The Mount Washington Community Development Corporation will be introducing a new landmark and tourist attraction with two events scheduled for October 25.
First there will be the 2 p.m. unveiling of a new statue at a parklet located at Grandview Avenue and Sweetbriar Street, across from the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto. The sculpture, called “Point of View,” depicts the meeting of George Washington, then surveying land for European expansion, and Guyasuta, leader of the Seneca Indians, who wanted tribes to inhabit the area.
This event is free to the public.
Then at 6:30 p.m. there will be a gala fundraiser celebration at the LeMont Restaurant on Grandview featuring the mayor and VIPs. Tickets to this will cost $75 per person and $140 per couple.
Attending both events will be the sculptor, Pittsburgh-born Jim Davis, history experts and a host of costumed 18th century re-enactors, including members of the Seneca Nation.
The statue will be a new attraction for the Grand View Pennsylvania Scenic Byway and Byway Park.
City Councilman Dan Deasy is scheduled to introduce a resolution on October 17 to council “commending artist Jim West, his historic consultants and the board and staff of MWCDC for creating this work of public art, bringing to light the history and significance behind it and providing a worthy new landmark attraction for the city of Pittsburgh.”
MWCDC board president Lynne Squilla said the idea for the project was sparked by a meeting between her and Mr. Davis two years ago. At the time she was researching the French and Indian War for a WQED documentary called “The War That Made America.”
She said Mr. Davis works as a developer but “his passion is sculpture.”
Both were inspired by thinking about two meetings between Guyasuta and Washington, whose actions profoundly impacted Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. The two men had differing points of view on the fate of the region yet stayed on friendly terms following the 1770 meeting depicted by the statue.
They were originally allies but fought on opposite sides in the French and Indian War.
Research has shown “that Pittsburgh in 1770 was the original wild frontier, an untamed wonderland full of colorful adventurers, soldiers, militia, traders, slaves, freemen, missionaries and a variety of indigenous people,” according to a MWCDC press release. There were fewer than 200 whites living at the forks of the Ohio where Fort Pitt stood.
The MWCDC hopes the afternoon unveiling on the 25th will become “an annual signature event” each fall, with living history events where the public can interact with historical re-encators “to discover more about all eras in Pittsburgh and American history.”
The statue and parklet are the first new landmark visitor attractions for the Grand View Scenic Byway, which is one of only a handful of such roadways in urban settings. The Byway consists of all of Grandview, McArdle and East Sycamore Street and recently received a $240,000 grant from Penn Dot so interpretative signage can be added.
The gala celebration at the LeMont will feature light fare and drinks, along with short history presentations, a chat with the artist and a silent auction of reproduction articles.
Call MWCDC at 412 481-3220 to order tickets.