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Miniature Railroad & Village                                     

 

The popular holiday exhibit opens on November 23

 

Without new buildings, new industry, and new residents, a city stagnates and dies--even a fictitious one. That's why every year Carnegie Science Center adds to its Miniature Railroad & Village.  This year the exhibit welcomes miniaturized versions of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church and the homestead and workshop of John Roebling.

 

Mike Orban, exhibit manager, and Patty Everly, program coordinator, carefully consider every addition. New features must connect to the technology, history, and culture of southwestern Pennsylvania circa the late 1800s to the 1930s.

 

The North Side’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church, known as the “bake oven” church, is the only church in Pittsburgh designated a National Landmark. Designed in 1885 by architect Henry Hobson Richardson (the genius behind the Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail), the church is constructed of

five concentric circles of red brick around three entrance arches. Everly says the church was a natural choice. "It's historically significant and visually very appealing…it’s part of the heritage of old Allegheny City and Pittsburgh."

 

As to the Roebling house and workshop--John Roebling founded the farming community of Saxonburg, created the first wire rope in 1840, built the original Sixth Street Bridge spanning the Allegheny River in 1847, and with his son, Washington, designed and engineered the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Mike Orban notes that Roebling invented wire rope “because of the need for a stronger cable to haul canal boats laden with freight and passengers over Pennsylvania’s mountains, which at that time were an imposing barrier to transportation.”

 

From October 1 to November 22, however, the exhibition will be closed for maintenance. But you can watch the staff caring for the details of the layout’s appearance and its mechanics, and ask questions. "It's a rare opportunity to see the nuts and bolts behind the magic,” Everly says. The new additions will be ready to receive visitors on Friday, November 23 --the day after Thanksgiving is the exhibit’s traditional re-opening.

 

A knowledgeable volunteer staff helps visitors identify and understand the hundreds of historic replicas and scenes presented.  Those who want to investigate in greater detail can check the exhibit Web site, www.miniaturerailroad.org. 

 

 

Visit Yinzburgh*

 

Yinz have got to see Yinzburgh: An Exhibition of Photographic Images from Melting Pot Pittsburgh, now on display at the Miniature Railroad & Village.  This new photographic presentation is brought to you in collaboration with Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History and features over 30 original, unpublished images of Pittsburghers from the late 1800s to the 1930s. About 95 percent of the exhibit was culled from the archives of Photo Antiquities, a North Side Museum dedicated to 19th-century photography; the remainder comes from private collections--including a never-before-seen candid of Negro

Baseball League player Josh Gibson on loan by his family.

 

Frank Watters, Photo Antiquities curator, says some of the photos are historically important and others are just unusual. He hopes the exhibit will “spark one’s interest and start the mind questioning.”

 

Keep your eyes open for your ancestors at “Find Your Relative” or “Be a Picture Detective”—two new interactive displays showcasing unidentified and interesting images.  "We hope to spotlight the diversity of Pittsburgh’s melting-pot culture in the time frame of the Miniature Railroad & Village," says program coordinator Patty Everly.

 

*Footnote:  “Yinz”- (Irish)(second person plural) from the greater Pittsburgh dialect, plural of  “you,” or “you ones.”  It is equivalent to “y’all” of the southern U.S. dialect.  Its origin is Irish, and came into common use with the immigration of Scots/Irish people to western Pennsylvania.

 

“Burgh” - (German) - City or town.

 

“Yinzburgh” -  (Carnegie Science Center 2001) - meaning “Your town.” An exhibition of photographs of Pittsburgh friends, neighbors, and just plain folks.

 

Glimpse the past

 

Catch a glimpse of the past through the new photographic presentation located at the Miniature Railroad & Village, brought to you in collaboration with Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History featuring over 30 original, unpublished images of Pittsburghers from the late 1800s to the 1930s. About 95 percent of the exhibit was culled from the archives of Photo Antiquities, a North Side Museum dedicated to 19th-century photography; the remainder comes from private collections--including a never-before-seen candid of Negro

Baseball League player Josh Gibson on loan by his family.

 

Frank Watters, Photo Antiquities curator, says some of the photos are historically important and others are just unusual. He hopes the exhibit will “spark one’s interest and start the mind questioning.”

 

Keep your eyes open for your ancestors at "Find Your Relative" or "Be a Picture Detective" -- two new interactive displays showcasing unidentified and interesting images.  "We hope to spotlight the diversity of Pittsburgh’s melting-pot culture in the time frame of the Miniature Railroad & Village," says program coordinator Patty Everly.

 

 


Sportsworks Scores!                    

 

The success of Carnegie Science Center's new UPMC SportWorks exhibit can be described as a touchdown, home run, hat trick, hole in one, gold medal, and slam dunk rolled into one.

"We’re averaging about 2,000 people per day, and about 1999 of them arehaving a great time!"

says Dennis Bateman, Carnegie Science Center’s assistant director of exhibits and facilities. “It’s great to see people from toddlers to grandmothers jumping, flipping, balancing, and shooting

geometric pool!  Oh, and that 2,000 person would have a great time too, if they'd remember to wear tennis shoes."

 

Bo Garritano, education coordinator at UPMC SportsWorks, says praise has run from “Neat!” and  Awesome!” to compliments on the “wonderful, friendly, and knowledgeable” staff. “A gentleman who just moved here from South Carolina said, ‘This is wonderful! I can't believe this is available for the kids, and me too,’” Garritano says.

 

Covering every sport imaginable--virtual to real--UPMC SportsWorks has historical displays, a children’s section, and sports medicine information. And remember: when visiting UPMC SportsWorks at Carnegie Science Center, wearing sportswear and tennis shoes guarantees that you’ll run, jump, and soar with glee.

 

 

 

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