"Cultural Center of Pittsburgh" Oakland by billus

Oakland Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 11 photos

Oakland, Pittsburgh

This square mile or so of Pittsburgh is loaded with the kind of cultural inheritance that a guilt complex and money can buy. I spent my college years here and lurked in the Carnegie Library, the adjacent Carnegie Museum and one of the two Universities- Carnegie Mellon. Of course they spilled millions of dollars into renovating and expanding it all after I left, a bitter and disillusioned shell of my former self.

We had all this art and and architecture shoved into our brains to the point I wanted to spew..

yThat towering symbol stared down at me for five years of the most formative of my life, like the all-seeing eye of Mordor. Wherever you go in Pittsburgh, and it is hemmed in by hills ond rivers on all sides, the all seeing tower sees you.

That tower was originally designed to continue up as an elegant spir, but they lost enthusiasm at the sixtieth floor or so. Maybe that is a good thing.

It's an academic's paradise, Oakland. You have easy access to an awe-inspiring collection of artwork, journals, dinosaur bones, plaster casts of ancient sculpture and medieval architectural ornament, written music and old books. There is also an outstanding collection of flora at the Phipps Conservatory and concerts at the Carnegie Music Hall (not the same as the one in New York). There is a collection of medieval painting in the Frick Gallery across the street. If you like your culture with a capital "C", its thanks to Andrew Carnegie.

Not satisfied with mere artistic or library patronage, Carnegie founded his own college, modestly named Carnegie Tech. Here the masters of the future industrial economy would be trained to operate the machinery of industry and offer an alternative to the nasty, brutish and short life of the servants of his steel mills. The power of steam was harnessed to provide heat for the school.

In architectural drawing class (1980)we visited the Phipps Conservatory and had to draw the voids in between the plants and flowers.Not the plants and flowers themselves. It drove me crazy. But today that is exactly the thing I do for fun. We don't make our habits - our habits make us.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:All these pictures are taken within one block of each other
  • Cons:Its a good place to live but I wouldn't want to visit there
  • In a nutshell:Cultural Inheritance of an obseesive-compulsive Scottish steel magnate
  • Intro Updated Nov 30, 2004
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billus

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