Unchanged hall of beauty

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Hall of Architecture @ Carnegie Museum

Over 50 years ago as an elementary school-aged child on a classroom field trip, I visited the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Art for the first time. 

Just to offer a bit of historical reference about this famous Pittsburgh, PA landmark, the museums were founded by the wealthy businessman and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, in 1895. The original building which housed the fledgling museum was called the Carnegie Institute and also held the Carnegie Library.

The next year, the first Carnegie International, an exhibition of contemporary art, took place.  After that, the museum began acquiring a vast collection of artwork.

When Carnegie learned that prehistoric creatures’ bones were being uncovered in the western part of the United States, he sent crews of scientists to Wyoming where they discovered the first dinosaurs.

Dinosaur Hall was one of the aspects of the Carnegie Museum that I remember well from my first trip there. The other portion that I recall was the Hall of Architecture. When Papa and I visited the museum last month, I was pleased to find it still looked like it did all those years ago.  It was just as impressive and awe-inspiring as I remember it to be.

blogIMG_0583The Hall of Architecture, which first opened in 1907, is beautiful with its expansive space lit by a skylight ceiling. During that era of time, collections of casts were popular, so Carnegie’s institute began collecting architectural casts, plaster reproductions of classical sculptures, and bronze replicas. Today that collection is the largest in the United States.

blogIMG_0585To say the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Art is a gem is an understatement. Those who visit Pittsburgh should definitely include it on their list of “must see.”  They will not be disappointed. We certainly weren’t.

“As an architect you design for the present with an awareness of the past for a future which is essentially unknown.” ~ Norman Foster

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

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Unexpected.  This week’s photo challenge.  I think that’s a perfect term to describe one of my favorite cities.

You see, way back in 1784, here’s what one of our esteemed United States Congressmen had to say about this city (read his comment in the above photo).  Seems like he didn’t expect much from Pittsburgh.  According to his opinion, the place would “never be considerable.”

Well, Mr. Lee, I believe you got it all wrong.  People still have it wrong.  Folks from other parts of the country and even the state of Pennsylvania think they know Pittsburgh.  They seem to have certain expectations about this city that don’t prove favorable.  Many think it’s just an ugly, dirty town.  And are they ever wrong.

I think they need to come visit just once because their expectations might be challenged considerably.  It’s a beautiful place filled with worthwhile sites to see and friendly people.  Click here to see for yourself.  And if you don’t believe me that it’s one photogenic place, visit here to see gorgeous photos of Pittsburgh taken by photographer Matt Robinson.

Unexpected?  Pittsburgh?  You bet.

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