Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wet But Friendly Steel City

A beautiful night in Pittsburgh turned in a wet morning, but still warm enough to take a tour of the Steel City. We started with a look at Duquesne Incline then the nearby Grand Concourse at Station Square. The renovated 1901-built PL&E railroad station boasts a glorious stained glass vaulted ceiling and a grand staircase. Marble, brass and mahogany underscore the architecture’s Edwardian splendor.

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After being such a generous host (thank you!) Jenny took us on a quick tour of a couple historic buildings downtown.
Three landmark buildings were must see's, built by industrialist and philanthropist Henry Clay Frick. Frick built three buildings in the area supposedly as a jab at former business partner Andrew Carnegie. The towers cast a shadow on Carnegie's offices. One is a marble palace, the other a turn of the century marvel, the last a world-class hotel.

The first set off a corporate building rush in the area when it was built. The imposing structure has maintained its architectural dominance over time.

The impressive two story lobby is decorated in the Beaux Arts Classical style, filled with white marble, gold plating, and lofty stairways.

The second, the Union Trust Building. This Flemish-Gothic style building was built as a shopping arcade, known as the Union Arcade, with 240 shops and galleries on four levels. The terra cotta dormers and ornaments decorate the steeply pitched roof.

The central rotunda is capped by a massive stained-glass dome. Th third building is now the Westin William Penn hotel.

Plenty of walking in the rain, worked up healthy appetite. Ok, maybe healthy is the wrong word.

Primanti Brothers is a Pittsburgh classic. The 5 inch tall sandwiches come with fries...on them. No substitutions are allowed, though you can double the meat.

After experiencing gluttony first hand we went to check out how the wealthy industrialists that built this city lived.

The Frick Mansion, known as Clayton House, is home to a massive mansion, arboretum, and a playhouse for the children the size of the average home...that is if the average home also contained a bowling alley.

Ron's family home has no bowling alley. But it does have a washer and dryer. After 9 days on the road underwear and socks are running in short supply.

The Davis' were welcoming and generous. We reloaded the car with precious cargo. China and Christmas Ornaments that Ron has wanted to bring home for years. Barb's help with the laundry was much appreciated, she folded while we took the afternoon to visit with Ron's family. We met up with the rest of the clan for a feast at Pitzer’s Townhouse in Jeannette, PA, which bills itself as “The Original Steak & Seafood House”. No one had steak. Ron, his Dad, and Pap had fish sandwiches. Basically it's three foot long fish filets, deep fried, and sandwiched between a bun. (No picture on this one folks, you'll have to use your imagination.)
Back to the house for our good-byes, car loaded, laundry done, we hit the road.

We stopped by Fort Ligonier began a colonial fort from 1758 to 1766. Fort Ligonier is a fully reconstructed and restored fortification. A young George Washington served here as a Colonel.

Further down the road one of the catalyst for today's war.

The Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, PA was closed when we got there. There is a temporary memorial currently at the site, a permanent one is still years away.

We will spend the night in Gettysburg and tour the battlefields in the morning.

Location:York Rd,Straban,United States

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