. From steel mills and industrial sites to schools, churches, prisons, homes and more, Matthew’s work provides a glimpse into lost worlds that few get to visit firsthand.
With his travels broadening to ancient sites in Romania, Greece and India, we’ll learn more about the phenomenon of abandoned sites across the globe and discuss why preservation of our heritage is a concern everywhere, not just in our own communities.
About the Presenter: Matthew Christopher has had an interest in abandoned sites since he was a child, but started documenting them a decade ago while researching the decline of the state hospital system. His two books, Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream and Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences and his website, also titled Abandoned America, have chronicled the stories of modern ruins across the United States and gained international attention. He recently expanded his scope to document abandoned locations across the globe. Matthew has an MFA in Fine Art Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology and has taught photography at a college level and now teaches photography workshops.
Have you ever wondered about what it means—or what it would take—to get your house or a building listed in the National Register of Historic Places? Do you know the potential benefits of National Register listing? Are you interested in pursuing National Register designation for your house, but are unsure of the procedural requirements?
Join us for this lecture and learn about the history of the National Register Program; the criteria for listing a property, and learn the basic components of a National Register Form. This lecture will also touch on tips for conducting research on your property, the procedural requirements for completing a nomination, and the benefits of listing a property in the National Register.
About the Presenter: Jesse Belfast is an architectural historian at Michael Baker International, where he is involved in numerous aspects of historic preservation through National Register-designation of buildings and management of mitigation processes around real estate projects involving historic buildings.
Based in Michael Baker’s Moon Township office since 2003, his work revolves around Section 106 compliance, historic context studies, National Register of Historic Places nominations, historic architecture surveys, state inventory form preparation, criteria of effects evaluations, and other aspects of compliance regarding historic buildings and resources. Some of his prominent projects include National Register nominations for the Strip Historic District and the Lawrenceville Historic District, Historic American Engineering Record documentation for the Civic Arena, and historic architectural inventories for seven Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
A native of San Diego, Mr. Belfast holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Duke University and a Master of Arts degree in History from Carnegie Mellon University.
A summary of economic and demographic changes in the city and its surroundings
In this lecture, Chris Briem contemplates the recent population changes taking place in the City of Pittsburgh, in particular, Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhoods and the impact of the ongoing redevelopment of East Liberty. He will show how the city is changing in the context of employment and economic changes that are occurring across the Pittsburgh region.
About the Presenter: Chris Briem is a regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR). His work at the center’s Program in Urban and Regional Analysis focuses on economic and demographic forecasting, industry analysis and competitiveness of the Pittsburgh region. Ongoing projects include economic forecasts for Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh region, analysis of migration trends in the Pittsburgh region, analysis of local government finances and fragmentation and the impact of demographic changes on the regional economy.
Learn about all the parts of your double hung windows; how to disassemble and more importantly re-assemble them properly. This workshop will also include tips on how to fix the most common problems related to operation of the windows. The hands-on-demonstration workshop will be presented using an actual window.
About the Presenter: Regis Will is a woodworker, craftsman, and owner of Vesta Home Services, a consulting firm on house restoration and Do-it-Yourself projects. He blogs about his work at The New Yinzer Workshop.
Check out http://phlf.org/events/ for more PHLF tours and events.