This story will provide a sense of what the Hill District was like during the era when Pulitzer prize-winning playwright August Wilson was growing up there and how this iconic neighborhood inspired his best-known plays, including Jitney, Fences and The Piano Lesson.
Highlights include St. Benedict the Moor Church, Freedom Corner across the street from the church and the old Connelley Vocational School on Bedford Avenue. You will see August Wilson’s former home, located at 1727 Bedford Avenue as well as learn about current and ongoing restoration efforts.
Additional tour locations include:
- A scenic overlook, where you will have fabulous views of downtown Pittsburgh, the Strip District and the North Side
- A large former synagogue which provides evidence of the Jewish community presence in the Hill
- The Crawford Grill
- The New Granada Theater (also undergoing renovations)
- The former Hill House Community Center
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This story was recorded November 1, 2021.
Laurence Glasco is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh who has taught a course on the history of Black Pittsburgh for over 20 years. Presently, he is completing a biography of August Wilson. Professor Glasco prides himself on always taking his students on a walking tour of the historic Hill District neighborhood, which is one of the highlights of the course in addition to having them read the book, written by himself and Christopher Rawson, August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays.