Franklin Nicola
Franklin F. Nicola was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 real estate developer.

In the early 20th century he promoted and developed a civic center
Civic center
A civic center or civic centre is a prominent land area within a community that is constructed to be its focal point or center. It usually contains one or more dominant public buildings, which may also include a government building...

 plan for the Oakland
Oakland (Pittsburgh)
Oakland is the academic, cultural, and healthcare center of Pittsburgh and is Pennsylvania's third largest "Downtown". Only Center City Philadelphia and Downtown Pittsburgh can claim more economic and social activity than Oakland...

 district of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

—miles away from the city's smokey, congested downtown—as a new center for culture, art, and education. The plan was inspired by the City Beautiful movement
City Beautiful movement
The City Beautiful Movement was a reform philosophy concerning North American architecture and urban planning that flourished during the 1890s and 1900s with the intent of using beautification and monumental grandeur in cities. The movement, which was originally associated mainly with Chicago,...

. Nicola had been key in the formation of the Bellefield Company with the help of Pittsburgh businessmen Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew William Mellon was an American banker, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector and Secretary of the Treasury from March 4, 1921 until February 12, 1932.-Early life:...

, Henry Clay Frick
Henry Clay Frick
Henry Clay Frick was an American industrialist, financier, and art patron. He founded the H. C. Frick & Company coke manufacturing company, was chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company, and played a major role in the formation of the giant U.S. Steel steel manufacturing concern...

, Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century...

, George Westinghouse
George Westinghouse
George Westinghouse, Jr was an American entrepreneur and engineer who invented the railway air brake and was a pioneer of the electrical industry. Westinghouse was one of Thomas Edison's main rivals in the early implementation of the American electricity system...

 and H.J. Heinz
Henry J. Heinz
Henry John Heinz was an American businessman who founded the H. J. Heinz Company.-Early life:Heinz was one of eight children born to John Henry Heinz and Anna Margaretha Heinz...

, who were among the first stockholders. The Oakland plan unfolded on land once owned by fellow stockholder Mary Croghan Schenley
Mary Schenley
Mary Elizabeth Croghan Schenley is best remembered as a major philanthropist to the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.-Early life and scandal:...

. Nicola's company transformed open acreage into a host of new urban landmarks: the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh are four museums that are operated by the Carnegie Institute headquartered in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...

, entire campuses both for the University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as Pitt, is a state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787 on what was then the American frontier, Pitt is one of the oldest continuously chartered institutions of...

 and the Carnegie Institute of Technology
Carnegie Institute of Technology
The Carnegie Institute of Technology , is the name for Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering. It was first called the Carnegie Technical Schools, or Carnegie Tech, when it was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie who intended to build a “first class technical school” in Pittsburgh,...

 (now Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States....

), Forbes Field
Forbes Field
Forbes Field was a baseball park in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 1909 to 1971. It was the third home of the Pittsburgh Pirates Major League Baseball team, and the first home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the city's National Football League franchise...

, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, the Masonic Temple (now the University of Pittsburgh's Alumni Hall
Alumni Hall (University of Pittsburgh)
Alumni Hall at the University of Pittsburgh is a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark that was formerly known as the Masonic Temple in Pittsburgh. Constructed in 1914-1915, it was designed by renowned architect Benno Janssen of Janssen & Abbot Architects...

), the Pittsburgh Athletic Association
Pittsburgh Athletic Association
The Pittsburgh Athletic Association is a private social club and athletic club in in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Its clubhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places....

, Schenley Hotel, and an upscale residential neighborhood, Schenley Farms
Schenley Farms Historic District
The Schenley Farms Historic District, also referred to as the Schenley Farms-Oakland Civic District, is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places that is located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States...

. Today Nicola's model urban suburb is a listed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 as a historic district
Historic district (United States)
In the United States, a historic district is a group of buildings, properties, or sites that have been designated by one of several entities on different levels as historically or architecturally significant. Buildings, structures, objects and sites within a historic district are normally divided...

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