Tours and Special Activities
The following is a summary of the tours and special activities scheduled during this year’s Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. Please click here for complete details (PDF). Because the tours are very popular and sell out quickly, you may want to register as soon as possible in order to avoid missing out.
The Local Arrangements Committee has organized three pre-conference tours on Thursday afternoon.�
A trip to Fallingwater, truly one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic masterworks, is certain to be a highlight of the meeting. Built in 1939, Wright described it as "graciously at one with nature," an apt description for a house perched above a waterfall and whose interior spaces merge with its surroundings through the extensive use of natural materials and glass. The architect’s use of cantilevered reinforced concrete also makes it something of a technological marvel.
Rivers of Steel
"Local tour guides make 125 years of Big Steel come alive. See how the steel industry played a major role in shaping not only the economy but also the culture and environment of the Monongahela Valley communities." This comprehensive tour includes major sites along the river, including the former Homestead Steel Works and associated structures, the first Carnegie Library built in the US in Braddock, PA, and a rare visit to US Steel’s Edgar Thomson Works, the first–and now last–integrated steel mill in the Pittsburgh District.
Pittsburgh’s East End Cultural Amenities
Pittsburgh’s coal, iron, and steel barons were among the first to settle what is today called the East End.� Here they built houses away from the smokiest parts of the city as well as institutions that continue to make Pittsburgh one of the most vital cities in America.� After a 1960’s-era phase of “urban renewal,” the East End is currently undergoing a new wave of revitalization as part of the “new urbanism” paradigm.� Our tour will pass through these corridors of revitalization as well as by and into institutions that bear the unmistakable stamp of Mellon, Carnegie, Frick, and their contemporaries. �
Opening Plenary and Reception
Our annual meeting will kick off with events at the Senator John Heinz History Center on Thursday evening.� At 7 pm, we will have an opening plenary session featuring Brian Hayes, 2006 Sally Hacker Prize winner and senior writer for the American Scientist.� From 8-10 pm, we will be the guests of our conference co-sponsors, Carnegie Mellon University and the Heinz History Center, at a superb reception that will include several food stations and a cash bar.
Early Bird Food Tour
Stretching along the bank of the Allegheny River, the Strip District is a former industrial area that is now home to restaurants, markets, retail stores, and street vendors. SHOT has arranged an early morning “food tour” of the Strip in which you will see food wholesalers and retailers in action and have a chance to sample their goods. The tour concludes with a hearty breakfast at Pamela’s Diner, consistently voted “the best breakfast venue in Pittsburgh.”�
The Old Financial District
A one-and-a-half hour walking tour of Pittsburgh’s 19th and early 20th century financial district, led by a representative of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.
Three Rivers Late-night Cruise and Dessert Buffet: This outing, aboard the Gateway Clipper Fleet’s newest riverboat, includes a dessert and coffee buffet and a cash bar.�The boat boards at a loading dock a short walk from the Hilton.
Three Rivers Bridges
A one-and-a-half hour walking tour that will take you back to the days when John Roebling built his first bridge structures and carry you forward to the post-World War II era when old bridges were torn down and new ones built.�Led by a representative of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, this tour will stretch both your legs and your mind.
Engineering Pittsburgh: A Promethean Walking Tour of the Renaissance CityThrough Pittsburgh’s long history, its geography–three rivers and very hilly terrain–has presented engineers with many challenges.� The historian’s lens unveils layers of making and unmaking throughout downtown Pittsburgh, from the earliest European settlement–Fort Duquesne–to the constructions of the post-World War II Pittsburgh Renaissance, including the controversial destruction and rebuilding of the city’s lower Hill District.� This walking tour includes many downtown highlights; bridges, historically significant buildings, the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Golden Triangle, and the soon-to-be-demolished Mellon Arena, site of the original lower Hill District.�Co-led by a civil engineer and a historian.