Pittsburgh 2016...II

My second day in Pittsburgh started out with me taking a photo of the August Wilson Center for African American History right before I got on the elevator to head out. I noticed the great overhead view when I first arrived, and knew I had to get it! My first stop of the day was in the North Shore area of Pittsburgh. This neighborhood is home to Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, American Eagle Outfitters' Stage AE and The Andy Warhol Museum. The area is developing rapidly between the two stadiums, with new restaurants and other businesses going up. A "must see" in the area are the Manchester Bridge Portal sculptures, which once adorned the south entrance portal of the Manchester Bridge. Christopher Gist, a frontiersman and Chief Guyasuta, of the Seneca Tribe of the Iroquois Nation, are depicted kneeling on each side of the Pittsburgh coat of arms. They guided 21-year-old George Washington during his expedition through the region in 1753. The sculptures have been resurrected and installed in a public plaza right outside Heinz Field. Other highlights are Susan Wagner's Pittsburgh Law Enforcement Memorial and the "Ever Watchful" sculpture. And Robert Berks' Mr. Rogers Memorial statue is the centerpiece of "Tribute to Children". After spending time on the Riverfront, I went across the street for a guided tour of Heinz Field. On the way there, I spotted Raymond Kaskey's sculpture of former Steelers owner Art Rooney in the park area just under the Heinz Field sign. As I entered the Great Hall concourse inside Heinz Field, you saw lots of Pittsburgh Steelers memorabilia, which included old game footage on large tv monitors, giant replica Super Bowl trophies and encased lockers of former players like, "Mean" Joe Greene, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann and Jerome Bettis...all hall of famers. The tour took me up top to the Heinz Field scoreboard, which has two giant neon Heinz ketchup bottles which virtually "pour" onto the screen whenever the home team drives into the "Heinz Red Zone"... the area between the 20-yard line and the goal line. I went on different stadium levels to see different views of the playing field. I also toured the media boxes and various club suites where the "elites" watch the game in style. The main highlight was going into the players locker room. Normally, you will get the visiting team locker room tour because the home team's is off limits. But noooooo, I'm actually inside the Steelers locker room...bright logos freshly painted and ready for my camera! The tour lasted for about an hour, and was well-worth my time. Once back outside, I walk around the stadium for more photos and see the Steelers and Panthers banners flying on every other pole. Walking further, I saw the University of Pittsburgh Panthers mascot statue, which was pretty cool. Leaving Heinz Field, I walk down the street to check out the Southwestern Pennsylvania World War II Memorial. After that, I break for lunch at former Steelers player Jerome Bettis' "Grille 36" restaurant. Once done with lunch, I walked past the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette office back to the car. Next stop...The University of Pittsburgh.

I arrive at the University of Pittsburgh minutes after leaving the North Shore. When I come out of the parking garage, there's lots of activity and people moving about in such a rush. The reason? New students have enrolled and they're moving around to their various housing locations. There were students with shopping carts and plastic bins full of clothes, books and small furniture making their way down Bigelow Boulevard ready to begin their new adventure. After greeting a few of the students, I walk over to the landmark Heinz Memorial Chapel where other students were in the yard way playing frisbee. After leaving the Chapel, I notice a tall building just across the way that I had been seeing on the skyline while driving around. This building...the Cathedral Of Learning, another Pittsburgh landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is also the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh's main campus in the Oakland neighborhood. Standing at 535 feet, the 42-story Late Gothic Revival Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere and the second tallest university building (fourth tallest educationally-purposed building) in the world. It is the second tallest gothic-styled building in the world. Next up was a short walk to 5th Avenue to photograph the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum, another building on the list of National Register of Historic Places. It is the largest memorial in the United States dedicated solely to honoring all branches of military veterans and service personnel. As I walked closer to the entrance of the Museum, there was a World War II Steam Torpedo. It was kind of cool seeing something like this up close. But in walking around the University of Pittsburgh area, you will find numerous landmark and historic buildings like the Pittsburgh Athletic Association Building, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (a huge dinosaur sits out front), Carnegie Music Hall and Carnegie Museum Of Art, where Henry Moore's "Reclining Figure" sculpture sits out front. "Alphabetasaurus" the dinosaur sits outside the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, yet another historic landmark. Next, I work my way over to 1727 Bedford Avenue, which is the childhood home of Playwright August Wilson. August Wilson was an American playwright whose work included a series of ten plays. He received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama for "The Pittsburgh Cycle". Each play is set in a different decade, depicting the comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th century. With a historical marker outside, his childhood home is now being restored. Keeping with the historical theme, my next stop played a very important role in black history. I head back up to the Mount Washington neighborhood to look for the Bigham House. The Bigham House, built in 1849 was purportedly a station on the Underground Railroad. This House is true history right in front of me, and I was excited! The House is now called Chatham Hall, which is used as a community clubhouse. Working my way back to the hotel, I stop on Liberty Avenue to photograph another statue on my shoot list... James Simon's "The Liberty Avenue Musicians". Other sites in the area were a Flatiron building that was empty and up for sale...I love those buildings! I also photographed Brian Holderman's "Yesterday's Tomorrow" mural on Liberty Avenue down the street from the historic Ewart Building. While passing the Huntington Bank - Center City, I saw something that I had never seen before, but thought was very interesting...a Cigarette butt recycling box.

I head back to the Westin to get a little rest, but head back out during the "blue hour" for some night shooting along the Riverwalk, Roberto Clemente Bridge, PNC Park and Mount Washington. As day two comes to a close, I must say that I really had a lot of fun in Pittsburgh. It's always fun and exciting visiting a city for the first time. I will definitely add Pittsburgh to my "return to" city, and I look forward to more adventure in the "Steel City" very soon!