2000 – Patricia Lowry

Pat Lowry is the fourth individual to receive the Allegheny City Society’s William Rimmel award. Pat’s work as the architecture critic on the staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette enables her to inform and teach the broader community about the significance of architecture as a means to understand our history.

Anyone attentive to the “great debate” over the Fifth and Forbes issue in downtown Pittsburgh has relied greatly on the research Pat has done on the buildings there. Her articles are a wonderful combination of architectural knowledge and historical understanding. As each of us complete her insightful articles, we know a lot more about buildings and the historical context in which they were built and used.

Pat, a lifelong resident of the City, received a degree in Art Education from Edinboro University. She entered the field of journalism as a staff member of the Pittsburgh Press in 1980. At the Press, her art education background was in evidence as she wrote numerous features in the magazine section that focused on topics of art and, in particular, architecture. In 1984, Pat became the Art Critic for the Pittsburgh Press. When the Press closed down their operations in Pittsburgh in 1992, the community was fortunate indeed when Pat joined the Post-Gazette staff as its architectural editor.

We understand that Pat remembers reading many of Bill Rimmel’s articles that kept alive the social history of Old Allegheny. Several times over the past few years, Pat Lowry has provided us a similar service. Her articles on the St. Anthony Chapel in Troy Hill, the Allegheny City Society’s tours of “Davisville” (present day Brighton Heights), and Troy Hill, and that wonderful account of the fanciful names given to many of the estates on nineteenth century Allegheny City have been read and appreciated by the residents of the North Side.

Her sensitivity to history adds immensely to her ability to convey knowledge of architecture and thus continues in the Rimmel tradition of making history come alive. It is indeed fitting that Pat Lowry receives the award named in honor of a kindred journalistic spirit.