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A History of Pittsburgh’s Lost Inclines

New interactive map lets users discover 22 of Pittsburgh’s historical funiculars.

Photo by Dave DiCello


The single most Instagrammed photo in Pittsburgh is probably the Duquesne Incline. The iconic red trolley is like a sharp pocket square for our skyline. It ties everything together. Even Mister Rogers had a replica in his neighborhood.

There are only two inclines operational today — the Duquesne and Monongahela — but there were at least 20 other inclines throughout our history. In Pittsburgh’s industrial heyday, inclines were essential infrastructure for hauling coal, freight and (in the days before SUVs) very tired mill workers up the hill to their homes.

Now you can explore all 22 known inclines with an amazing new interactive map by Chris Olson. You can even switch between a historical map of Pittsburgh and a modern Google satellite view to see exactly where the old inclines were located.

Extra ‘Burgh bonus points to anyone who can name the very first incline without looking.


It’s the Ormsby Mine Gravity Plane, built in 1844. Sounds like a cross between an old Western and a sci-fi movie.

Want more history? Don’t miss our December cover feature, "The Way We Were: 150 Years of Pittsburgh."


#Art: Warhol Museum Offers Classes on Artist’s Legacy

Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame will never end. Whether we’re keeping track of his gravesite or visiting the The Andy Warhol Museum to check out new exhibits, Warhol’s legacy will endure.

That’s the point behind a new class at the museum, Warhol’s Legacy in Contemporary Art. The six-week course will look at what today’s artists have gleaned from pop art’s founder, how Warhol affected pop culture and his lasting impact on gender studies, among other topics.

The deadline to enroll for the spring class is Jan. 19.


#Toys: Heinz Chapel has been LEGO-fied

This unbelieveable LEGO reconstruction of Heinz Memorial Chapel, created by mad scientist @JasonBurik, is on display at the chapel through Dec. 12.

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