Recalling a visit to the Steel City in 1868, James Parton wrote in January’s Atlantic Monthly:
There is one evening scene in Pittsburg which no visitor should miss. Owing to the abruptness of the hill behind the town, there is a street along the edge of the bluff, from which you can look directly down upon the part of the city which lies low, near the level of the rivers. On the evening of this dark day, we were conducted to the edge of the abyss, and looked over the iron railing upon the most striking spectacle we ever beheld ... It is an unprofitable business, view-hunting; but if any one would enjoy a spectacle as striking as Niagara, he may do so by simply walking up a long hill to Cliff Street in Pittsburg, and looking over into—hell with the lid taken off.
A seemingly innocent observation has plagued the city ever since with it’s tattered reputation as an industrial complex with some living space. But history should not be forgotten, lest it be repeated, so we honour our heritage and embrace our future. We know where we’ve come from, now let’s see where we go next.
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