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Monuments, memorials, sculptures and history along the river front
With the bustle of game day, the roar of the crowds and fun of tailgates, the North Shore is a happening place. However, there's plenty to do in this area besides sports, with monuments, statues and public art lining the riverfront.
We invite you to slow down, visit early and give yourself time to reflect and enjoy each of these stops. This entire trip can be done in 1-2 hours and is entirely flat, making it easy for visitors of all ages to do at their own pace.
For this walking tour, we recommend parking nearby at the Carnegie Science Center lot. From there, follow the directions below to easily find all of the places mentioned in this article.
This stunning statue to America's Favorite Neighbor, Fred Rogers, was unveiled on Nov. 5, 2009. The 7,000 pound bronze statue of Mister Rogers is the focal point, seated in his signature pose and gazing out at his neighborhood, the Pittsburgh skyline where he spent his life educating and listening to children. He's framed by a keyhole-like design of the repurposed Manchester Bridge pier (we'll see another relic of this later on this tour)
It's always nice to linger here for a moment, as 29 of Fred Roger's compositions play throughout the day, allowing for a quick escape into the Neighborhood of Make Believe or just a nice reaffirmation that you are special!
Almost right next to the Tribute to Children is our next stop. Originally dedicated in 1996, the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial of Allegheny County honors fallen officers of the Pittsburgh Police and additional suburban police departments.
Turn around from the officers memorial to find perhaps one of the oldest displays of public art in Pittsburgh. Right outside of Acrisure Stadium is this enormous bronze sculpture which once adorned the Manchester Bridge way back in 1917.
This century old sculpture features frontiersman Christopher Gist and Chief Guyasuta of the Seneca Tribe of the Iroquois Nation (both famous for guiding George Washington through the region) kneeling on each side of the Pittsburgh city seal.
From this sculpture, head up Art Rooney Avenue until you see the statue of Mr. Rooney himself, tucked into a copse of trees and facing Acrisure Stadium. Take a moment and sit with "The Chief," the Pro Football Hall of Famer and founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Continue down Art Rooney Avenue and turn right onto West General Robinson Street for maybe the most iconic sports memorial anywhere. The Immaculate Reception Monument remembers the greatest NFL play of all time, signifying the exact spot of this miraculous catch with a bronze plate featuring the footprint of Franco Harris, who made the astounding play.
This play gave the Steelers their first playoff win in 1972, and the team would go on to have a league-leading six Super Bowl victories. The Immaculate Reception turns 50 in 2022, making this a must-see.
Descend the stairs to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and turn left and you'll quickly come upon the Vietnam Veterans Monument, installed in 1987. There's a lot to take in here, from the towering hibiscus flower pod that frames the exhibit to the statues of veterans returning to their families and wind chimes offering up prayers to the dead.
Continue under the Fort Duquesne Bridge and you'll come to the Korean War Memorial. This subtle monument delicately expresses itself throughout the way, mixing light and shadow as the sun passes over and through the separate columns, symbolizing human spirit and expression of those who served in the Korean War.
Continue down the path to see the newest additions to the North Shore. As you pass the outfield of PNC Park, oversized baseballs span the entire riverwalk spotlighting prominent Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Greys players. As you come to the end of the stadium, large numbers from retired players are spaced throughout a curved walking area.
Consider making a full loop around the stadium as well to see bronze statues of Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski. Each tells a particular story of a famed player, and are positioned to make for great photo ops.
Continue down the Three Rivers Heritage Trail when you're done, passing under the 6th Street bridge, to come to our final stop, Allegheny Landing. While so much of this tour has focused on sports and military memorials, this commission is dedicated entirely to to labor. Figures depicted in this sprawling monument are all engaged in different forms of labor, with the two-tiered design literally representing the heights to which labor can bring civilization.
This formally concludes this tour! If you worked up an appetite, you're in luck as a number of great lunch and dinner spots are a short walk away from this spot. Or, take the leisurely one mile walk back to your car along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Happy exploring!