What is Pittsburgh famous for?

by admin on July 5, 2019

For a long time, demolition was the order of the day - one of the most notorious steel cities in Pennsylvania shows how old walls can be turned into hip hotels. At the height of the industrial age, Pittsburgh was so thickly enveloped by the smoke from the chimneys that the street lamps were already burning by noon. A multicultural workforce created a real melting pot - the steel barons in turn created stately architecture and art collections of world renown with the rich profits. At the beginning of the 20th century, the skyscrapers grew tall and prestigious buildings were built. Pittsburgh has undergone a unique transformation since the early 1990s. Many of the former industrial areas have been transformed into green belts and parks, downtown Pittsburgh vibrates with retail and gastronomy - not only around the “Cultural District”. Many of the more than 90 different districts do not want to forget their roots: Instead of demolition, Pittsburgh calls it “Urban Renewal”, this is especially true for the hotel scene.

The Pittsburgh District Hotel

Since its completion in 1924, the building served the Salvation Army. It was not only the administrative center and cheap living quarters for the poor - the so-called “Evangeline Residence” rooms offered safe and clean accommodation for working women from the lower classes. An absolute innovation back then and far ahead of other non-profit social institutions. In addition to an auditorium, the house also had a swimming pool, a basketball court, a theater and even a chapel.

Since the end of 2017, 185 rooms on 10 floors have been waiting for guests in the former Salvation Army quarter. The sports hall now serves as a restaurant, the former chapel as a lobby and bar - the original stained glass in the windows has been retained. Fresh splashes of color in the District Hotel go well with the aura of the past: dark wooden floors contrast a green wall and the vintage bicycles are not just decoration.

The ACE Hotel

The five-story building was built in 1909 as the YMCA building in the heart of the East Liberty neighborhood. At the time, the steel industry was booming, and East Liberty was known as the “second inner city” and was one of the richest areas in the country until the 1950s. As the YMCA, it was the meeting point in the neighborhood - whether newcomers or locals, rich or poor, young or old: people from all walks of life clung to the “Y” - with opportunities for sports, games, entertainment or as a place of refuge.

The original facade of the YMCA has remained, as have the terrazzo floors and the marble staircase leading to the lobby. The hotel rooms, however, have been given a minimalist and retrospective character - with vintage wooden furniture, guitar and record player in every room. Seasonal farm-to-table creations are served in The Whitfield restaurant in the lobby. In the original three-storey gym, guests can still relax today while throwing corn sacks and shuffleboard. Always committed to the neighborhood, the hall is also used for events of the East Liberty community. At the weekend it turns into a popular party location with a house DJ.

The Renaissance Pittsburgh

The imposing “Fulton Building” by the then star architect G. Atterbury, built partly with granite from the same quarry as the foundation of the Statue of Liberty, has housed offices, a war veterans hospital, a vocational school and a night club since 1906. In 2002 it was added to the national register of historical buildings, and there were a few surprises during the restoration work. On the sixth floor, the contractors came across an X-ray laboratory clad with 300-pound lead plates. Over 18 tons of baking soda were needed to restore the copper walls in the courtyard. And the “pony walls” in the lobby lit up again by an underwater computer-aided process called plasma cutting.

Today, historical details and urban flair meet in the Fulton Building. In the more than 300 rooms and suites, the 4-meter-high ceilings emphasize the classic style of the building, while elegant furnishings and plush décor ensure timeless comfort. The central location of the 5-star hotel run by Marriott, on the river in the heart of the cultural district of Pittsburgh, is ideal for a city break.

The Kimpton Hotel Monaco

In 1903 the original building was erected as a Beaux Arts style power station. After that, it initially served as a commercial building and later became a law firm founded by James H. Reed, a close friend of Andrew Carnegie. Reed handled various legal aspects for the Carnegies and was a director of the United States Steel Corporation. Until 2008, the Reed Smith law firm was based in the building. Ideally located in the heart of the city center, all sights can be explored on foot or by rental bike from here.

The exterior was completely preserved in its historical beauty, while the interior of the house saw the arrival of the 21st century. A daring mix of colors, eclectic art on the walls and loving details run from the elegant entrance area to the cozy mezzanine and into the 248 rooms. High-quality materials mix with modern eye-catchers - be it the yoga mat, the bathrobes in jungle design or the ornamental bird cage as a bedside lamp. Classic, upscale comfort food is available in the popular “The Commoner” restaurant or the rooftop beer garden.

The Drury Plaza Hotel

On the outskirts of downtown, between Downtown and the Strip District, the seven-story building opened in 1931 as the imposing headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Pittsburgh. It acted as a currency store for many regional banks, as well as securities and bonds. Owing to the immense wealth behind its walls, massive steel security gates were installed in front of the vaults. The entrance and counter areas were decorated with art deco castings, marble and stainless steel strips. In 1956, architect William York Cocken added a 10-story limestone extension.

After two years of renovation and renovation, the building ensemble has housed the Drury Plaza Hotel with 207 spacious, classic-modern guest rooms since 2012. The style-defining elements of the house outside and inside were consistently preserved, even the steel gates in front of the vault wing: They serve as the entrance to conference and meeting rooms. The lavish breakfast buffet and the included “Kickback at 5:30 pm” with drinks, snacks and warm dishes under the Art Deco ceiling in the lobby are particularly popular.