Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 12:00pm
202 Frick Fine Arts Building
Forbes Field, the hub of professional baseball in Pittsburgh for most of the twentieth century, has long been recognized as a key piece of the city’s urban development. Commissioned by Pittsburgh Pirates’ owner Barney Dreyfuss in 1909 and designed by landscape architect Charles W. Leavitt, the stadium quickly became noteworthy for its role in the transformation of Oakland into Pittsburgh’s “second center” as part of the larger City Beautiful movement in the United States. Yet it has rarely been examined for its individual architectural importance. Evidence suggests, however, that the building of Forbes Field constituted not simply a feat of modern construction, but a calculated manipulation of material, organizational and natural resources. This colloquium explores how Forbes Field’s strategic design rendered legible the precision of industrial Pittsburgh in shaping a new harmonious, carefully ordered, transparent, and nurturing environment promoted by the scions of Progressive-era America.