PNC Park/ General Robinson Site
City of Pittsburgh
American Cultural Resource Association Industry (ACRA) Award
Phase I Archaeology, Phase II Archaeology, Data Recovery, Historic Structure
CDC conducted a major excavation of the General Robinson Site buried beneath what would become PNC Park Home of the Pirates. This incredible archaeological site was found deeply buried beneath 15 feet of flood and refuse deposits. General William Robinson was the son James Robinson, the first permanent settler on Pittsburgh’s North Side. James Robinson moved here in the 1780s when Native Americans still claimed the land now occupied by the PNC Park and Carnegie Science Center…. then a place of streams, wetlands and islands. The Robinsons built a riverside plantation on an Indian Trail (now Federal Street) and operated a ferry across the Allegheny River. From this plantation home, travelers entered “a howling wilderness.” As more settlers moved across the river from Pittsburgh, the North Side became Pittsburgh’s twin city – Allegheny City – from 1840 to 1907. General Robinson was Allegheny City’s first mayor.
Additional Interest: Archaeologists could nearly recreate the Robinson’s china cupboard filled with expensive blue Chinese and English plates, platters and teawares. The Flood of 1832 damaged General Robinson’s home when floodwaters covered the first floor, nearly reaching the second floor. Many of the family’s beautiful objects washed out of the house into the backyard where the archaeological team found them 175 years later. Native American artifacts including stone tools and corn were found beneath the flood deposits.