Published for the Gulf Oil Company, which was based in Pittsburgh before being bought by the Chevron Corporation, the Rand McNally map of Pittsburgh was very informative and showed in great detail the metropolitan area. However, the most intriguing feature was the sightseeing tour that was printed on the downtown side of the map. The following is an updated version of the original tour that was printed in the 1963 map.
PITTSBURGH'S tallest skyscraper, the USS Tower, has been selected as the starting point for the Sight-seeing tour of Pittsburgh. Its central location at the corner of Grant and Seventh in the downtown area, and the fact that it is such an outstanding visible landmark, make it an ideal point from which to start a tour.
Leaving the USS Tower at the corner of 7th and Grant, you will follow 7th Avenue to William Penn Place; here making a left turn. The Koppers Building is directly across the street, and on the right is the Verizon Building which contains all of the equipment for downtown office circuits. You then pass the Harvard-Princeton-Yale Club and the former Alcoa Building, which is faced in aluminum.
Continuing on William Penn Place you'll pass Mellon Square on your right. Into the heart of the Golden Triangle, it has brought the majestic beauty of trees and shrubs, erupting fountains and cascades accented by multi-colored light at night. Facing Mellon Square you will then pass the functionally slim 525 William Penn Place Building.
You will then turn left onto 5th Avenue to Grant Street where you make a right turn. The tour then goes south on Grant Street to the sign designating Interstate 376 east. Follow the Parkway which parallels the Monongahela River. This permits excellent view of the Pittsburgh Technology Center which has replaced the steel mills that once lined the river. At the Oakland exit, bear right on ramp to Boulevard of the Allies marker and follow to Boulevard where right turn is made.
Continuing on the Boulevard we pass over Charles Anderson Bridge into Schenley Park. (Follow "Oakland" arrows through cloverleaf) Bearing left at every intersection after leaving the cloverleaf we pass, to our left, the famous Phipp's Conservatory with vast areas of plants and flowers. To the right we have Carnegie Mellon University, one of the nation's outstanding technical colleges, and next (also on the right) stately Carnegie Library and Museum Buildings.
All of the Carnegie Buildings are open to the public, but only the Library is free. The Museum of Natural History is $8 for adults, $5 for children, children 3-18, and students with ID, and free for members and children under 3. Carnegie Mellon University was founded in 1900 as the Carnegie Institute of Technology and Mr. Carnegie's purpose was to provide a place where deserving students from his district could receive first-class technical education.
Leaving Carnegie Buildings the tour crosses Forbes Avenue onto Bigelow Boulevard. On right, in shadow of stately Cathedral of Learning is the Stephen C. Foster Memorial which was built in honor of Pittsburgh's famous composer.
University of Pittsburgh is one of the oldest institutions west of Allegheny Mountains and its forty-one story Cathedral of Learning, built to accommodate 12,000 students, is the tallest educational building in the world. The university is world renown for its work in the field of medicine. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) where future doctors go to practice their chosen field, is located on 5th Avenue to the west of the Cathedral of Learning.
Situated on top of University Hill above the Cathedral of Learning is the Petersen Events Center, not only the lair of the Pitt Panthers and Lady Panthers basketball teams, but is also used for other functions such as the university's commencement.
Our tour makes a right turn on Fifth Avenue and to the left we have Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Hall, Pittsburgh Athletic Association and Masonic Temple. On right, within the square containing Pitt's Cathedral of Learning, is the Heinz Memorial Chapel.
To the right, past next street intersection, is the magnificent home of the Mellon Institute, which was endowed by the late Andrew W. Mellon and his brother, Richard B. Mellon. It was already known as the "Laboratory of the World" before the computer age, but is now referred to as the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center where advancements in computer technology and computer virus detection and elimination have been created.
Sight-seers who choose to take a shorter tour of the city can turn left on Craig Street and head to the Bloomfield Bridge where a right turn is made. The total distance for main tour is approximately 27 miles. At other end of bridge we turn left to Main Street not a sharp left, and turn left again at Penn Avenue. At 40th Street a right turn is made and we go down hill and across the 40th Street Bridge.
Visitors following main tour continue out Fifth Avenue from Craig Street, passing through rich residential and apartment district. A left turn is made at Highland Ave. and this street is followed through heart of East Liberty.
At the end of Highland Avenue we bear right into Highland Park and follow signs marked "To Zoo." Owned and operated by city, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium has one of the largest collections of animals and birds. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (60 years of age and older), $6 for children (ages 2-13 years), and free for children under 24 months April through November, and $6 for adults, $5 for seniors (60 years of age and older), $5 for children (ages 2-13 years), and free for children under 24 months December through March.
After leaving the zoo a right turn is made and at the exit of the park a right turn onto Washington Boulevard is made. Follow to 62nd Street Bridge where a right exit is made. After crossing the bridge and proceeding north to the intersection of Route 28 south, follow Route 28 signs which becomes East Ohio Street in Millvale. This street parallels Allegheny River and passes many factories and shipping wharves. Here the short tour is picked up again at 40th Street or the Washington Crossing Bridge.
East Ohio Street is followed back toward the city. Extensive meat-packing operations are conducted on Herr's Island to left, and other industrial plants passed. The famous H. J. Heinz food plant looms into view and visitors are welcome to go through this plant during week days.
A right exit is made to continue on East Ohio Street where a right turn is made onto East Street. A left is made at North Avenue. Follow this past Allegheny General Hospital, one of the finest hospitals in the Pittsburgh area, and also known for medical advancements and treatments. Continuing on North Avenue we pass West Park, to left, and we make a left turn at Brighton Road. A right turn is made onto Ridge Avenue, a left onto the ramp that leads directly onto the Fort Duquesne Bridge. Crossing this bridge you'll continue onto Fort Pitt Boulevard.
Here you'll see on your left Gateway Center with a contrasting view of modern skyscrapers, Point State Park and the Block House, last vestige of Fort Pitt built by the British and occupied in 1760. Follow Fort Pitt Boulevard to the Smithfield Street Bridge.
At the south end of the bridge we make a left turn and follow Carson Street then turn right onto Arlington Avenue then swing sharply right onto Liberty Bridge ramp. We do not enter Liberty Tunnels, but continue on straight ahead, up P.J. McArdle Roadway. This climbs up the side of a cliff of Mount Washington, presenting an increasingly impressive view of the city as we ascend. A sharp left is made at top of hill into Grandview Avenue.
Several observational platforms are located along this avenue where an excellent view of the city and Point can be seen. Returning to the intersection of Grandview and McArdle Roadway, we turn left onto Merrimac and continue to Woodruff bearing right to the foot of the hill. Here a left turn is made onto Saw Mill Run Boulevard which is followed to Liberty Tunnels where a right exit is made. These twin tunnels are 1 1/5 miles long and were cut through solid rock to connect the Liberty Bridge with the South Hills.
The tour continues across the Liberty Bridge and straight ahead on Sixth to Grant where a right turn is made leading back to the USS Tower bringing our tour to an end.