Upcoming Events

All evening programs are open to the public and held at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Avenue, and begin at 7:30 pm.

If you have any suggestions or ideas for future speakers or topics to put on our agenda, please email us at sqhillhist@shhsoc.org.

YEAR 2019

December 10, 2019 (Tuesday)
“The Irrepressible Sophie Masloff”
Speaker: Barbara Burstin, SHHS Member and on the faculty of CMU and Pitt

About the Speaker:
SHHS Member Dr. Burstin teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, including Osher classes. Her courses deal with the American Jewish experience, the U.S. and the Holocaust, and now a new course on the history of Pittsburgh. In addition to Jewish Pittsburgh, Dr. Burstin is the author of Steel City Jews, a history of Pittsburgh and its Jewish community from 1840 to 1915, and its sequel, Steel City Jews in Prosperity, Depression and War, published in 2015, looks at the community in the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. She has produced a film, A Jewish Legacy: Pittsburgh. Barbara Burstin has just completed a book on Sophie Masloff, The Mayor from Squirrel Hill, which will be the subject of this talk.

Year 2020

January 14, 2020 (Tuesday)
“Homestead and Squirrel Hill”
Speaker: Tammy Hepps, Founder of HomestadHebrews.com
This talk will explore the surprisingly symbiotic relationship between the communities of Homestead and Squirrel Hill that began in the 1890s and continues to the present day.  Originally linked by long-forgotten urban infrastructure, Homestead and Squirrel Hill have since traded community and commerce for generations.  Everything you think you understand about about Squirrel Hill will look quite different when contextualized within the longer history and strikingly different social fabric of its neighbor to south.

About the Speaker:
Tammy Hepps is a local historian who focuses on topics within American Jewish history, especially small towns and synagogues. Her projects combine research techniques from genealogy and history and draw heavily upon her technology expertise to break new ground in data gathering and interpretation. She is best known for her research into the Jewish community of Homestead, PA.  Please see her project website HomesteadHebrews.com for more information.

February 11, 2020 (Tuesday)
“The Art Collecting of Pittsburgh’s Gilded-Age Titans” 
Speaker: Elizabeth Roark, Professor of Art History, Chatham University
This talk examines the collecting practices of Pittsburgh’s industrial age’s “big three”: Carnegie, Frick, and Mellon, and the impact it had had on the city (and beyond). Focusing primarily on their desire to advance Pittsburgh’s cultural profile, it explores their collecting philosophies and early purchases, the formation and character of their collections, and the art institutions they founded. It also provides insight more broadly into Pittsburgh’s art taste and period art installations.

Elizabeth (Beth) Roark is a Professor of Art History at Chatham University, where she has taught for 22 years.  She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and B.A. from Allegheny College where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Other awards include a Mellon Fellowship and a Smithsonian Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.  Beth has published and presented widely on colonial and nineteenth-century American art.  She has worked with the Carnegie Museum of Art, The Frick Pittsburgh, and wrote the entry on Andrew Mellon for the Grove Dictionary of Art.

Professor Roark has been a major friend of the SHHS.  This will be her fourth lecture to the Society and she has also either run or supported five of our walking tours over the years.

March 10, 2020 (Tuesday)
“The Convoluted History of Squirrel Hill’s Roads”
Speaker: Helen Wilson, Vice-President of SHHS
Squirrel Hill has more than 200 streets, roads, avenues, places, courts, ways, lanes, bridges, and even a boulevard and interstate highway and tunnel. Some are so old they started out as Indian trails. Others are so new they were just created this past year. During the course of Squirrel Hill’s history, some of its roads have been rerouted, renamed, and repaved. This presentation will take a look at how and why Squirrel Hill’s roads came into being.

About the Speaker:
Helen Wilson, Vice-President of SHHS, has been researching and writing about the history of Squirrel Hill for more than 12 years. She has given a number of talks at the SHHS and other organizations, including the CMU and Pitt Osher programs, and continues to uncover fascinating new information about the history of the community.

September 8, 2020 (Tuesday)
“DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh”
Speaker: Bonnie Baxter – Founder/Executive Director – DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh
Bonnie will discuss how and why she opened DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh.

Excerpt from DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh website
“As a non-profit (501c3), DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh believes that everyone should be able to see and experience the beauty in our city.  Pittsburghers come together with hundreds of volunteers to open dozens of buildings to hear the stories they tell us about our past, present, and future.

About the Speaker:

Bonnie Baxter founded DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh in 2016, inspired by a similar event while living in Chicago. She now serves as the Executive Director and only employee for DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh, Inc. (501c3). Bonnie spent 25 years in the television advertising industry as an Account Executive, Senior Account Executive, and Local Sales Manager for an assortment of media companies such as Sinclair Broadcast Group, Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., Comcast Spotlight, Viamedia, and The Nielsen Company. Bonnie holds a degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Communications, with a minor in Marketing. She has also operated a residential real estate property management/rehab company for the past 20 years.


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