Great Young Dance Teacher-Scottsdale, AZ.


Pittsburgh Hilton

I have never been a fan of Hilton Hotels.  The lobbies are huge and the service is terrible.   Go to the hotel restaurants only under the penalty of death.   However, the Pittsburgh Hilton was something special, at least until the remodeling in the early 90s.   The Hotel went up in the late 50s just in time for the Bicentennial in 1959.

Advertisements stated the Hilton was constructed with materials from three companies headquartered in Pittsburgh, United States Steel, the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), and Pittsburgh Paints and Pittsburgh Plate Glass.   The Pittsburgh  Hilton was just across the street from Point State Park.  As we all know the Point was the coveted area during pioneer days.

The French, Indians, and English fought savagely  over what become known as Pittsburgh-the Gateway to the West; the confluence of the Allegheny River from the North,  the Monongahela River from the South, and the formation of the Ohio River onto the Mississippi.

The Lobby was much smaller than most Hiltons. It was the busiest of the downtown hotels until the opening of both the Convention Center  a few miles north and  Grand Concourse Restaurant  from the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad on the South Side.  Big time hotels  came at these locations.  Despite these developments I still liked the Hilton.

The hotel had the Settlers Restaurant and Tavern.   The restaurant gave you a view of the people walking around the  Gateway Center. The bar was too dark for my taste.   In the lobby, the  Allegheny Deck was a platform, about a foot high, for those people wanting to watch football.  The deck was to keep spills off the floor.  When Steelers fan get excited,  they might do something  crazy.  The was a small Joseph Horn’s specialty shop to entice people to go to the main Department Store just across the street.

However, the real joy was the Rifle and Plow restaurant.   The atmosphere was Early American to match the location of Fort Pitt just across the street.   Rifles, plows, knives, and power horns hung on  the walls.  There were a few stuffed  animals as well.  The Rifle and Plow had a long bar to the right as people entered.   The main attraction for me was Iron City Beer on draft.

Now as to the food.  The restaurant was the usual fare of various cuts of meat and about a half dozen seafood platters.  All of these dishes and side orders were delicious and done to order.  Nevertheless, what really made this hotel restaurant was that venison, pheasant, rabbit, and quail  were on the menu.   The the Rifle and Plow was the best restaurant downtown and perhaps in the Pittsburgh area.

After remolding, the Hilton lost its appeal for me.  But it has been nice sharing this memory with you.







Back to History

The last 10 days the Eagles Home Page has made some references to 2004. They point to how easy most of the 13 wins were.  Of  hand,  memory says that only the victories over  Baltimore, Cleveland, and at home to Dallas were close.   This success despite the loss of N.D. Kalu and Correll Buckwalter from training camp injuries and the departure of Bobby Taylor, Troy Vincent, and Duce Staley to free agency.  Terrell Owens, of course, managed to stay out of trouble for one very good year.

Why is the Front Office bringing this up?  They are making a legitimate effort to keep fans happy and interested  during these hard times.  Had Philadelphia defeated the Arizona Cardinals here in 2008,  keeping a fan base would be been much easier.

Eagles Lovers, especially we older fans,  might have this attitude… we have been in the Super Bowl twice in five years…have some patience while we build another great team.  It is hard to stay on top with the college draft, free agency, and the way the NFL plans its games……  Chuck Noll, Tom Landry, and Don Shula all remained as Head Coaches from winning in the past not in the present.  Remember as well that time passes much faster as we get older.

Who knows.  If the Eagles had defeated the Arizona Cardinals in the 2008 NFC Championship Game, Andy Reid might still be in the hot seat in Philadelphia.  History in any endevor is always critical.