Respondent
Wolk, Abraham L. (Abe)
Interview Date
February, 1982
Abstract
Judge Abe L. Wolk served on the Pittsburgh city council during the city's Renaissance period;
[T1S1] grandparents' background and emigration from Poland; maternal grandfather's settlement in Pittsburgh, PA; his grandfather's employment as the first Jewish policeman and politician in Pittsburgh, Maurice Rosenthal; his father's employment as a peddler in Pittsburgh; his grandfather's service as the first president of Washington Street Synagogue; his interview with the University of Pittsburgh concerning Pittsburgh's renaissance; his birth in the Hill District of the city; his father's wholesale clothing store in downtown Pittsburgh on Fifth Avenue; effects of the depression on his family; education, Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh law school; beginning his law practice in 1915; his service in the Navy; recollections of Pittsburgh before the renaissance; fundraising for Montefiore Hospital and Children's Hospital; his work with Dr. K. I. Sanes to prevent the association of Montefiore Hospital with the University of Pittsburgh; his entrance into politics in 1932; marriage in 1928; campaigning for Franklin D. Roosevelt locally; 1937, his election to city council; his involvement with the Carnegie Library; 1943, beginning of first period of renaissance in Pittsburgh; some of the issues facing the city council during his term;
[T1S2] his dedication of the Ambridge Bridge in Schenley Park; his support of smoke control in the city; researching smoke control practice in the city of St. Louis, MO; discussion of some obstacles to smoke ordinance; his election to city council in 1941; 1943, the Allegheny Conference is founded; his leadership in the projects to control smoke in the city; issues concerning public health during this period; founder, Allegheny County Public Health and Disease Control and the Civic Light Opera; the beginning of the Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Center;
[T2S3] buying the property for the Arts and Crafts Center; names of siblings in his family; his Bar Mitzvah in New York; religious atmosphere in his parents' home; marriage to Charlotte Krow; residences after marriage; names of children; discussion of children's education, careers, and families;
[T2S4] his service as life honorary trustee for three institutions; his wife's connection with the Carnegie Museum of Art; affiliation with Beth Shalom and Rodef Shalom Temples; his involvement with Jewish organizations; his interest in Zionism; travels in Europe; his residence in Sarasota, FL; his tribute for government service by Mayor Lawrence.
Subjects
Economic Depression; Environmentalism; Lawrence, David Leo, 1889-1966; Lawyers; Law; Politics, Practical
City
Hill District, Pittsburgh, PA
Profession
Judge
Work
Pittsburgh City Council
Occupation (father)
Peddler
Length (hours)
2
Interviewer1
Rosen, Ellaine
Indexer
Samuels
Collateral Materials
Box 107 FF 28
Identifier
ais196440.503
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh