Syria Mosque

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The Syria Mosque was a 3,700 seat [1] performance venue located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Constructed in 1911 and dedicated on October 26, 1916,[2] the building was originally built as a "mystical" shrine for the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (the Shriners) and designed by Huehl, Schmidt & Holmes architectural firm of Chicago.[3] It was recognized as one of the best examples of "exotic revival architecture".[4]

Photo of Syria Mosque taken ca 1913-1920 by Edward J. Shourek. The Syria Mosque, the birthplace of network television.[5]

Located at 4223 Bigelow Boulevard,[6] over the years it held numerous events, mainly highlighted by concerts of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and numerous internationally recognized music performers, as well as political rallies and speeches.

Concert events[edit]

Among the concert events:

Political Events[edit]

Among the political events:

Birthplace of Network Television[edit]

On January 11, 1949, from 8:30pm to 11pm EST, KDKA-TV (then WDTV and part of the DuMont Television Network) began its initial broadcast on its "network" centered in Pittsburgh. The program began with a one-hour local show broadcast from Syria Mosque, then finished with 90 minutes from ABC, CBS, NBC, and DuMont, featuring stars such as Arthur Godfrey, Milton Berle, DuMont host Ted Steele, and many other celebrities.[16] The station also represented a milestone in the television industry, providing the first "network" of a coaxial cable feed that included Pittsburgh and 13 other cities from Boston to St. Louis.[17]

Demolition[edit]

Despite community efforts to have the building designated a historic landmark, the Syria Mosque was torn down on August 27, 1991.[18] The site is now a parking lot for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://dicesare-englerproductions.com/The_Syria_Mosque.php
  2. ^ http://dicesare-englerproductions.com/Syria_Mosque_Lost.html
  3. ^ Internet Archive, Walter C. Kidney, Dressed for the Occasion: On Eclecticism, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, accessdate 2008-07-25
  4. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=8TkxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=lm4DAAAAIBAJ&dq=jeep%20depasquale&pg=5297%2C2316091
  5. ^ Kwiotek, Vince. "Edward J. Shourek Photograph Collection Finding Aid". Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  6. ^ http://dicesare-englerproductions.com/Syria_Mosque_Lost.html
  7. ^ Jay Warner, On This Day in Black Music History (Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006):125.
  8. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19740517&id=5wYOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kG0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=7517,387119
  9. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19740517&id=5wYOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kG0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=7517,387119
  10. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19740517&id=5wYOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kG0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=7517,387119
  11. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19740517&id=5wYOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kG0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=7517,387119
  12. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19740517&id=5wYOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kG0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=7517,387119
  13. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=wdMbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UmIEAAAAIBAJ&dq=chris-white%20saxophonist&pg=5552%2C3402127
  14. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0FP0bQ3j2c
  15. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=xF0bAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8U0EAAAAIBAJ&pg=5750%2C3638384
  16. ^ DuMont History website by Clarke Ingram
  17. ^ "Eyewitness: 1949 / TV makes Pittsburgh 'A New Promise'". Post-gazette.com. 2010-05-16. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  18. ^ Historic Pittsburgh 1991

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°26′44″N 79°57′19″W / 40.445477°N 79.955149°W / 40.445477; -79.955149