Urban Landscapes

I lived in an old working class neighborhood in Pittsburgh called Lawrenceville from 2002 to 2014. It was settled by Irish workers and otherimmigrants in the 19th century who came to work in the several steel mills. The largest was the Carnegie mill, one of several owned by Andrew Carnegie.

During the years I lived there, the neighborhood was being gentrified, and many fine restaurants and watering holes added. I happened to work in a foundry, McConway and Torley, which manufactured railroad couplers and fittings. It is the one remaining place that still pours hot steel in Pittsburgh.  Many of the mills in the city had closed by the time we moved there.

I lived close enough to my place of employment to walk to work, and most days I did so. I really enjoyed getting my 10,000 steps a day on the streets of this neighborhood. I would add extra time and blocks to my walk just for the exercise, and to soak in the colors, textures and shapes of the old buildings. I rented a studio in this neighborhood, so my routine included walking to work and walking home or to my studio every day. Most of the images in this gallery reflect this experience.

This gallery is closely related to “When the Sky Rained Fire,” work also done during the years I lived in Pittsburgh. Many of those pieces were inspired by the paintings artists did during the heyday of steel.

The two galleries together represent the past and present of industrial Pittsburgh landscape.