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Pittsburgh

Architecture Pittsburgh

Giovannitti House

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Over the summer I noticed the Giovannitti house was posted on a realtor site for sale. A while back I was invited for a tour but due to crazy schedules, I missed my chance. This is always a regret of mine but next best thing is seeing beautiful photos online.

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Photos by Allison Pochapin

Architect Richard Meier started construction on this gem in 1979 and finished it in 1983. Meier is known for creating most of his work in white and I think it works for his projects. When you look over his portfolio, it makes an interesting statement.

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This house isn’t for everyone but I see it as a piece art. There’s no other place like this in Pittsburgh! Made up of concrete, glass panes, glass blocks and timber, the Giovannitt’s have kept it up nicely. I can’t imagine how to keep the white clean on the outside, especially during our winters.

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The design of the exterior looks like a sculpture to me.

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I posted a couple photos of this house in 2012 and since then, I get emails and comments at a rate that I didn’t expect. Please note, I do not know the status of the place. They might have sold it or decided to stay. I also have NO personal contact with the owners. I’m posting this because I admire this house and I think it’s a work of art.

Architecture Pittsburgh

North Side’s Colorful Doors

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When Quelcy and I agreed to meet, the plan was to catch up and chat over coffee. I just moved back to the area after a few months in Cleveland and there was a lot to talk about. After our cups were empty, we took a stroll around the North Side. Quelcy studied architecture so I can always count on her to point out interesting details that I might miss.

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When I come to this neighborhood, it feels like I am in another city. It’s charming with interesting brick houses and colorful doors. We took our time while walking around and taking it all in. Here are some of the doors that caught my eye.

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Not colorful, but I LOVE the type

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This photo is by Quelcy Kogel

Architecture Art Cleveland Pittsburgh

Don’t Underestimate Cleveland

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In 2012, I was about to attend a conference in Cleveland, Ohio and was looking for recommendations for things to do. My friends from Pittsburgh talked a lot of smack on Cleveland. I was also guilty of doing this. Besides the ridiculous rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns, I was hanging on to outdated recollections of the city I visited in the 90’s when I was just 14 years old. What I remember were mostly buildings that were run down, abandoned, or dirty looking. I heard it referred to as “the mistake on the lake.” What I wasn’t taking into consideration was that I didn’t live in Pittsburgh until I was 18, and the truth is, Pittsburgh was underdeveloped and run down as well, I just didn’t remember it that way. Now that I’ve gotten to know both cities better, I’ve come to think of these two places as rustbelt sister cities.

Just like Pittsburgh, Cleveland has a rich industrial history that includes steel, oil and automobiles. I’m sure you are familiar with the name Rockefeller. Instead of the Carnegie family of Pittsburgh, Cleveland had the Rockefellers who grew up in Strongsville, a suburb of Cleveland, and started Standard Oil which was the largest oil company in the United States. I won’t bore you with all the historic facts on Cleveland. My main point is that it’s similar to Pittsburgh in its industrial history and growth.

Euclid Avenue was known as Millionaire's Row and had over 300 mansions. Above is John D. Rockefeller's mansion.

Euclid Avenue was known as Millionaire’s Row and had over 300 mansions. Above is John D. Rockefeller’s mansion.

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Cleveland's skyline

Cleveland’s skyline

If you didn’t already know, I relocated to Cleveland at the end of October to live with my partner. She owns a successful boutique in Lakewood. My decision to make the move here was both difficult and easy. Difficult since I love Pittsburgh and I knew I would miss my friends, but I was looking forward to making a home with my girl. I’ve lived in Pittsburgh a total of 15 years but have moved a lot so I was ready to try a new place.

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The Arcade inside the Hyatt Regency

The Arcade inside the Hyatt Regency

Cleveland skyline, Lake Erie

Cleveland skyline, Lake Erie

West Side Market in Ohio City

West Side Market in Ohio City

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The best things I’ve discovered about Cleveland so far:

The spectacular art museum that is always FREE to visit
Buying or renting large properties is incredibly affordable
Development is happening at a steady pace, but there’s still space for young businesses to grow
The food scene is pretty amazing
I live near a beach and it’s beautiful
The Emerald Necklace, which is the large hiking and multi-use trail of Cleveland Metroparks is incredible
The West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest market and I might like it even more than Pike Place in Seattle.

I’m still exploring!

My favorite ghost sign so far

My favorite ghost sign so far

Cleveland Art Museum's digital wall

Cleveland Art Museum’s digital wall

Mural by artist RAE of Pawn Works

Mural by artist RAE of Pawn Works

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Power plant by the coast

Terminal Tower, photo by Coville Photography

Terminal Tower, photo by Coville Photography

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I love the sunsets here

I love the sunsets here

When I met my partner Rachel, one of the first things she said to me was how wonderful she thought her city was and that she couldn’t wait to show me around. I was curious about Cleveland, but never thought I would move here. Over time I started to fall in love with the different qualities of the city. I love their historic past and how they came back from a hard struggle to what you see today. There’s something so charming about living in a city of underdogs. There are are lot of creative people here filled with hope and optimism. Pittsburgh will always have my heart but it’s easy for me to feel at home here. People are friendly, there’s a lot to explore, everywhere you turn there’s beautiful architecture, there’s a great art scene, the city is culturally very diverse, and I’m excited to put some roots down.

Steeltown Anthem will continue but in addition to Pittsburgh, I will also be featuring Cleveland. I hope to show all of you the things I’ve come to love here. Perhaps it will inspire you to get in your car and make the 2 hour trip.