At 10:00am, we walked across the river to the Fairmont Hotel where we met up with Al Tannler from the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. We set out on a two hour tour of the downtown core.
Just across from downtown, you get a good view of PNC Park where the Pittsburgh Pirates play baseball.
New and old.
Dinosaur art? The H. J. Heinz company has had their global headquarters located in Pittsburgh for over 100 years.
PPG Industries also has their world headquarters in Pittsburgh. I bet you've always wondered what PPG stood for? It was the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. And of course their world headquarters are made of...plate glass!
Al, explaining some of the architecture to Ruth.
The 13 story United Steelworkers building. Unique because of the diamond shaped load bearing exterior walls which was very innovative when the building was constructed between 1961 and 1963. The structural engineers who did this building went on to do the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center.
The Bank Tower, built in 1902.
The Bank Tower has a beautiful original lobby. Notice half spiral staircase at the rear of the lobby.
Looking up the half spiral staircase.
Originally built as headquarters for the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), it was the first skyscraper built with an aluminum exterior facade. Very innovative when it was built in 1953, the exterior windows rotate 360 degrees so that the exterior of the windows can be cleaned from the inside of the building!
In the basement of the Koppers Building are the original wall hangings from France that have been there since 1929 when the building was constructed.
The courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail. The fountain water is dyed pink for breast cancer awareness month.
The courthouse structure is based on arches, and there are a lot of them!
Al, showing Ruth the first floor of the courthouse building.
Many thanks to Al Tannler and The Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation for showing us around. If you'd like your own tour, they hold regular guided tours every Friday at noon from May through September. Check their website at www.phlf.org
They also have a book available, called the Whirlwind Walk so that you can do a self guided tour and still have all the info you need.