Pittsburgh bridge renamed after prize-winning historian David McCullough on his 80th birthday

  • Updated: July 8, 2013 - 2:05 PM

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh bridge has been renamed for Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough on his 80th birthday.

County officials gathered Sunday to rename the 16th Street Bridge in McCullough's honor. A Pittsburgh native and two-time Pulitzer prize winner, McCullough said no honor has touched him like the decision to rename the bridge after him.

McCullough, who wrote a book about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, said he's had many honors.

"But no pat on the back has ever touched me to the heart, to the depths of what I am, the way this announcement of a bridge named in my honor has," the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette reported. "There's something magical about a bridge."

The span across the Allegheny River was built in 1923 to connect the Strip District with the historic H.J. Heinz plant. The county council had approved the name change in December and deemed Sunday "David McCullough Day."

McCullough joins Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson among those who have Pittsburgh bridges named for them.

McCullough was asked at the bridge dedication why there often is a reference to Pittsburgh in his books.

"Pittsburgh is a story town; all river towns are story towns," he said. "If I were asked to tell the story of the United States of America, all of its various achievements, tragedies accomplishments — the whole story is here," he said of Pittsburgh.

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