Alcoa Building, North Shore

The Alcoa headquarters is a modernist symphony in aluminum. Father Pitt confesses to liking this building a great deal better than the old Alcoa building downtown, which still looks like a pile of old television sets to him.

Frederick Osterling’s Architectural Studio

Frederick Osterling built this charming little building in 1917 to be his office and studio. From it he had  a fine view of the Pittsburgh skyline that he was helping shape—a view now blocked by the new Alcoa building.

Eastern Cottontail

A rabbit pauses while grazing on Herr’s Island (or Washington’s Landing, as it likes to be called these days).

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.

Herr’s Island Railroad Bridge

Built in 1890 to reach the stockyards and other industrial unpleasantness on Herr’s Island, this bridge now carries bicycles from the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Herr’s Island itself, renamed “Washington’s Landing,” is now full of expensive townhouses at this end, with some offices and businesses in the middle of the island and a park at the northeast end.

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.


An American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) along the Trillium Trail in Fox Chapel.

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.

Polish Hill

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, built by Polish railroad workers in their meager time off from work, presides over the vertiginous neighborhood of Polish Hill. This view was taken from across the Allegheny on the Herr’s Island railroad bridge, now part of a bicycle trail.

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.