REMEMBERING GEORGE WESTINGHOUSE The Westinghouse Memorial honors one of Pittsburgh's most impactful leaders.
More than a decade after the death of George Westinghouse in 1914, 55,000 workers at his former firms decided they wanted to honor him for his astounding contributions to society. The employees chipped in to erect a monument in Pittsburgh, the heart of Westinghouse’s industrial empire. On dedication day October 6, 1930, nearly 15,000 people crowded the memorial site to hear the speeches and bands that were part of the festivities.
The Westinghouse Memorial is located in Schenley Park, not far from the campus of Carnegie Mellon University, at the Lily Pond which was originally created in the 1890s by renowned landscape architect William Falconer as an ornamental spot along Phipps Run. More than thirty years later, architects Henry Hornbostel and Eric Fisher Wood were commissioned to design the Westinghouse Memorial and improve upon the pond and surrounding landscape. For the sculptural elements of the Memorial, the organizers chose artist Daniel Chester French, perhaps the most famous American sculptor of the time, who also created the seated Lincoln for the memorial in Washington D.C. The centerpiece of his Westinghouse ensemble, titled “The Spirit of American Youth,” is the figure of a young man inspired by the life of Westinghouse. Critically acclaimed “the finest portrayal of American boyhood,” this beautiful artwork conveys a clear message: future generations will judge Westinghouse by his fruits, and they will be astonished and inspired.
A PLAN FOR RENEWAL
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy worked collaboratively with the City of Pittsburgh to restore and renew this beloved park landmark. As designed by MTR Landscape Architects, the Lily Pond returned to its 1930 contours, adorned with tropical water lilies and kept fresh with submerged aeration. Sculptural elements will be restored and lighted, while pathways were reconstructed among lush garden plantings of canopy and ornamental trees, flowering shrubs, and perennials. The Memorial and Pond gained protection from the ravages of stormwater thanks to the installation of upstream improvements and a new meadow.
The renewal of the Westinghouse Memorial and Landscape cost nearly $2 million. This includes a permanent $500,000 fund for ongoing maintenance of the site.