Places to Visit—Established and Eclectic (some require planning ahead)

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Recently named a UNESCO World Heritage site and 90 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater requires reservations for its tours. In the same general area, Wright’s Kentuck Knob, also a National Historic Landmark, is situated on a wooded property including an outdoor sculpture collection. It is recommended that 3 hours be allowed between scheduled tour times for the two houses.

In the years surrounding WWII, Croatian artist Maxo Vanka painted spectacular murals depicting—on the walls of St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale, PA—his concern about war and social justice. The church is a short ride from the convention center. Regularly scheduled tours are on Saturdays at 11:00am and 12:30pm. Reservations are highly recommended. Those who cannot visit the church should visit virtually, though the images hardly do justice to Vanka’s art.

Even if you cannot join Thursday’s pre-conference workshop, you may want to take the Riverwalk to The Andy Warhol Museum, celebrating its 25th anniversary, with an exhibition, Andy Warhol: Revelation. This museum, the largest in the US dedicated to a single artist’s oeuvre, includes the Pittsburgh native’s intriguing Time Capsules and soothing Silver Clouds. Open every day at 10am, on Fridays it stays open until 10pm.

The Riverwalk—including the North Shore River Walk or part of the 20+ mile Three Rivers Heritage Trail provides views of the city and an opportunity for some outdoor exercise.

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For pure fun and delight, while on the Northside of Pittsburgh, visit outdoor Randyland, purchased on a credit card in 1995 and developed with no purpose other than to provide happiness.

In Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, adjacent to Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, are the Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The latter is a huge hit with children interested in dinosaurs or the gorgeous mineral collection, and is also a serious source of scientific research. The art museum hosts the Carnegie International, the nation’s oldest international art exhibition every few years (most recently in 2018), and currently has a lovely café and coffee & wine bar, which like the museum is open until 8pm on Thursdays.

The Center for PostNatural History, founded by a Carnegie Mellon associate professor, is “a storefront museum dedicated to the collection and exposition of organisms that have been intentionally and heritably altered by humans by means including selective breeding or genetic engineering” (Wikipedia entry).

Mt. Washington provides lovely views of the city—day and night—with the Duquesne Incline being the best way to travel. This funicular is still used by Pittsburgh residents to commute to work. (Some of the viewing platforms on Mt. Washington are under repair, so perhaps check to ensure that you can see what you want to, though the ride itself is fun and affords good views.)