McCullough honored with Wendell August replica of namesake bridge
Close-up photography, hard work by a crew at the Wendell August metal works and a dab or two of Miracle-Gro have created a replica of Pittsburgh's David McCullough Bridge for its namesake.
“This definitely took us out of our comfort zones,” says Michael Youngo, one of the metal crafters who worked on it at the Mercer County company. “But now that we've done it, I think we will be going that way again.”
The sculpture of the bridge will be given March 19 to Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Pittsburgh native McCullough at the chairman's gala of the American Ireland Fund at Heinz Field on the North Shore.
Theresa Kaufman, Irish Fund event coordinator, says the replica was chosen as a “meaningful” way to honor McCullough, after whom the bridge at 16th Street was renamed in July 2013.
He is getting the chairman's award for his “commitment to the community,” she says, citing his dedication to mentioning this area's role in history.
Wendell August president Will Knecht says he was thrilled to be involved in the creation, which he adds was “not the usual project” for the firm that's often recognized for its ornaments and decorative pieces. A recent project were pieces made from the dismantled roof of the Civic Arena.
Knecht says the commission is a tribute to the artisans and craftsmen at the company. He was so excited about the project, he checked in on it every day, but he admits he had nothing to do with the artistry that created it.
The replica is 40 inches long by 12 inches high and weighs about 55 pounds in its shadow box. The model bridge is made of pewter, copper and bronze.
Youngo, die-cutting manufacturing lead at Wendell August, says the piece is done in what he calls “2 1⁄2-D” because it is narrower than it would be in a full 3-D representation. It also is a little shorter than if it were truly to scale, he says.
Youngo credits colleagues Steve Johnson and Adam Post for their work in bringing the piece to life.
One of the hardest jobs was making the Pegasus statues at the ends of the bridge, Youngo says. The job involved making wax models and then casting bronze images at the Slippery Rock University sculpture department.
Then, he says, they dabbed them in Miracle-Gro plant food to give them the look of years of weathering.
“I was having nightmares about,” he says with a laugh.
The American Irish Fund has raised $450 million for Irish causes in that country and around the world since it was founded in 1987 in the merger of the Irish Fund and the American Irish Foundation.
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7852.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- With most starters resting, Steelers turn in lackluster loss at Heinz
- Liriano struggles as Brewers complete sweep of Pirates
- Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto: Public has stake in Penguins
- Experts warn Kane’s Haiti trip might jeopardize any case from 2014 wiretap
- Vick supporters, opponents demonstrate before Steelers’ game, but coexist
- LaBar: Best next opponent for Brock Lesnar
- District college game of the week: No. 8 John Carroll at St. Vincent
- Steelers notebook: Thomas, Moats only starting defensive players to see action vs. Panthers
- Brady elated over lifted suspension; Steelers fans deflated
- Gas cost, construction barrels coming down for Labor Day travelers
- Pittsburgh Zoo staff caring for African lion suffering from seizure condition