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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

Architecture: Visionaries saw buildings but not the political surroundings

By John Conti
Let us never go too far in praising famous men. The French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier, the German-American Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and the American ...

Architecture: Remarkable talents fueled Pittsburgh’s 1st Renaissance

By Tribune-Review
It took a tremendous leap of imagination to create the first Pittsburgh Renaissance, as our town moved from an aging, smog-ridden, flood-prone industrial city into ...

Change buildings, but don’t shortchange them

By Tribune-Review
Architecture is not a very permanent art. When you see something good, you can’t hang it on the wall of a museum, put a velvet ...

Architecture: Inspired suburbs have place in history

By John Conti
Over the years, a lot of disparaging words have been used to describe the architecture of America’s suburbs. Banal. Dull. Uninspiring. Cookie-cutter. Tract housing. Contractors’ ...

Train stations have their place in history

By John Conti
The heyday for passenger railroads in the United States was around the turn of the 19th century — from the 1880s up to about the ...

Preserving trees along streets, highways is good for people

By Tribune-Review
“A lovely city is not an accident, as a lovely person is not an accident.” That quote comes from the late Paolo Soleri, ...

Conti: Architect deserves more note for eclectic mark made on Pittsburgh

By John Conti
Frederick G. Scheibler Jr. was a Pittsburgh original. An architect who did his most important work here from about 1900 to 1930, he was never ...

U.S. Steel’s reality is small, like   planned HQ

By John Conti
All the fuss over the design of U.S. Steel’s planned new headquarters building — the very first building to be put up in the redevelopment ...

Eminent architect Graves stayed true to fashion, good design

By John Conti
It’s a simple fact of architecture that architects are no less slavishly devoted to fashion than the haute-couture designers of women’s clothing. It’s just that ...

Advocate architect: Rob Pfaffmann deeply involved in planning, preservation issues

By John Conti
When Rob Pfaffmann took his first class in architecture, the topic was “Social, Economic and Political Factors in Design.” He remembers the title precisely ...

Heinz center’s show highlights 1st steps of architectural thought

By John Conti
The folks at the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art manage to put on continually interesting shows, year after year. ...