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Be Nebby Blog

Welcome to the place where you can indulge your nebbiness about Pittsburgh’s unique history and neighborhoods.

We invite you to go off-the-beaten path with us to explore iconic architecture, new places and amazing people. Interested in contributing to our #BeNebby Blog? Submit your idea.

Was there a Zoo Near You?

The Pittsburgh Zoo was only the last of the city’s many animal parks. Have you ever wondered why local radio announcers refer to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium as the “Highland Park

Pittsburgh at the Movies

On June 19, 1905, when 450 people walked into a previously vacant storefront at 451 Smithfield Street, they didn’t know they were making history. They had each paid a nickel to see a

Gateway to Pittsburgh: From Then to Now

The view of the Pittsburgh skyline is quite a sight when you come out of the Fort Pitt Tunnels, but unless you take the ramp straight into the city, you might miss Gateway


When I lived in Highland Park in 2018, my then 6-year-old nephew was delighted and intrigued that he could spot my compartment (as he comically called my boxy apartment stacked high on an

Settlement House History and Pittsburgh’s Most Caring Neighbors

Before I worked for the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh (JCC)—an organization with long settlement house roots—and prior to digging into the history, philosophy, and significance of the Settlement House movement, I

Pittsburgh’s Female Architects and Advocates: We ARE Women’s History

There’s an old adage that history is written by the victors, but I would argue that history is actually written by the storytellers, the advocates and promoters who craft the narratives about the

Hill District History Hidden in Former Nightclub Building

A modest building along DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh’s Fifth Avenue by the Numbers Guided Walking Tour route conceals an important chapter in the city’s entertainment history. For almost 50 years, the two-story commercial building

A Sentimental Streetcar Journey

Babe B. was the streetcar conductor who lived next door to us in Beechview in 1950; a loud, good natured, gregarious guy in a dark blue uniform whose very presence was an adventure.

We Call It The Ferris Wheel. But Is It?

“Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels, dizzy dancing way you feel, As every fairy tale comes real, I’ve looked at life that way.” – Joni Mitchell Pittsburgh’s own George Washington Gale Ferris invented

Pittsburgh—Home to Two of Pennsylvania’s Schools for the Deaf and Blind

Both the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children and Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf date back to the 1870s and are part of Pittsburgh’s rich legacy of philanthropy.  The other schools that

Celebrating George Westinghouse, Pittsburgh’s Most Impactful Person

Few people have all the amazing qualities of George Westinghouse, Jr.  He was a pioneering inventor, responsible for science and technology innovations that transformed lives and created industries. His employment and business practices

What’s With Those Piers On The Monongahela River?

Ok so we’re gonna start in Indiana in 1838 but we’ll end up in Pittsburgh by March 2021. Alright, first we have the Wabash railroad. The railroad is named for the Wabash River,

Reveling in the Glories of Pittsburgh

“Pittsburgh. It’s the coolest city you’ve never thought about visiting.” That was my go-to phrase more than 20 years ago, when I frequently found myself visiting friends back in South Carolina who asked,

10 Ways to Stay Cool in Downtown Pittsburgh This Summer

Sports, steel, and skyline. Those are just a few of the things that come to mind when people think of Pittsburgh. But when I think of Downtown Pittsburgh I think of its amazing

A Particular Inclination

Mark Houser explores inclines that set their cities apart with stirring scenic views What do Pittsburgh, Paris, and Dubuque, Iowa, have in common? Okay, you could say they’re all river cities. But most

Landmarks Woven into Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ+ Historical Tapestry

The City of Pittsburgh has a registry of historic landmarks that include buildings, monuments, and sites that tell stories so important to our identity that they are celebrated–and protected–by the City itself.  While

Pittsburgh, City of Beautiful Bridges

Of all the bridges in Pittsburgh, which one most represents the city? Is it the Smithfield Street Bridge, Roberto Clemente Bridge, Fort Pitt Bridge, David McCullough (16th Street) Bridge, or another one? The

The Losterlings: The Lost Work of Architect Frederick J. Osterling

The East End Savings & Trust Building “We will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.”–New York Times Editorial, October 1963 A Little Housekeeping Precariously

A Radical Remake of Pittsburgh’s Skyline

In the decade from 1900 to 1910, the Golden Triangle went from having just two skyscrapers to more than a dozen. I can’t wait to stay at the Industrialist Hotel, the new boutique

Beyond the Kindness of Strangers: Ethnic Clubs in Pittsburgh

Before health insurance, workers compensation, disability or life insurance, there were mutual beneficial societies. They were created at the start of the 20th century across the United States, and here in Pittsburgh, by
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