SYRIA MOSQUE
Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts (Pittsburgh, Pa.) - In the late 1960s, the Pittsburgh Symphony was due to move out of its old home at the Syria Mosque
in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The Heinz Endowment bought the old Penn Theatre, located at Sixth Street and Penn Avenue in downtown
Pittsburgh, and created the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts; the centerpiece of what would become Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. With the world’s largest
orchestra endowment, estimated at $460 million in the early 1970’s, and under the careful tutelage of William Steinberg and later Andre Previn, the
Pittsburgh Symphony joined the top rank of American orchestras.
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Pittsburgh
1960's
ALL THINGS PITTSBURGH
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
PHOTO RESTORATION DONE BY THE STEELCACTUS FOUNDATION

ADDITIONAL VERBIAGE BY THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
HEINZ HALL
Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts, located at 600 Penn Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh, was built in 1927 by motion picture magnate Marcus Loew and at that time was called the Loew’
s Penn Theater. The Howard Heinz Endowment saved the theater from the wrecking ball after it closed in 1968. It reopened as Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts after a $11 million, 16
month long renovation. The structure features the original 1927 imported Italian marble, plush red velvet, and shimmering Austrian crystal. Two 15-foot chandeliers, each weighing a
ton and located in the Grand Lobby, were also part of the original theater. The Grand Opening Celebration of Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts was September 10, 1971. James Earl
Jones, Charlton Heston, and Gregory Peck were among the notable guests. The 2,661 seat Heinz Hall is now home to the renowned Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. It also hosts
Symphony Pops concerts and Broadway touring companies.
BOYCE PARK
The Syria Mosque, located at Bigelow Boulevard in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, was designed by the
Chicago architectural firm of Huehl, Schmidt & Holmes in 1915. The temple, built for the Shriners, officially opened
on October 23, 1916, at a cost of $750,000. This building served as an auditorium that was long the home of the
Pittsburgh Symphony and was used for operas and plays. The architecture was generally Syrian Arabic in two
shades of brown brick and terra cotta, with striping that has caused it to be compared to a very large mocha
torte. The Haughty bronze sphinxes are by Giuseppe Moretti. The building was demolished in 1991
.
PITTSBURGH PLAYHOUSE
1963 - The expanded and remodeled Pittsburgh Playhouse, located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, featured a new marquee entrance leading to the lobby from Craft
Avenue. In the background is the renovated Tree of Life Synagogue building that became the location of the main stage for the Playhouse. A smaller, secondary auditorium occupied
the original building at the corner of Hamlet Street and Craft Avenue. The Playhouse continues today to offer a season of plays in what has become a complex of three theatres
associated with Point Park College.
The dream of a redeveloped Pittsburgh is becoming a reality in this photograph showing the completed Fort Duquesne Bridge spanning
the Allegheny River. Behind it are buildings of Gateway Center: Gateway Towers (center) with the Hilton Hotel to its right. Behind Gateway
Towers, the first Gateway Center buildings are visible, and to the far right side is the State Office Building.
SIGNS OF THINGS TO COME...
LEISURE TIME
HEINZ HALL
THE OUTDOOR CAFE AT THE PITTSBURGH HILTON
The dream of a redeveloped Pittsburgh is becoming a reality in this photograph showing the completed Fort Duquesne Bridge spanning
the Allegheny River. Behind it are buildings of Gateway Center: Gateway Towers (center) with the Hilton Hotel to its right. Behind Gateway
Towers, the first Gateway Center buildings are visible, and to the far right side is the State Office Building.
THE OUTDOOR CAFE AT THE PITTSBURGH HILTON