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Geography and Planning Society Trip to Pittsburgh

Geography and Planning Society Trip to Pittsburgh

students at gps trip
Members of the Geography and Planning Society in Pittsburgh.

GPS Trip to Pittsburgh March 10-12, 2023

Friday, March 10

After departing Oxford, we stopped in Zanesville, Ohio, for lunch at Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl and a tour of the city’s unique Y-shaped bridge. Continuing on to Pittsburgh, we arrived via the Fort Pitt Tunnel, enjoying the dramatic view of downtown as we emerged onto the bridge. We then wound our way up twisting roads to our Airbnb rental in the Mount Washington neighborhood with a beautiful panoramic view of the city. Following the recommendation of a friend, we visited the Regent Square neighborhood for dinner at Frick Park Tavern before returning to our Airbnb.

Saturday, March 11

We began our morning by walking to Grandview Bakery & Sweet Shop for some delicious local pastries. We then took in the views from the Monongahela Incline as we rode down the side of Mount Washington to Station Square. Boarding the T at Station Square, we traveled to Point State Park to learn about the history of Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt, and the city that grew at the fork in the rivers. Returning to Downtown, we walked through Market Square and took in the sights of the Pittsburgh Saint Patrick’s Day parade. We continued through Downtown on Liberty Avenue and into the Strip District, where we stopped for lunch at the iconic Primanti Bros. restaurant, our sandwiches piled high with their signature french fries and coleslaw. While in the Strip District, we toured the Strip District Terminal, observing the adaptive reuse of a formerly industrial building. We picked up some souvenirs from local vendors before visiting St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, where a docent taught us about the parish’s long history and ongoing restoration. Leaving the Strip District, we returned to Union Station, where we boarded an eastbound bus on the M.L.K. Jr East Busway. One swift ride later, we found ourselves in East Liberty, where we noted the abundant signs of recent redevelopment and gentrification in the neighborhood. Passing through Liberty Green Park, we explored the details of a brand new public space flanked by middle density residential areas. We stopped by the impressive East Liberty Presbyterian Church before boarding a bus headed for the Oakland neighborhood. On our ride, we passed through Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, enjoying views of stately historic homes along the way. Arriving at the University of Pittsburgh, we explored the monumental Cathedral of Learning, even managing to visit one of the top floors for sweeping views of the surrounding city. Staying in Oakland, we enjoyed a relaxing dinner at Lucca Ristorante. After a long day, we embarked on a trimodal transit journey back to our Airbnb, via the bus, the T, and the Monongahela Incline.

Sunday, March 12

More pastries from Grandview Bakery & Sweet Shop helped us start the day right, and soon we were off on a scenic walk along Grandview Avenue, traversing the ridge of Mount Washington. We arrived at the top of the Duquesne Incline and made sure to capture some group photos at the quintessential Pittsburgh vista. Riding the Duquesne Incline to the bottom of the hill, we transferred to a bus that whisked us back into the heart of Downtown. Our walking tour eventually brought us back to the Strip District, where we enjoyed a hearty brunch at Pamela’s Diner. After brunch, we made our way to the Lower Hill, where we took in the dramatic sights of a neighborhood erased by urban renewal. We were able to see the beginnings of modern redevelopment in the neighborhood, touring historical information exhibits in the new Frankie Pace park, and watching construction take place on the forthcoming FNB Financial Center. Departing the Lower Hill, we took a final trip on the T and the Monongahela Incline before loading into the cars and setting off back to Oxford.