Soldiers and Sailors Hall

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Henry Hornbostel designed this memorial, which originally honored Civil War veterans from Allegheny County. It now honors veterans of all wars. This is one of at least half a dozen buildings in Pittsburgh inspired by the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and of all of them this one is the closest in scale to the original.

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America, by Charles Keck, keeps watch over the main entrance.

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A soldier: Parade Rest by Frederick Hibbard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA sailor: Lookout, also by Frederick Hibbard.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASupposedly Mr. Hornbostel very much wanted the front of the building to face a long vista from Fifth Avenue, but the clients were very insistent that the front must face Bigelow Boulevard. Hornbostel finally had to agree. It was not until construction was considerably advanced on the building, which is quite square, that the clients discovered Hornbostel had built the thing his way after all.

Among the building’s many treasures is a large auditorium that seats 2500—about the same capacity as Heinz Hall. The Pittsburgh Symphony made some early ultra-hi-fi recordings in here, because William Steinberg thought the acoustics were far superior to what he heard in Syria Mosque across the street, which at that time was the usual home of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

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