On October 6, 2016, the 170th anniversary of George Westinghouse’s birth, Pittsburgh’s tribute to the scientist, inventor, and industrial giant – the Westinghouse Memorial at the bottom of Schenley Park Drive between Phipps Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University – was rededicated.
Led by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the project’s $2.7 million cost was been raised through a $500k contribution from the City of Pittsburgh, and over $2 million from foundations and individual donors. Funds were also raised from nearly 300 donors, including many employees of the present-day Westinghouse Electric and Wabtec Corporation (formed by the merger of Westinghouse Air Brake Company and MotivePower Industries Corporation).
The memorial first opened to the public in 1930, 16 years after Westinghouse’s death. Originally intended for Westinghouse Park, a decision was made to move it to a more central location. Funded by individual donations from 55,000 workers at his former firms to honor him for his astounding contributions to society, the memorial’s pedigree is first rate, with architects Henry Hornbostel and Eric Fisher Wood, Sr., and artist Daniel Chester French, best known for the Lincoln memorial in Washington D.C.
The centerpiece of the memorial, titled The Spirit of American Youth, is the figure of a young man who is inspired by the life of Westinghouse. Critically acclaimed at the time as “the finest portrayal of American boyhood,” it conveys a clear message: future generations will judge Westinghouse, and they will be astonished and inspired. The statue – and all other bronze work has been hand-restored, cleaned, and preserved as part of the restoration and renewal project.
Enjoy these closer details of the monument, both front and rear.