34 Boulevard of the Allies

...is no longer the newsroom’s address. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette moved from its landmark location at the end of July. Built in 1927, the building served as a home for generations of journalists working for the Post-Gazette and The Pittsburgh Press, it starred in Hollywood films, hosted politicians, and greeted newcomers to the Steel City as they were coming through the tunnel and crossing the Fort Pitt Bridge.

The brown building now stands empty. Still, memories made there live on. Here are some of them, from those who had the honor to report on Pittsburgh for many years from 34 Boulevard of the Allies.

October 1992: The day Bill Block Sr. told our newsroom staff on the 4th floor that he had offered to buy The Pittsburgh Press from Scripps-Howard. Before he put in the offer, he said, he walked up to Kaufmann's department store to tell executives there his plan and asked if they would commit to back him by buying advertising space in the paper. They said yes and he walked back here confident he could make it work if the sale was approved. Kaufmann's became Macy's, the Press was absorbed by the P-G, and now both the paper and store are closing their doors Downtown.
Joyce Gannon

I'm always fond of the way a colleague described the walk down the Boulevard to the office in the dead of winter -- "The toughest 100 yards in journalism."
Michael Sanserino

William Block Sr. holds the first paper printed after an eight-month strike in the Hilton ballroom January 18, 1993.

Decades ago, before a vinyl covering was placed on the indoor steps near the snack bar, I brought a friend of mine who is an engineer into the building. He was amazed to see that the thick, metal steps were actually worn down in the center.

"Can you imagine how many feet had to walk on these steps to wear down metal?" he asked.

I had never noticed or thought about it before, but the engineer's question made me realize how long this building has stood and, indeed, how many journalists have climbed its steps.
Patrice Noel

1957: An exterior view of The Pittsburgh Press office building at 34 Blvd. of the Allies. Delivery trucks are lined up on the Boulevard of the Allies.

In June 1972, the P-G was printed with only one edition very early in the evening and those of us on the night shift were ordered to evacuate the building because of rising flood waters from Hurricane Agnes that submerged Point State Park and approached this building and the (former) Hilton Hotel.

They bolted those black steel waterproof covers over the first-floor windows and doors to seal the building. The rivers crested 11 feet above flood stage, but never reached us.
Ken Fisher

Who could forget the very eccentric features writer Clara Herron, who once famously looked at David Garth, and, mistaking him for the recently deceased news clerk Ricky Monroe, said, "I thought he was dead." Came the response: "He's feeling much better."

Who could forget high school sports editor Steve "Hector" Hecht, the famous bestower of nicknames ("Flounder," "Kernel," "Owl," "Poodle," "Hamster”).

Who could forget the famous, silent and perpetually smirking germophobe Paul Jayes whirling around in his chair and leaving the sports rim every time someone sneezed (and not even in his direction!).
Katy Buchanan

Then Sen. Barack Obama visits the Post-Gazette in 2008.

I really should talk about what it was like coming here during the strike era; learning the ropes from great arts journalists like Barb Vancheri, Barry Paris, George Anderson and Ron Weiskind; hearing Mark Madden yell at freelancers; and seeing the likes of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton come through our office.

Instead, I’ll share a totally oddball memory that stuck in my memory: the day I glued myself … to myself.

I always liked the fact that the second floor of 34 Blvd of the Allies was the kind of place where you could fix a flat right at your desk. That’s what I was doing one summer day about 10 years ago. I stripped the inner tube out of the bike tire and realized I didn’t have glue for the patch. So, I ran I over to the CVS and got a tube of superglue, which, in retrospect, I should not have been licensed to use.

I opened the glue and started squeezing it onto the patch. But nothing was coming out. By the time I realized the glue was leaking out of the bottom of the tube, not only were my fingers glued together, they were stuck to the tube! Naturally, I shook my hand in panic, sending a couple drops of glue right into the corner of my eye. Now my right eye was partly glued shut too!

Yelling profanity is generally frowned upon here -- in non work-related matters -- so I calmly explained to dining critic China Millman and classical critic Andrew Druckenbrod that I was in the midst of an unfortunate episode with a tube of superglue. I was hoping the solution did not involve an exacto blade.

Although China is much younger than me, she far exceeds me in common sense. Within minutes, she had typed an email: DATELINE USERS: Does anyone in the office have a bottle of nail polish remover?

It was very generous of her, as everybody at the Post-Gazette probably thought she had an urgent need to do her nails. Little did they know it was just the rock critic being stupid.
Scott Mervis

Sen. Hillary Clinton is greeted by Post-Gazette publisher and editor-in-chief John Robinson Block April 14, 2008. (Steve Mellon/Post-Gazette)

Sen. Hillary Clinton visits the Post-Gazette.

I have worked at 34 Boulevard of the Allies longer than anywhere else in a newspaper career that began in 1970.

When I came to the Post-Gazette for my job interview in February of 1986, one of my strongest impressions was that every second person – including editor John Craig and Managing Editor Bill Deibler – was a heavy smoker. I was used to newsrooms where smoking was common, but conditions here seemed extreme.

I was relieved, however, when I reported for my first day of work in early June. Smoking had been banned, and no one was puffing away in the newsroom. That was my first experience with a smoke-free workplace.

During my first years at the Post-Gazette, I always had the sense that the Post-Gazette operation was barely tolerated by Scripps-Howard, the publisher of The Pittsburgh Press. Those of us huddled on the fourth floor were like elderly maiden aunts, given the smallest bedrooms and warned to stay out of sight. I remember a memo from Press management warning Post-Gazette employees NOT to use the Press passenger elevator.

We had many good times on the fourth and, later, second floors. During my first month in full-time journalism, John Strohmeyer, my old boss in Bethlehem, Pa., won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. I remember thinking, “How hard could this be?” Very hard, as it turns out. So that made the newsroom celebrations of P-G/Block Newspapers Pulitzers in 1992 (John Kaplan) and 1998 (Martha Rial) very sweet.

The building offered a perfect location for watching July 4th fireworks and for taking a break after outdoor Pittsburgh Symphony concerts. The location made covering downtown parades and other community events easy.

During my first years at the newspaper, I worked a 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift on Friday nights. I always got a thrill crossing the Fort Duquesne Bridge on winter evenings when the Golden Triangle was lit up. The Post-Gazette building was at the center of that illuminated city – within two blocks of where John Scull and Joseph Hall launched their publication on July 29, 1786.
Len Barcousky

The building at 34 Boulevard of the Allies is ugly outside, worse inside: Drop ceilings, dingy stairwells, interior walls that block almost all natural light, aggressively nondescript furnishings. But for decades it was a factory where newspapers were manufactured. When I arrived the tools of the trade still included pica poles, fat black pencils, and rubber cement. The pressmen knew how to keep the hulking machines in the bottom of the building running. A typesetter could cheat an extra half line onto a page with an Exacto knife. The newspaper began in the newsroom and ended in a twine-wrapped bundle loaded onto a truck in the back bays of the building. The place smelled like ink.

I'm looking forward to windows in our new quarters, but I'll miss that smell.
Lillian Thomas

1957: A view of The Pittsburgh Press' printing press at 34 Blvd. of the Allies.

Sept. 14, 2014: Last time the presses at 34 Boulevard of the Allies are used to print the newspaper. (Lillian Thomas/Post-Gazette)

I was a Press Photographer for 40 years: 26 with The Pittsburgh Press and 14 years with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and I still remember the first day I walked into the City room of the Press. What a busy scene, with reporters banging away on their Underwood typewriters, then yelling for a copy boy to get their typed pages and deliver them to the City desk. I was there to interview for a job as a staff photographer. I got the interview in 1966, as I was an expert color photographer at a commercial studio in Pittsburgh and the paper was supposed to start printing in color soon (It actually happened years later).

I met Ray Gallivian, the photo chief, who had 50 years service. He looked at my portfolio with a wary eye and said, "How do I know you took these photos?" I stammered," They are mine." He replied, "Well, here's the deal. You work at that studio from 9 to 5, then come over here and work from 5:30 on and we’ll see if you like us and we like you.” So the next night, I came to work at the Press.

I went out that night with Tony Kaminski to cover the Pirates at Forbes Field. It was raining like crazy. I said to Tony, “Why are we going in the rain, they won't be playing.”

He said, “Yeah, but the food in the Pirates den is good and free, and tonight they are having steak. Tony was on his second cup of coffee, and I asked where the photographers’ position was.

He directed me to the photo box overlooking first base, and I went out to observe.

The seats were mostly empty but I noticed two women sitting under an umbrella in the rain. I worked my way down to them and clicked off a couple of shots of them, got their names and neighborhood. I went back into the office with Tony. He asked, “What did you photograph at Forbes Field?”

I put the negative into the enlarger and made print. Tony looked at it, said ok, and took it out to the City desk.

It must have been a slow news day, as when I came to work the next day, Ray Galllivan showed me my picture of the women on the front page. Pretty good, he said.

I believe that photo got me the job at the Press. My wife noting me getting the job, said, "Our ship has come in."

The Press people were a hard working bunch. On Saturday nights a bottle of Jack Daniels graced the sports deck. We ran to breaking news.

I photographed "the one for the thumb" picture with Mean Joe Greene. The Immaculate Reception. Mad Dog Madlock smacking an umpire in the face with his glove. And have a lot of "War Stories" to tell. It was a great ride, with dedicated people in a prime location on the Blvd. of the Allies in Pittsburgh.
Bob Pavuchak
Retired Press Photographer

The late Post-Gazette editor John Craig with Sue Smith and Eileen Foley.

Jesse Jackson once asked me where the men's room was...
Jon Silver

Many good reporters are contrarians. And that was certainly true of Post-Gazette journalists. The story goes that if you tell a reporter his mother loves him, then he will seek a second source to verify that assertion. If you tell a reporter he must wear a yellow identification badge to get into the building, it’s liable to be upside down or attached to a hat instead of a suit coat. That’s contrariness.

It can be annoying. But, frankly, it’s a valuable trait in professionals whose job requires them to be seriously skeptical of everything and utterly immune to bullying.

That’s what managers at The Pittsburgh Press failed to consider when they issued a building uniformity order sometime in the 1980s. They wanted the newspaper offices on the Boulevard of the Allies to appear consistent, all windows closed, all blinds drawn on all floors at all times. So they ordered it.

Though they may have forced direct Press employees to comply, workers at the Post-Gazette refused. At that time, the morning Post-Gazette was bound to the evening Press by an agency agreement under which the Press printed and delivered the Post-Gazette. The Press newsroom was on the second floor, and completely independent from it was the Post-Gazette newsroom on the fourth floor.

Immediately after the directive was issued, Post-Gazette reporters began pulling up the blinds to odd angles and opening the windows. The Press responded by disabling the draw cord locks on the blinds.

Unfazed, the Post-Gazette reporters drew up the blinds and wrapped the cords around window handles to secure them.

The Press sent workmen to the fourth floor to bolt plates over the edges of the windows to secure them shut. Post-Gazette reporters removed the bolts and the plates. Workmen returned and installed special bolts that required unique tools for removal.

For a while, that thwarted the Post-Gazette journalists. Then, one day, window washers came along and removed the plates to enable cleaning of both sides of the window panes. Many of the plates and bolts disappeared that day.

After that, the Press pretty much stopped trying to enforce compliance. And that’s good. No one wants uniformity in newspapers. That’s boring. And it’s not the way good reporting is done. Good reporting requires refusal to conform.
Barbara White Stack
Former Post-Gazette reporter, assistant city editor, editorial writer

Former Editor John Craig Jr. at the Post-Gazette, September 29, 1988.

Martha Rial is being sprayed with champagne by a co-worker at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette during a newsroom celebration. Moments before that, she learned that she had won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography April 14, 1998. (John Beale/Post-Gazette)

In 1979 I was a freelance sports writer in New York, looking for full-time employment. I was working with the hockey writer-analyst Stan Fischler, following in the footsteps of Helene Elliott, now of the LA Times. She had a job at Newsday and when she was approached about an opening at the Post-Gazette — they were looking for the sports department’s first woman — she recommended me. David Fink, who was running the sports desk then, called out of the blue and I was flown in for a weeklong interview, my first ride in the slowest elevator for four floors in the universe. It was my second visit to Pittsburgh — I had come for a Penguins-Rangers game as a teenager with the Rangers fan club (hey, I’m from Brooklyn!).

I stayed at the then Hilton, now Wyndham, when there were like 11,000 people in Point State Park, in 4-degree temperature, celebrating the Steelers’ final Super Bowl win of the 1970s. I was home.

I started in March of 1980, right after the Miracle on Ice victory of the USA hockey team. I was sitting at the sports copy desk in the open floor-plan newsroom when then PG sports editor Phil Musick came back from covering the Lake Placid Olympics. I heard him ask someone, “Is that her?” Then he came over and said, “Hello dear …” which freaked me out, because you know, he was my boss. Dear? Really?

Sharon Eberson

There was a lot of that un-PC stuff as the staff ranged from kids like me to 70-somethings. Phil Musick smoked all the time and left his ashes all over everyone’s keyboard, which drove me crazy. The late Frank Ramsden, who had received two Purple Hearts in WWII and worked for first the Sun Telegraph and then the PG, called me “Shari Baby.” Sweet man, but he never called me anything else.

The PG was on the fourth floor then, The Pittsburgh Press on the second floor, the printers who handled both on three. We were into paste-up then and a newfangled word-processing system called ATEX, which I had used interning at the Associated Press in New York. I often checked on pages and some of the printers called me “little dago girl.” Somehow a Jewish girl from Brooklyn looked Italian to them. Several of the printers were deaf, trained in a traditionally loud profession, and I took ASL classes. I could spell pretty quickly, but I never really got the hang of it. They were very patient with me.

It was another time.

But if you want to write a movie about a mid-size city newsroom in the 1980s, you’d have to tell the story of the characters who traipsed through sports in those days.

When we were up on the fourth floor, using an entrance and elevator that no longer exist to get there, there was no security before 1992 at the PG end of the building. The late Beano Cook, who had been Pitt’s SID and later an ESPN personality, would come up late at night, pull up a chair and make long distance calls while regaling us while we were on deadline. Radio Rich — I never knew his last name — and Lawrence “Deuce” Skurcenski (check out the documentary “Deuce” sometime) were regulars.

Sonny Vacarro, the man who made shoes a major part of athletics, was always around, involved in the Post-Gazette's Dapper Dan Roundball Classic — a high school all-star basketball game that introduced Moses Malone to the world. Sonny was a fast talker and always working an angle, but generous and goofy, too.

Not that we needed outside characters to spice up the PG offices. Vince Leonard, who wrote about sports and TV, often both, bore a striking resemblance to Wolfman Jack and, the story goes, he was wrestled to the ground by Ted Kennedy’s body guards when he did not heed the warning to not approach the senator during a visit to the newsroom. I missed that, darn it.

Charley Feeney, the late Hall of Fame Pirates writer, was my little piece of New York in Pittsburgh. He was from Queens, and his accent was as thick as frozen buttah. He called everyone Pally, and once, at a Dapper Dan after-party, he grabbed me and said, “Pally, this is Bill Mazeroski. Bill, this is Sharon. She loves the Yankees.” Then he walked away. I said, “Hi” and ran. When Pally — everyone called him that, too — was writing, you couldn’t talk to him without a storm erupting. But otherwise, the was the nicest, kindest man. Turns out, he worked with Stan Fischler as a kid at the New York Journal American, too. Small world, newspapers.

1992 was the best and worst of newspaper times. you know. Our son Josh was one of what we came to call “the strike babies” of ’92. The 8 months I was away, from Josh's birth to the Post-Gazette becoming the last paper standing in the building was the first time before now I had faced the fact that I might never go back into 34 Blvd. of the Allies again. And oh the trauma of moving from the fourth floor to the second floor, the former PG entrance being sealed and the elevator shaft becoming offices …

Many of our former rivals became our colleagues after the strike, and it took a while for us to become whole, but we did. When I think of it, mostly it meant more space and another slow bank of elevators. But now that we were on two, it was easier to walk up.

Our former editor, John Craig, got tired of hearing how his office blocked the windows from the newsroom and had Stacy Innerst paint a mural-sized picture of him sitting at his desk, in front of a big window, for the wall that blocked the view.

The office was painted and repainted for the filming of "The Mothman Prophecies," when we stood in for the Washington Post. Richard Gere walked our hallways. Tom Cruise used the bathroom at the PG while filming "Jack Reacher" alongside our building. He wouldn't talk to us, though.

Now the hum of the presses under my feet has stopped, and it’s time to move on. I can’t say I’ll miss the little brown building at the Point, but I will miss the Post-Gazette sign being a part of all the great shots of the city in the movies filmed here. You know, 36 years is a long time in one place. And we have our memories.
Sharon Eberson

Of so many poignant, funny and nostalgic moments on that block of the Blocks, it seems important to hark to the long history and the long block. Let's please pay homage to both 34 and 50 Blvd of the Allies, the pre-1992 address of the Post-Gazette when the Press occupied the opposing side of both the building and local newspaper competition.

While I will never forget specific freeze frames of a quarter century spent at those addresses -- Ed Bouchette being chased by deer down the Boulevard, the creativity exchanged there or in a neighborhood brew house, the sports-desk lore (Schween!), the family debriefings between my wife and I as ships passing at 5 at night -- it's an inescapable fact that its people make an address or structure memorable. I will forever remember the smiles, the laughs, the prose, the insight, the way many of those PG and Press alumni we lost made us feel in word or deed. Dash 30 dash…
Chuck Finder

My greatest memory will always be sitting in John Craig's office for an interview in October 1989. I eventually got a three-week tryout after which I was kept on as a fill-in, then the Guild went to bat for me to stop that kind of use. I am grateful to the Guild and to John Craig, whom I ended up adoring. We sat in his office and he looked at me in that amused way of his and said, "Would you consider going to Toledo? We have an opening there," and I said, "No way. Pittsburgh is where I want to be." That was when we were on the 4th floor. It was a cramped space but I was never happier at the P-G than when we were up there.
Diana Nelson Jones

While Ann Belser was on vacation her colleague Monessa Tinsley decided to prank her by wrapping everything on her desk in newspaper.

When I was still part-time for the Post-Gazette, I stopped by the paper to pick up my check and walked over to the bank on Stanwix Street to deposit it. I was next in line to see the teller when a short, scruffy guy brusquely cut in front of me. Pushing my chest out a little, I took a belligerent step closer to his back, just to let him know that I knew what he'd done.

Inches behind him, looking over his shoulder, I could see the note he was carrying: I have a bomb. Put 20s and 50s in a bag. I blinked. I looked again. I read it twice to make sure I had it right.

A thousand times, bored while standing in line at the bank, I've considered what I'd do if there was a robbery. Those plans clicked into place. As the guy approached the teller and handed her the note, I quietly turned and walked toward the glass door, watching every face without making eye contact, nervously searching for a possible accomplice.

It was before age of cell phones; I hurried across the street and told the McDonald's cashier that I needed to use the phone. Now. The bank is being robbed.

I called 911, told the operator what I'd seen, and quickly dialed a more familiar phone number. "Hey, this is John Hayes. Tell Photos the Dollar Bank on Stanwix is getting robbed. The guy's still in there. Get a photographer over here now."
John Hayes

David M. Shribman, new executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talks to his staff on December 11, 2002. (Annie O'Neill/Post-Gazette)

In the latest contract talks, the Guild gave out squeezy balls. I spent weeks throwing squeezy balls at Michael's head, so he would confiscate them.

When he went on vacation, he locked all the balls in his cabinet, never thinking that in all of my moves around the newsroom, I had collected the keys to most of the various locks around here.

While he was gone, I brought in fishing line and an upholstery needle and strung up those balls so they would swing out when he opened the cabinet.

The video is below.

VIDEO: Michael Sanserino discovers stress balls suspended in his cabinet.

Ann Belser

I couldn't begin to recount all the memorable moments in my years there without getting choked up about all of my precious colleagues, I will share one amusing thing that happened to me when I was rather new as Entertainment Editor at The Pittsburgh Press (and in that building). The movie critic was expecting to do a phone interview with the actress Ann-Margret. Because he was on another line, her call was transferred to me. This was in an age before caller ID and cell phones. I tried like heck to get him off the phone to take her call, but he kept waving me off, so I had to sheepishly apologize and tell her he wasn't "immediately available." Instead of getting angry, she very nicely said, “Well listen, honey, I wouldn't do this for everyone, but you sound like a sweet guy. I'm going to give you my private number. Just don't give it to anyone else … except maybe your movie critic, if he still wants to talk.” So she gave me her number and said, “Thank YOU for taking my call.”

Allan Walton

Former assistant managing editor of multimedia Allan Walton

June 13, 1957: The dispatch room at The Pittsburgh Press, home to the national and local advertising copy desk.

May 27, 1957: The news desk inside The Pittsburgh Press office at 34 Blvd. of the Allies.

For the past 36 years (way more than half my life) I have come to work in this building. I remember as if it were yesterday, arriving for my job interview with the then editor John Craig. At that time the P-G was on the 4th floor of this building.The Press was on the second floor.

This was my first "big city" newspaper job. I have covered all kinds of events that I never would have had access and met many people from all walks of life.

I have received good news while here and bad news, too.

There have been many characters that worked here too. And I do mean characters.I won't mention names!

They say "the only constant is change". So move we must.

The thing is: this building is more than brick and mortar...it holds friendships and memories. While the P-G is moving to a brand new place across the river, this place on the Blvd. of the Allies will always be the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to me.
Joyce Mendelsohn

Suzanne Martinson, (right), retiring Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Food Editor, is joined by her friend Elsie Henderson (center) at her retirement presentation in the Post-Gazette newsroom August 2002. (Kurt Weber/Post-Gazette)

Director Mark Pellington, arms on head, discusses the next take with Richard Gere, right, who plays a reporter for The Washington Post in the film "Mothman Prophecies" The filming was done on a Sunday in the newsroom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Colleagues say that an old-time reporter who liked to drink once had a story to file, but realized he was too drunk to face his editors. So he slipped into the building and slid from the elevator into the managing editor’s cubicle and phoned the story in from inside the building, after which he crashed on a couch in the office and woke up there the next day with a fierce hangover.
Mark Roth

Remember that time John Allison huffed helium before his live shot on KDKA about a helium shortage?
Kim Lyons

When I was hired here in 1990, the Post-Gazette newsroom was on the 4th floor and The Pittsburgh Press was on the 2nd floor, under a joint-operating agreement. We were competitors, and the Press was a much bigger paper, even though it was still an afternoon paper at a time when those had gone out of vogue. While it had won Pulitzers and had some fabulous reporters, it was much more traditional, conservative, more reflective, perhaps, of Pittsburgh's establishment. The PG was smaller, livelier, more liberal, irreverent -- and headed for extinction, we thought, once the JOA ran out in 1999.

We at the PG were under strict instructions NOT to peek at the Press newsroom or its inhabitants while walking on the 2nd floor to the snack bar, because who knows, we might have read over the shoulder of a rival reporter -- never mind that they were sitting too far away to be spied on....

When both papers were locked out of the building in May 1992 when the Teamsters went on strike, I was worried I'd never set foot in that building again. I was wrong -- the PG bought the much larger Press and we returned in mid-January, 1993, this time to the 2nd floor newsroom. I felt a sense of wonder walking into that hitherto off-limits space. I remember someone put pots of cyclamen (flowers) on every desk -- a graceful, welcoming touch.
Mackenzie Carpenter

Post-Gazette reporters Carmen Lee and Mackenzie Carpenter in the newsroom on May 8, 1997. (Bob Donaldson/Post-Gazette)

My most vivid memories have been working in the high school sports department for more than 35 years, first with The Pittsburgh Press and now with the Post-Gazette. In particular are Friday nights during football season, when there are more than 20 part-timers collecting information, typing summaries and writing highlights from 60 or more games each week. During that time, I have worked with high school sports reporters and editors such as Bob Black, Dave Herbst, Jonathan Lansner, Mark Madden, Steve Hecht, Rick Shrum, Terry Shields and Mike White. There also have been hundreds of stringers, including Bob Schwerin and Joe Greiner, both of whom have been here almost as long as I have. Thanks to all for many memories.
Ken Mrazik

The Post-Gazette has an advantage...

Editors meet in the Crystal Palace. (Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette)

Prior to 1993 the PG Library was open to walk-in traffic and folks from the FBI routinely came in to do research. One time they asked to see the clipping files on Allegheny County Coroner Joshua Perper. As I'd established a relationship with some of the FBI "regulars," I asked them why they wanted those clips. It turned out that Perper was under consideration for the coroner’s position in Broward Co., Fla, With the FBI's permission, I was able to let our editors know this and we broke the story in the next day's paper. Joshua Perper did get the job in Florida.
Angelika Kane

The Post-Gazette staff lines up for a final photo at 34 Blvd of the Allies. (Steve Mellon/Post-Gazette)

Sept. 11, 2001: It started like any other. I was sitting at my desk outside of my editor's office chatting. He had a small TV behind him and the "Today" show was on with no sound. I could see the breaking news of the first plane that hit Tower 1 at the World Trade Center. It was right before 9 a.m. His back was to the television and I said, "A plane hit the World Trade Center." We watched for a few minutes and sprung into action.

As the news developed, people were fleeing the city, literally running down the Blvd. of the Allies to get out. Pittsburgh was in chaos. I will never forget the look of fear on their faces as I watched from the second floor conference room window to the scene below. It was the first time in my life I was truly terrified. My editor found me there and saw the pale shock on my face. He took me back into his office, gave me some water and "You can leave if you want, but it is chaotic out there. You will be safe here, and we are going to be OK." His kindness in those moments will stay with me always.

While people were fleeing the city, our building was filling up with employees. Everyone--pressmen, reporters, teamsters, photographers came to work--without being asked. They called in to say: "Where do you want me?"

I did what I could to support them (I had only been at the Post-Gazette a year and was as green as it gets). Many of them had loved ones of their own in those buildings. They put their own worry aside to report the news and tell the world what was going on and what would eventually unfold in Shanksville as Flight 93 nose dived into the earth.

We put out a newspaper that very day at 3 p.m. And in the days, weeks and months that would follow we would put out a lot of newspapers and special sections.

Those old, yellowed papers have been surfacing around the newsroom these past few weeks and it is all fresh. Pages honoring the dead, photos of New Yorkers posting flyers looking for the lost and the world, writing condolences and flying the flag in solidarity as we all tried to make sense of it all.

This crazy, rickety old building that we are leaving was filled with arguments about sports, a love of our city and most of all, the courage of a really special group of people who have dedicated their lives to telling the stories that shape us all. I'm the luckiest girl in the world, I got to live it -- 34 Blvd of the Allies -- the best address in the 'Burgh.
Rosa Colucci

When Bill Clinton ran for president the first time, he strode right through the Post-Gazette newsroom, which was located then on the fourth floor of this building.

As he walked past, smiling and shaking hands with all the reporters, his confidence and charisma were palpable.

During his first run for president, Barack Obama visited the Post-Gazette newsroom on the second floor. People came from all over the building to see him and shake his hand. It was early in the campaign but I think many of us knew we were meeting a future U.S. president and that we were part of history.
Marylynne Pitz

Then Sen. Barack Obama meets with the Post-Gazette staff April 15, 2008. (Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette)

Then Sen. Barack Obama meets with the Post-Gazette editorial board April 15, 2008. (Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette)

A year ago, July 16, 2014, a water pipe exploded and a ceiling collapsed at 34 Blvd. of the Allies.

Two computers and a scanner were sent to their early electronic graves. I ran to CVS near Market Square and dropped $90 on three hair dryers that we used to rescue almost 2,000 damaged photographs, a small fraction of the estimated 1.5 million images in the Post-Gazette archive.

Still, the task was daunting and time-consuming.

As Steve Mellon put it, “It was heartbreaking to see physical evidence of our city’s history so nearly ruined.”
Read the full story of that rescue operation on “The Digs”.
Ethan Magoc

Rescuing archive photographs after a water pipe explosion on July 16, 2014. (Mila Sanina/Post-Gazette)

The Post-Gazette men are watching... (Mackenzie Carpenter/Post-Gazette)