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New Squirrel Hill sculpture honors millions who died in Holocaust

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By Megan Harris
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 2:42 p.m.

Harry Schneider was 2 when he fled with his family into a Polish forest in September 1939, just one day ahead of the German army. Now 76 and president of the Holocaust Survivors' Association, he can point to the 6 million pop tabs assembled inside the nearly completed “Keeping Tabs” memorial sculpture at Community Day School in Squirrel Hill and find one for each of his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins executed by the Gestapo.

“This was a project in faith,” said Head of School Avi Baran Munro. “Each one of these tabs represents a life, an important life. Pittsburgh has great Holocaust education, but they don't really have a central site to celebrate those contributions. We hope this can become that place.” Crisp autumn leaves cluttered ruddy mounds of soil and discarded bricks where landscapers polished and pruned the new corner park on Wednesday. Artists, architects, donors and school leaders invite the community to a public dedication at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, where visitors can stroll through the sculpture's great glass walls.


Pittsburgh post-gazette

Dream Homes Ohio & Pennsylvania Book

Dream Homes Ohio & Pennsylvania is an incredible collection of the states’ foremost architects, home designers and builders, who graciously invite readers to peek inside their favorite residential masterpieces. Though the professionals’ backgrounds, personalities, creative processes and stylistic preferences are strikingly unique, all share an impressive dedication to excellence that yields timeless designs that will be enjoyed well into the future.


Pittsburgh post-gazette

A new groove in Greenfield: Husband, wife give his grandfather's home a makeover

Runner-up Renovation Inspiration Contest, Large Project category
Saturday, February 26, 2011
By Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Larry Roberts/Post-Gazette

A windowed atrium created a safer entry to the home and brought in lots of light.
It's not an uncommon for Pittsburghers to return to live in the very houses they grew up in. Barry Merenstein put a little twist on that when he and his wife, Susan, moved from Churchill in 1995 to the tidy yellow brick house his grandparents built in 1959 on a quiet street in Greenfield.

If you see their house today, you would have happily made the swap, too: Recently reimagined by architect Alan Dunn of Dunn and Associates, it features a contemporary glass entry that floods the interior with light and air, and an open floor plan characterized by bold colors and contrasting textures. As a result, the Merensteins were named a runner-up in the 2010-11 Renovation Inspiration Contest, large project category (over $50,000).

Now in its fifth year, the contest is co-sponsored and judged by the Post-Gazette and Community Design Center of Pittsburgh on such criteria as appropriateness of construction and materials, functionality and imagination...

House Trends Magazine

The Winner's Circle

By Joan Pearlstein Dunn | Photos by Craig Thompson

A dream farm

Two decades ago, a Beaver County farmhouse laid out its welcome mat for the soon-to-be new owner, Fran Azur. Surrounded by 60 acres of rustic rolling hills, Fran's plan was to convert his new address into a working horse farm. Over time his farm would become home to 15 Paso Fino, and 6 Icelandic horses. Scottish Highland cows would be tossed in the mix to eat foliage and keep things tidy on a property that has now swelled to 130 acres. The awe-inspiring landscape sweeps through, and around the farm in motionless splendor.

"We've spiffed up the barn and use it for entertaining," says Fran's wife, Melanie. "We have cocktail parties and dinner dances here." Fran and Melanie lead an adventurous life which is continuously chronicled on the walls of their home and barn. The horses' quarters sing praises, with carefully framed medals lining the walls, many of which are "All Around Grand Champion Awards."

More formal entertaining is saved for the dining room. "The furniture was Fran's idea," says Melanie. "He wanted it to have a Scottish Castle theme." An eclectic mix of their acquired treasures personalizes the room and gives it character. With thirteen family members in tow, Melanie likes that she can gather her whole family at one table...

Pittsburgh post-gazette

Marshall couple's home is their castle

Saturday, October 09, 2010
By Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Robin Rombach/Post-Gazette

The musicians' gallery in the great hall of Cara and Char Branstetter's castle home in Marshall.

Cara McCandless and Barton Branstetter have never forgotten their storybook wedding trip to Thornbury Castle Hotel in South Gloucestershire, England. King Henry VIII spent 10 days in 1535 in this grand country fortress with his beloved Anne Boleyn.

Yet it's what they did 12 years after their 1994 wedding that really makes for a great story.

After finding a 3-acre lot in a quiet Marshall subdivision, they asked architect Alan Dunn to design them a castle of their own.

Modeled after Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, the 7,000-square-foot house is about as medieval as you can get in modern times, with battlements and turrets, arrow slit windows and even a drawbridge that leads visitors across a dry moat to the front door. It's certainly the most unique stop on Sunday's annual Wesley Spectrum Tour of Homes in the North and South Hills... Read More >>


Pittsburgh post-gazette

The New Civic Arena

Symbolic of Pittsburgh's rebirth, it should be reborn too
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
By Alan M. Dunn
As a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh and practicing architect, I feel compelled to offer an opinion regarding the future of the Civic/Mellon Arena.

When I was studying at Carnegie Mellon University in the early 1970s, a publication titled "Kinetic Architecture" by William Zuk was quite popular among the students for its then-revolutionary concept of "motioned structures." Not only was the Civic Arena featured, but it also was one of the largest and most significant examples offered at the time. To this day I'm still not aware of any segmented dome of its size and functional likeness in the world...


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