the city of Pittsburgh in the 1980s

Relive The City Of Pittsburgh From the 1980s

Jul 25, 2022Surya Gopal

Hey fellow yinzers, let's take a journey down Memory Lane today! All of us Pittsburgh natives have visited or driven past Century II Mall at some point. Its three stories were previously crammed with shops, eateries, and people. As time flew by, we have forgotten about not just the mall, but much more.

Most of us probably remember our childhood with affection, and some of those memories are surely connected to our hometown. The Challenger disaster in January, the final episode of M*A*S*H, and "We Are The World", the decade's anthem, are all vivid memories for those of us who grew up in the 1980s. Let's revisit and look at 4 things that anyone who grew up in Pittsburgh in the 1980s will remember.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers, the Super Champs

"The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 to claim their fourth Super Bowl title!" The National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers finished third in the Central Division of the American Football Conference in 1980 with a record of 9 wins and 7 losses. The National Football League (NFL) title for the 1979 season was determined in Super Bowl XIV, which pitted the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Los Angeles Rams against the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers are one of the most illustrious and prosperous teams in the NFL and have won more Super Bowls than any other group. For his heroics, Bradshaw was once again voted Super Bowl MVP. He entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989 after his retirement following the 1983 campaign.

Relive such memories with our exclusive collections. Shop and grab a Pittsburgh Steelers wall-art paint from Yinzershop for a forever memory.

2. Opening of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Children's Museum, Pittsburgh

Image from Pittsburghkidsdesign

According to USA Today's 2022 Best Readers' Choice awards, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh was ranked among the top 10 children's museums in the nation. In the basement of the Old Post Office building, a historic landmark, The Junior League of Pittsburgh opened the Museum on Pittsburgh's Northside in 1983 with less than 5,000 square feet of exhibit space. Later, The Museum moved into the full Old Post Office building in 1985 after growing to 20,000 square feet.

Numerous accolades have been bestowed upon the addition, including the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a prize from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a LEED Silver certification, and a prize from the American Institute of Architects. Now we know why the children make a fuss about leaving the museum! 🤭 

3. Downtown Shopping

Pittsburgh Downtown

Image from wtae

Do you recall a time before the internet? Ah! Those times when we had to fight the crowds and visit the stores if we needed a new clothing or to buy groceries? Each of us used to have a favorite store. Then, there were those stores too that, despite how much we resisted, our parents made us go to. While trolleys still whizzed through the downtown streets in the 1980s, Pittsburghers made it a habit to shop Downtown.

Nearly every mall in the vicinity had a Kaufmann's, but the multi-level Kaufmann's in Pittsburgh Downtown was by far the best. There were many delis in and around Pittsburgh, which continue their legacy to the day. Only one original, though! Isaly's used to be the ideal location for a quick supper and the variety of ice cream flavors. However, we do miss the Winky’s, but we still are happy for Primanti Bros’ tasty and mind-numbing burgers and sammies. So, let's celebrate Primanti Bros with some unique drink coasters from Yinzershop too. 

4. The Birth of a Star

Pittsburgh Penguins

Image from GettyImages

In 1984, Mario Lemieux made his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he quickly rose to fame. Lemieux participated in 915 games throughout his 22-year career, recording 690 goals and 1,033 assists. In his debut NHL game against Pete Peeters of Boston in 1984, Mario Lemieux scored right on the first shot of the game. Yinzershop remembered the occasion in commemoration of the first match with Pittsburgh Penguin-themed wooden wall-art paint.

Fans of the Penguins may expect to see Mario Lemieux's 17-year career in action right away. The Pittsburgh Penguins had the honor of drafting Mario Lemieux out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the first overall pick in the 1984 NHL Draft. The forward was headed for success after a stellar three-season junior career with the Laval Voisins, during which he set numerous scoring marks for the league. 3,000 enthusiastic spectators packed Civic Arena on June 9, 1984, to watch a telecast of the draught from Montreal with the chance to select Lemieux. Fans had high hopes for Lemieux to save the franchise after the previous season saw only 16 victories.

Living in America’s Most Livable City

There are more memories as you traverse the fashion world! Recall having high hair? Perhaps you even experimented with your hair at the time, teasing it, and using hairspray on it to see how far you could take it. The two largest fashion trends in the 1980s had to be sweater dresses and legwarmers, both of which are making a reappearance in the modern era. Perhaps, maybe this wasn't all the way, just a Pittsburgh thing! 😅

After 22 years, Pittsburgh once more re-achieved the title of "America's Most Livable City" in 2007. We had the Hornes, the Hills, Woolworth and so many more to give us everything we wanted. Pittsburgh was off to a good start in the 80s, with high-tech hospitals and machinery flowing in and we are growing and getting better at a very fast pace. So, cheers to our yinzerhood!

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