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The Alchemy of Pittsburgh: Steel to Digital Environments ARCS Atlanta Chapter Retreat

Posted on Friday, October 8, 2021

May 18-22, 2022

The industrial face of Pittsburgh has TOTALLY changed over the past half-century, and YOU, members of the ARCS Atlanta Chapter, have been offered the opportunity to explore what no place in the nation can match.

Growing up in Pittsburgh during the 1950s, presented what was described in the American Monthly, as follows:” From whatever direction one approaches the once-lovely conjunction of the Allegheny and the Monongahela, the devastation of progress is apparent. Quiet valleys have been inundated with slag, defaced with refuse, marred by hideous buildings. Streams have been polluted with sewage and waste from the mills.  Life for the majority of the population has been rendered unspeakable pinched and dingy.  This is what might be called the technological blight of heavy industry.”  

Pittsburgh was known as a “valley of work”—a place associated with industrial might and power, particularly regarding steel production.  Issues of environment and public health did not often command high priority. It used to be known as a dismal, smoky city at best. It was dark and dingy.  Herbert Spencer, the great British philosopher, who was brought to Pittsburgh by his admirer Andrew Carnegie, put it more succinctly: “Six months’ residence in Pittsburgh would justify suicide.” 

Today, however, Pittsburgh is a modern, beautiful city among the most livable in the country. It is the second-largest city in the state of Pennsylvania and has the largest metropolitan combined statistical area in the Ohio Valley and Appalachia. ARCS Atlanta will enjoy the most beautiful vistas, restaurants, charming hilltop communities, friendly residents, and one of the oldest continuous operating funiculars in the world. You will see the impact of change vividly displayed!

Those of you who have successfully registered will not be disappointed!  You will be carefully treated to a top-flight tourism experience by your ARCS Atlanta committee members!  Your “Passports'' will safely take you to visit the latest scientific technology at Carnegie Mellon University. You will participate in Tedx-style presentations by Carnegie Mellon world-renowned faculty; You will say, “WOW '' as you enter the University of Pittsburgh Human Engineering Research Laboratory (HERL); and you will experience both the past and present at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  Don’t rest during your “free time.” Use it to explore the dozens of choices, which are key to the success of Pittsburgh’s wonders.

Be sure to visit the ARCS Website and view our beautiful Retreat Montage!

We KNOW you will enjoy this experience...  Elaine E. Davis, Chair, Carol Stockman, Janie Wilson

View of downtown Pittsburgh from the top of Duquesne Incline by Yuhan Du