Originally Posted May 1, 2014 by Venture Outdoors
On a beautiful spring afternoon, a group of Venture Outdoors participants gathered in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel awaiting the start of the Architecture Walk and Wine Tasting outing. Lora Woodward, VO’s Program Director, welcomed participants and introduced them to guest speaker Louise Sturgess, Executive Director for the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. Louise began the day’s history lesson with the building they were standing in–Three PNC Plaza–a LEED certified green building which houses the Fairmont Hotel, offices for PNC and the law firm Reed Smith, and luxury condominiums. She directed the group’s attention to the buildings that line Market Street, which PHLF purchased to protect the historic quality of the street-scape at the entrance to Market Square.
The 1.5 mile walking route wound along the the main streets of Downtown Pittsburgh provided excellent vantages of the city’s unique architecture. Stops included Market Square, PPG Plaza, the Fourth Avenue bank corridor, the City County Building, Allegheny County Court House, Union Trust Building, Trinity Cathedral, Liberty Avenue corridor, Cultural District buildings from Katz Plaza, and Midtown Towers. The tour ended at One PNC Plaza where Louise showed off the 2,380 square-foot living wall, which was the largest green wall in North America when it was completed in 2009. The outing ended with a wine tasting at the nearby Capital Grille, where participants were able to relax and reflect on Pittsburgh impressive history and the buildings that tell its story. PHLF offers free noontime walking tours of Downtown Pittsburgh, every Friday, starting in May. Visit www.phlf.org for more information.