In the Winter 2014 issue of The Point [in an article on Point Park’s architectural preservation efforts and plans to move the Pittsburgh Playhouse to the Downtown campus] there is a reference to the Lillian Russell Room at the Playhouse. For those not familiar with her, Ms. Russell was an actress who performed at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.
While in Pittsburgh, she stayed at a house (a three-story mansion) at 372 Lawn Street in what is now known as South Oakland. On the sidewalk in front of the house, there was a black, very ornate, pole about 4 feet high. Local legend has it that Ms. Russell used to tie her horse at the pole when she stayed at the house. I have not been on Lawn Street for a while, so I am not sure if the pole is still there or not. My grandmother lived on Lawn Street for many years, and in the late 1960s moved into the building, which had been converted into three residential units. I believe the building is currently used as a Community Health Center.
In the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, I spent a great deal of time in the South Oakland area. I attended Point Park from the summer of 1968 to spring of 1972. Both South Oakland and the Point Park campus have changed greatly over the years.
I have enjoyed visiting campus and seeing the changes. I visited recently in [fall 2013] to attend the Accounting Alumni dinner and later visited with staff in the Alumni Office.
Dennis J. Iurlano (BUS 1972)
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