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Xperience Zone Tours with PHLF Aboard Molly’s Trolleys

Thanks to funding from the McSwigan Family Foundation and Alfred M. Oppenheimer Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, PHLF was able to underwrite a full-day trolley tour on August 8, 2013 for middle and high school students and counselors in the Blakey Program Center’s Xperience Zone summer camp, administered by the Hill House Association.

At Carnegie Mellon University, students were inspired by Doug Cooper’s 200-foot-long mural of Pittsburgh, Kraus Campo, the College of Fine Arts, Randy Pausch Memorial Bridge, and “Walking to the Sky” sculpture. After lunch, students rode up and down the Duquesne Incline and visited Point State Park. As the trolley headed back to the Hill, a special stop was added so everyone could read the PHMC marker downtown on Third Avenue honoring Martin Delaney (1812-1885), the father of Black Nationalism.

Campers and counselors from the Xperience Zone, ages 10 to 18, wrote the following about their experiences:

  • This was a fun experience for us because other middle school children do not get the chance to explore a campus. My favorite place was the Duquesne Incline. What I think is that my city is a great learning experience. I am very glad I live in this city because there are many things that I didn’t know about Pittsburgh. I would like to go to Carnegie Mellon University. Thank you!  ––Antonae 
  • I want to state that the people who are responsible for this trip are incredible and blessed ones. This experience was great beyond measure. I have no favorite site since they all were amazing. I learned that 36 years before being elected, our first President of the United States, George Washington, was a big part of founding Pittsburgh. Native Americans actually lived and hunted in this region. Pittsburgh, our city, was named after William Pitt the Elder, the British statesman who made sure that General Forbes had enough troops, artillery, and food to win the French and Indian War. I also never knew about architectural styles like medieval and gothic that were shown in niches at Carnegie Mellon University. My tour guide gave me a diagram of the architectural niches at the College of Fine Arts, which was tremendously appreciated. Thanks!  ––Edward Murphy
  • I liked the “Walking to the Sky” sculpture because it was peaceful to me when we were looking and talking about the sculpture. I also liked the fountain at Point State Park because it was also peaceful and we got to walk around the water. I also saw a rainbow that was really pretty. That’s why I liked the tour of Pittsburgh.  ––Rashai Humphrey
  • I wanted to tell the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation about my trip today. It was a great trip. I learned a lot more about Pittsburgh. I want to tell you some stuff about the places. The Block House was a great place. I learned things about what happened 249 years ago. At Carnegie Mellon University, Doug Cooper’s drawings were really great. I really like all the drawings he drew of the City of Pittsburgh. I learned more about Oakland. ––Kayla Kinney
  • I have learned a lot of new and interesting things about Pittsburgh, such as the oldest building in Pittsburgh is the Block House and the tallest building is U.S. Steel Tower (with the letters UPMC). I also got to see Carnegie Mellon University up close and I learned to appreciate it for its history and education. I thank you guys for the trip that I will never forget. Also our tour guide was great! ––Taylor A. LeSesne-Jones
  • Thank you for allowing us to take this trip. I really liked it. I liked the Block House and the Fort Pitt Museum. I learned that it once was just a fort and a couple of buildings. I live in Atlanta and I hate it. Pittsburgh is better than Atlanta. I wished I lived in Pittsburgh. I hope to attend the University of North Carolina. If I had to choose a favorite site, it would be the Block House.  ––Eric Poulson
  • I would love to go to Carnegie Mellon University, but the tuition isn’t cheap. I could pass up living life with a ton of student debt. I remember someone describing Pittsburgh as a “city-not-city.” That’s exactly how I would describe it. I wouldn’t want to grow up anywhere else. I would rather work at CMU because it combines arts and science education. The campus is absolutely beautiful. A suggestion for the tour would be a more thorough knowledge of the museum exhibits. There was a moment or two when questions were answered with “I don’t know.”  ––Tyra Jamison
  • The Duquesne Incline was my favorite place. I had fun because going up, at first, was kind of scary. When going down, it wasn’t scary at all.  ––Nicole
  • The Duquesne Incline machinery room was my favorite place. I learned a lot about how the incline worked. At first I didn’t feel safe, but now I do because I saw how it worked. The mural of Pittsburgh by Doug Cooper was very interesting because I didn’t know anything about Pittsburgh and it told us about our history.  ––Alycia
  • Thank you for the experience, though it would have been nice to learn about Native Americans because they were here first. One of my favorite parts was walking through Carnegie Mellon University. It was nice to get a little tour. It was really interesting to see how exactly the Duquesne Incline works. When we came to the Fort Pitt Museum the people who worked there didn’t know what some of the symbols stood for in William Pitt’s coat of arms, but other than those two things the trip was cool and insightful. ––Etana Laing
  • My favorite place was the Duquesne Incline because I loved the beautiful view.  ––Adia Russell
  • I would like to thank the people who made this possible for me to go to all the places I went today. I really liked the Duquesne Incline. I also liked the Carnegie Mellon University tour. It was great because I am in middle school getting tips about a college. I wish my school had the opportunities that we had at the Experience Zone. ––Payton Bell
  • I liked when we went to the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University. I would like to go there. I loved the “Walking to the Sky” sculpture that tells you where you want to go in the future. Also, the Fort Pitt Block House tells about the British soldiers.  ––Amontae
  • I learned a lot of different things I didn’t know about plus I learned about things I am interested in. The Fort Pitt Block House and the Fort Pitt Museum were my favorites. Pittsburgh was named after William Pitt who never came to Pittsburgh. He was in England so I find it unjust. The tour was great. I realized there are a lot of things I still haven’t seen or experienced yet.  ––Amaru Williams
  • I just want to take the time and tell the people who made the trip possible for our kids thank you! I really thank you for putting this trip together to give our kids the knowledge of teaching them new things and not only them, but me as well. It opened up my mind to a lot of new things.  ––Ms. Jasmine Lawton
  • The things we did today were explore some of Carnegie Mellon University. I also learned something about the college and sculptures. We went on the Duquesne Incline and saw a view of Pittsburgh and learned how the machinery works. We went to Point State Park. My favorite place was the Point because of the water fountain.  ––Marua
  • I would like to tell the people who made this trip possible for us thank you very much and that I appreciate what they did. My first favorite place was Carnegie Mellon University and I would like to go there. My second favorite place was going on the Duquesne Incline. Even though I was scared I still got on it. I think my city is very beautiful and big. I never really liked my city but now that I learned a lot about it I really enjoy my city.  ––Tyraa Gilliam
  • I liked the Duquesne Incline observation deck because I got to see a view of my hometown Pittsburgh. I am glad that I live in Pittsburgh. I think that our city is amazing. We have a lot of people who see why Pittsburgh is such a beautiful city. I don’t know why people don’t want to come to Pittsburgh and learn about all that has happened to Pittsburgh.  ––Nyjae Mitchell
  • I want to tell the people who made this trip possible that I had an amazing time. This trip gave me more history that I didn’t know about the City of Pittsburgh. My favorite place was the Duquesne Incline. The new facts that I learned about Pittsburgh are that there are plenty of sites that dealt with revolutions and woman’s rights. I think the City of Pittsburgh deals with a lot of American history. I am very glad I live in this city because it never runs out of things to learn about.  ––Joshalyn Copeland
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633