South Side Pittsburgh

Mile 145 – South Side Pittsburgh


James A. O’Toole – Steelworkers Monument, 2001

This tribute to the steelworkers of the past sits by the southern end of the Hot Metal Bridge, which used to carry molten iron across the Monongahela River to the steel works, including Jones & Laughlin’s South Side Works site where the sculpture quietly resides. The work is meant to invoke through clean, geometric abstraction a gentler memory of the steel mills while conveying a measure of their former awesome immensity. Lights shine through the holes and beams at night, mimicking the fiery orange glow that seeped out of the factories in the dark, and a watercourse that calmly collects rain takes the place of the channels that directed liquid iron.


There are dozens of works of public art in the South Side and hundreds in all of Pittsburgh, with the number changing all the time as works go up, others are torn down, and temporary installations staying only for a short but memorable while. Check out this excellent website, Pittsburgh Outdoor Murals and Art, to virtually navigate through mapped public art within city limits. Or for another searchable site of public art and artist venues in Pittsburgh and southwestern PA, check out Pittsburgh Art Places, maintained by the Pittsburgh Office of Public Art.



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