Getting to Know Our Neighbors: “Shootin’ the Breeze: A Neighborhood Evolution and Pictorial Process of Pittsburgh’s Point Breeze”

March 8, 2016

Speaker: SARAH LAW, Author, fellow Breezer, and SHHS Member

Sarah LawShootin’ the Breeze: A Neighborhood Evolution and Pictorial Process of Pittsburgh’s Point Breeze
Join author, fellow Breezer, and SHHS member, Sarah Law on a Point Breeze journey from General George Washington and “The Great Road to the West” to the electricity of Pittsburgh’s Gilded Age. Discover the five Point Breeze authors of the 20th century and return to Bakery Square – steps from the now infamous Point Breeze Hotel.

About Pittsburgh’s Point Breeze: Named for the famous early-19th-century Point Breeze Hotel that stood at the corner of what is now Fifth and Penn Avenues, Point Breeze has been home to some of the wealthiest families in Pittsburgh and the country. Moguls such as Carnegie, Westinghouse, Frick, Mellon, and Thaw all resided in Point Breeze, thus christened “Pittsburgh’s Most Opulent Neighborhood.” H.J. Heinz owned the first car in Pittsburgh, which was garaged at his estate in North Point Breeze, and present-day Wilkins Avenue was originally the private road to the 650-acre estate of senator, ambassador to Russia, and judge William Wilkins. However, many of these prestigious estates were later razed and divided to become smaller residential lots, driving the real estate market to create more homes to accommodate 20th-century families. In later years, the Point Breeze neighborhood became the home of several well-known authors, including Annie Dillard, Albert French, and David McCullough, as well as professional athletes Willie Stargell of the Pirates and L.C. Greenwood of the Steelers and everyone’s favorite neighbor, Mr. Rogers.

Author Bio: Sarah L. Law has been a Point Breeze resident for over a decade. A member of the Frick Art & Historical Center and an alumna of Carnegie Mellon University, she is indebted to the vast archival collections, personal interviews, and cherished individual photographs used to compile this heartfelt snapshot of Pittsburgh’s Point Breeze. Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto has also graciously contributed a foreword to the book.

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