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Columnist
John Conti is a former news reporter who has written extensively over the years about architecture, planning and historic preservation issues. John Conti can be reached via e-mail

New book looks at value to city of Mellon Square

By John Conti
Susan Rademacher doesn’t spare the details in describing soot-blackened, smog-ridden Pittsburgh in the years just before and after World War II. In 1930, she reminds ...

Kiley’s work demonstrates landscapes matter as much as structures

By John Conti
Landscape architecture is a very much under-appreciated art. Yet, great landscapes have all the same power as great buildings do to sway the feelings of ...

Step up, Buncher: The Strip deserves a far better plan

By John Conti
As three big urban redevelopment projects get under way in Pittsburgh, it’s sad that the weakest plan is in the most prominent spot. The three ...

Reuse of spaces aided by good design

By John Conti
Architects are too often treated in the popular press as artists who build spectacular new buildings intended to amaze you. Their designs make for dramatic ...

Hill District redevelopment plan shows great promise

By John Conti
Pittsburgh has had a number of urban-planning disappointments and a few outright disasters over the years. But it’s good to report that the recently released ...

UK cancer-center pavilions show design with patients in mind

By John Conti
It’s rare to find a health care facility that’s actually designed for patients. Some of us have seen parts of the new Children’s Hospital in ...

Conti: Who speaks for our hills? These regional assets are taking a beating

By John Conti
We have strong and capable advocates for our rivers, parks, trees and for our trails and bikeways, too. But we have nobody speaking out about ...

Kaufmann’s murals have a tale to tell

By John Conti
Curator Blake Milteer leads you to an unmarked, locked metal door at the side of a gallery at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Spings, ...

Frick re-do shows how a good master plan should be followed

By John Conti
To plan or not to plan  is not really the  question. But to plan well or plan poorly? Aye, there’s the rub! Just about every ...

Don’t judge Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh’s addition by its cover

By John Conti
In art, as in life, good intentions don’t always produce the best results. If you’ve ever looked at that awkward swooping addition to the front ...

Built to last: Owning a historic home carries a burden

By John Conti
In 1778, while Fort Pitt was still in use and the Revolutionary War was still under way, a settler named David Stephenson carved out a ...