When Rich Fitzgerald takes visitors and friends on a tour of art places in Allegheny County, here are a few of his favorite stops.
Obviously, my tour has to include the Allegheny County Courthouse. We’re proud that it’s celebrating 125 years this year (September 24, 2013) and are looking forward to the opportunity to restore it to its former glory.
Likewise, Pittsburgh is a piece of art that had a long road to its home today in the Pittsburgh International Airport. It’s a storied road as well, one in which the true art of the piece wasn’t recognized and in which upkeep was thought to be just a matter of painting the piece. We’ve progressed a long way from that point, and the current installation shows the sculpture in its original colors.
Arch has his own personality and has become a real attraction at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Young and old alike look at it and think of robots and that Pittsburgh is the home of robots.
The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is also a facility that has allowed this region to showcase itself to so many others from outside of the region. A site of one the events of the G-20, the Phipps had a chance to show off its features and demonstrate to our residents how very lucky we are to have a facility like this in our region.
The Convention Center Riverfront Plaza is one of my favorite places simply because it’s a place that many visitors to our region see during their time here. That, of course, goes hand in hand with the Convention Center which is the greenest Center in the country and a true showplace, in and of itself.
I was proud to attend the opening of the Cloud Arbor at the Children’s Museum. This piece of the Museum’s plan really incorporates the outside into their inside activities while also expanding the charm bracelet that is the North Side even further.
As a parent of eight children, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s predecessor, the Buhl Planetarium, quickly became a go-to place when my kids were growing up. I remember taking them there to see the miniatures, or to watch the Foucault Pendulum/Giant Clock. We spent hours there, never even realizing the art surrounding us.
The Courthouse Lions are a piece of art that many frequently miss. Although when the Courthouse was built, they flanked the front doors, these majestic creatures now are elevated about the street thanks to multiple efforts to remove the “hump” on Grant Street and lower the street level.
The Allegheny Courthouse Murals remain a sense of pride. The first one, commissioned under the federal Works Progress Administration, was painted by Vincent Nesbert in the 1930s. When funding fell through, he decided to continue moving forward with the work and was eventually paid by the county to complete the series. Nesbert was a native of Poland who came to Pittsburgh, where he became a faculty member of the Art Institute.
Last, but not least, is the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. While this facility is close to my home, my reason for adding it to my tour/list is because it really encapsulates the region’s interest in making use of the old in new ways. Our entire region is filled with examples of such reuse, on small and large scales, and it is something that makes our region truly unique.