Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of joining a group of Pittsburghers for an Urban Hike in Swissvale, a borough just outside the city with an interesting history.
Some stops along the way included the Trundle Manor, Kopp Glass and some affordable housing for sale from the Mon Valley Initiative.
Also on the journey: The Triangle Bar, home of the famous “Battleship” (giant sub sandwich).
Urban Hike is a group that regularly organizes hikes in the city’s various neighborhoods and surrounding communities, with stops along the way so participants can learn about what they are walking by/seeing. I recommend checking out their web site to learn more about where they will be trekking next.
What a great morning! A combination of some of my favorite things: cities, history and walking!
RustWire recently reported on Step Trek, the annual hike of Pittsburgh’s city steps. The popular narrative surrounding these steps tells that the outdoor staircases were built in the pre-automobile era, and were the main route for walking to and from work. The emphasis is usually placed on the bygone era aspect.
I went exploring a set of city steps in the area of South Oakland on Sunday, and found ample evidence that these steps are very much in use today. And, as Kate mentioned in her post, these steps are indeed actually city streets. Below is the intersection of Romeo and Frazier Streets.
The steps pictured below have been repaired by a wooden stair insert, filling in where the original concrete had broken off. This seems like the kind of fix made out of necessity, not for historic preservation.
A house at the top of Romeo “Street” has one of the most spectacular views of Pittsburgh I have yet to encounter. Two young men sitting on the porch there told me that the forested hill here has sculptures throughout it, placed by local university students. But more impressive, they said, was a shrine above Frazier Street, overlooking the highway below. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the shrine. Maybe next time.