In the 19th century, the positioning of Pittsburgh as a major manufacturing center and the subsequent rise of the areas steel industry created a wave of prosperity that prompted the beneficiaries of that wealth to construct extravagant residences. Wealthy enclaves sprang up in the citys East End, across the river in neighboring Allegheny City, and into the countryside. Pittsburghs Mansions explores the stately homes of the areas prominent residents from the 1830s through the 1920s. Businessmen such as H.J. Heinz, Henry Clay Frick, and members of the Mellon family commissioned elaborate homes from the preeminent architects of their day. Firms such as Alden & Harlow, Janssen & Abbott, and Rutan & Russell left their marks on the citys landscape, often contributing iconic public buildings as well as expansive private homes. Though many of the residences have since been lost, Pittsburghs Mansions offers a look back at the peak of the citys prominence.
Kaufmann's Department Store was a force in Pittsburgh retail from its humble beginnings in 1871 until its merger with Federated Department Stores in 2006. The "Big Store" downtown was a landmark shopping emporium with 12 floors of everything from cosmetics and groceries to wedding gowns and lawn mowers. Under the leadership of Edgar J. Kaufmann and his wife, Liliane, the store became a forum for exhibitions of art, cutting-edge technology, and Parisian haute couture. Generations of Pittsburghers hold fond memories of meeting friends and family under the famous Kaufmann's clock to lunch at the Tic Toc Restaurant, pick up cookies at the Arcade Bakery, or peer into the store's enchanting Christmas window displays each December.