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Miniature Railroad And Village Adds Crawford Grill To Annual Display

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Handcrafted landmarks of western Pennsylvania have lured visitors to the Miniature Railroad and Village for 95 years.

Based at the Carnegie Science Center since 1992, it offers some something new each season.

This year's addition is the original Crawford Grill, a popular Hill District jazz club of years gone by. Curator of historic exhibits Patty Everly says photos by the legendary Teenie Harris helped her construct the model.

"I did a lot of research in the old Pittsburgh Courier newspaper's archives for references to color on the building, but I couldn't find any."

Existing buildings helped her make an educated guess.

The music adds to the authenticity. It's 10 hours of jazz actually played by musicians who appeared at the Crawford Grill.

The great grandson of Negro League's slugger Josh Gibson has an appreciation for the tavern and team.

"Josh Gibson played for the Pittsburgh Crawfords, so this all coincides," Sean Gibson said. "So to have a display like this at the miniature railroad is fabulous."

Doris Slater recalls her first visit to Gus Greenlee's bar, 69 years ago.

"My mother took me to the Crawford Grill when I was 18-years-old," she recalled. "It was my birthday also, because my birthday was Jan. 21. It was a wonderful place to go. The music was good. The food was good. And the company was wonderful."

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