Mount Washington and Station Square

By Sylvia Shipp, ELP Lecturer and Student Advisor

As we crossed over the Monongahela River on the Smithfield Street Bridge, I informed the students.

“This is no ordinary bridge.”

The students looked up from their conversations to gaze at the yellow steel architecture.

“Not only is it over 130 years old and a National Historical Landmark,” I continued, “but it’s also the setting for the movies Flashdance and Striking Distance, and the rap video Black and Yellow.”

Bridge

Minutes later, we parked near Station Square and quickly toured the Grand Concourse. Once a train station built in 1901 to meet passengers arriving on the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, today people dine in this historical spot steeped in a dazzling ambience.

Grand Concourse

We cut through Station Square to get to the Monongahela Incline, which would take us to the top of Mount Washington. Our Chatham ID cards got us on for free. The incline car was hot and stuffy inside as it slowly carried us up to the top.

Grand view

Photo credit: Moe Kuromatsu

Mount Washington is the perfect place to get an idea of just how beautiful Pittsburgh is.

Group pic

Photo credit: Kanako Uchihata

And just how happy our students were to experience the breathtaking views.

Just off of Grandview Avenue, we discovered DeFiore’s Ice Cream Shop, which opened early just for us (is 10 a.m. too early for something so yummy?).

Student pic

Afterward, we walked down Shiloh Street to investigate the neighborhood. It was quaint, and came complete with cafés, taverns, an Uzbek restaurant, a floral shop, and a bakery. We were amused by so many acute angles that were used in making the brick buildings.

Soon it was time to leave Mount Washington. After joking with the jovial incline operator, we took the incline down and spent time checking out Station Square. There is no shortage of unique shops and novelty items such as hurricane booths and Segway Tour training.

After our long exploration of this part of town, lunchtime was calling us. We decided on the restaurant Houlihan’s to fill our bellies with mouthwatering grilled chicken salads, Korean chicken, and petit filet mignon.

Food

Photo credit: Moe Kuromatsu

Satisfied with the day’s explorations and events, we climbed back into our Chatham van and returned home, singing along with the radio, and talking about our next excursion.

Until our next field trip!

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