Steel City Chess is the realization of a vision from 20 years ago. A mediocre but avid chess player growing up, I had the idea of fashioning a chess set using the buildings of the city of Pittsburgh as the pieces. It seemed an obvious idea at the time. The PPG Building looks like a castle...a perfect rook. The Cathedral of Learning has to be a bishop. The US Steel Building was once one of the tallest buildings in the US making for an excellent king.
At times over the years I've researched how to put the set together and refined the idea. For instance, I settled on using polystone as the material to create the pieces. Polystone is a resin mixed with particles of stone. It creates a porcelain-like feel with a heaviness that creates a durable, detailed figurine. This allows the beauty and uniqueness of the varied architecture of Pittsburgh's buildings to be captured in the pieces of the set.
Finally, in early 2014, I found the right company to work with to make this idea a reality and the set you see here is the result. When we finished the first prototype I was so excited to see my exact vision captured in the model. Subsequent versions of the prototype have refined the pieces even more. I am very pleased with how this set has come together.
I have said in the past that I would be happy even if I was only successful at creating a set for myself. I'm even more pleased that I get to share this with others. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Click on the Catalog menu at the top of the page for more details about the set and additional, close-up pictures of the pieces.