Obscura Society Pittsburgh / 412 / N@

I just wondered - would there be interest in an Obscura Society in the Pittsburgh area? Even for something informal, like just a meetup and photowalk, and maybe dinner somewhere. I did quite a few meetups with the Pittsburgh flickr group, and they were lots of fun. Is anyone else interested?


Good question! @Erin_Johnson ?

Hey @thomasharper! We don’t currently have a Chapter in Pittsburgh, but would love to see you organize something informal. A photowalk sounds awesome. Hopefully, we’ll have a Chapter there someday soon!


Hi @thomasharper I met with a small group of Atlasy folks in Pittsburgh a while back and I think there would definitely interest for this at some point in the future! Have you been to the Troy Hill Art Houses yet? It’s my favorite thing in Pittsburgh! https://www.troyhillarthouses.com/


Little late to the party here, but I’m in. I’ve got a couple of neat spots locally (anodyne33 on Instagram) that I’d visit anytime and would be thrilled to have partners in crime. I’m also compiling a Google map of suburban stairs in my neck of the woods that may be of interest to somebody. City steps get all the love, don’t forget the surrounding boroughs suckers.


Never too late to rep Philly!

Ah, coolness! I’d be up for ideas. I think one of the obstacles would be access, but at least a list can be made. Here’s what I have seen in the past and would like to see:

  • The “Fourth River,” the Wisconsin Glacial Flow underneath the Point

  • The penthouses above the Frick Building or those red onion-dome type ones

  • Fourth Street has lots of old architecture and banking facades, and was Pittsburgh’s financial center or many years.

  • Top of any building

  • Behind the scenes at various museums: Carnegie, Warhol, PostNatural…

  • Various places at Carnegie Mellon: The tower at Hamerschlag, Steam Tunnels…

  • I have to see the Troy Hill art houses now!

Anything else to add?


Speaking of steam tunnels, there are some old decommissioned tunnels under downtown that I’d love to see someday. I need to find the map again, but there are tunnels that go from the Mellon building to the Union Trust building then the Frick building from what I understand. It’s on a map on (I believe) the city’s website. There’s also a tunnel between the City County building and Criminal Court. I can confirm that I’ve seen it from the basement of the City County building and I’m not sure now, but I believe it was still in use, though not to the general public. My big want is to see the truck turntable under the Steel Tower. The truck entrance is on 6th. Next are the Virgil Cantini mosaics between 6th (near the steel tower) and Chatham street. They’re highly endangered now that the city is turning that area into a park over 579. The Keir Refinery historical marker is there also. Both are on my instagram. one last thing, let’s not forget the Maxo Vanka murals in Millvale. Damn, now I have a bunch of stuff to look up and add to the site if it’s not already there. Drop me a line. my handle at g mail. Let’s get some people together and do some ‘splorin’!


I see those from the bus all the time! I wondered what the crystalline walls were.

I’ll drop you a line!

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We had an awesome time at the Troy Hill Art Houses! I floated the idea for a PostNatural History Museum visit as well.

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That’s so awesome to hear! Thanks for spearheading this @thomasharper! I’d love to keep hearing about more of your guys’ adventures as they happen!

We have one in the works now. I totally recommend the Troy Hill Art Houses even if I only did one and a half of them. Slight spoiler, La Hute Royale has a narrow hatch to get into the self guided part and I’d have been contorting my shoulders to get through so I was a little bugged out that I’d get trapped somewhere deeper inside.

@Shane_McGraw @thomasharper I think it’s so awesome that you are building your own Obscura Society in Pittsburgh, a city that consistently surprises and delights me! I’m really looking forward to hearing more about your explorations, and hopefully at some point we can work turn this into an official chapter.

I’d love to introduce you to @johnpettit, our Philadelphia Atlas Obscura Society Chapter Head. John’s been working with us a little over a year to create a diverse lineup of amazing programming in Philly and beyond. I’m wondering if there’s an opportunity for us all to team up on some broader PA excursions?


I’d be into it.

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