Steel City Countdown

Only a few days left before I head for Pittsburgh and the 2007 International City/County Management Association Conference.  The conference program, and location, varies from year to year.  In addition to the educational programs, which are often very good, there are opportunities – both formal and informal – to learn a bit about the host city (and county) and what it has to offer.  As part of one of the “official” tours I will be visiting Fallingwater, one of the most famous of Frank Lloyd Wright’s residential designs.  This will be the first time since taking an art and architecture course in college that I will actually have been able to see an FLW building in person.  (My favorite – so far, anyway – is the Robie House in Chicago.)

Fallingwater - Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr. Residence, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Going to Fallingwater will be close to a religious experience for me.  I just love the line of the place, the way it combines sweeping horizontal lines with natural materials, and the setting with trees, rocks, and water.  Speaking of religious experiences, I also plan to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral.

As a long-time fan of Pipedreams, an American Public Media (formerly American Public Radio) program featuring music written for and/or performed on pipe organs, I have tried to take advantage of being in different parts of the country, from the Kotschmar Organ at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine to the Wanamaker Organ at Lord & Taylor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (okay, both East Coast instruments, I know).  So I hope to see (and hear) the organ at St. Paul’s Cathedral, right up the road from where I’ll be staying.

1962 Beckerath Organ - St. Paul’s Cathedral, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Too bad there are no Steelers tickets available.

5 thoughts on “Steel City Countdown

  1. Pingback: Steel City Status Report « Rummaging About

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  3. Thanks for stopping by, and for the links to the renovation photos. Maybe the rebuild would be a good opportunity for “Pipedreams” to visit for those of us who might not be returning to Pittsburgh anytime soon… Maybe an e-mail to Michael Barone would be in order.

  4. I hope organ fans everywhere can hear at some point the extraordinary Rudolph von Beckerath organ in the great Gothic masterpiece, Saint Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh. I confess that I haven’t heard the organ since its restoration, however.

    Growing up hearing this divine instrument–“Quite the finest organ I have ever played,” so said E Power Biggs–spoiled me for life. I fondly remember its harpsichord like clarity, its distinctive solo stops (once at a Mass, my mother and I looked at each other in awe at the sound of one of those exquisite “voices”), and the magnificent ensemble. Thank you, dear Paul Koch, for helping to bring this instrument and so much great music into the world!

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