Skip to main content
Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final postcard: Pittsburgh

NHL.com Staff Writer Tim Campbell takes in view of city, three rivers from Duquesne Incline

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- During the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, I went to do something I've always wanted to do here: See with my own eyes the iconic view of Pittsburgh and its three rivers.

That's to be found at the top of Mount Washington and at the upper station of the Duquesne Incline, the landmark funicular that opened May 20, 1877.

The Incline's two wooden cable cars, presently draped with banners celebrating the Pittsburgh Penguins and the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, go up and down a 794-foot track on a 30.5-degree angle at six miles per hour.

The view from 400 feet above the lower station is everything it's touted to be.

The bonus in the upper station Wednesday was meeting a died-in-the-wool Pittsburgher, "more-than-29-year-old" -- her words -- Margaret Sommerer, the retired nurse who has staffed the souvenir shop for more than 17 years.

"I love the people," Sommerer said, asked why she loves the job. "This is Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh as it is, real people.

"Pittsburgh is unique in every way. I was born and raised here by people that loved Pittsburgh and that's ingrained in me.

"And I love this Incline; it's the epitome of our city. From here, you see the best and you see the worst. It's what you learn as a Pittsburgher."

Sommerer is a big Penguins fan. On the day of Game 2 of the Final, she was sporting her Penguins sweat shirt.

"It's a great sports place," she said. "We don't hold grudges, even in sports. You've got to have somebody to play, right?"

Sommerer and Duquesne Incline executive manager Mark McNally are proud of their incline, whose upper station includes an expansive platform where you can soak up the impressive panoramic view of the city and Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, plus a museum of Pittsburgh and Duquesne Incline history.

"We're behind the Penguins all the way," McNally said, also proud that this spring, the NHL team sent over the banners for the two cars to replace their older, home-made facsimiles.

The incline is a popular tourist attraction here but it has a function in everyday life, transporting people up and down Mount Washington, as many as 18 at a time.

"It's open every day of the year," Sommerer said. "People need to get to work."

Pittsburgh, through and through.

View More