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Identity & Community

100 Years of Meeting Under the Kaufmann's Clock

"Meet me under Kaufmann's Clock" has been said for decades — 10 to be exact — by friends, families and lovers as a rendezvous in downtown Pittsburgh.

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the installation of the clock on the department store at Fifth and Smithfield.

While Kaufmann's is gone, Macy's made sure it kept the Pittsburgh icon when it acquired the department store chain. On Friday dozens of people with special memories of "meeting under the clock" gathered to mark the centennial.

Bette Sankey Sahar of Mt. Lebanon recalled one very special gathering under the clock. She was among thousands of people in downtown Pittsburgh on V-J Day in August 1945 celebrating the end of World War II.

"Everybody was celebrating, in fact, there was one fellow who climbed up and sat on the clock for awhile," Sahar said. "I guess at that time it was all right and everybody said everything was 'OK' that day, and he sat there for awhile and everybody cheered him on."

Among the crowd Friday was Michael Stypula of Mt. Washington. He said he would meet his girlfriend under the clock to begin their dates.

"Eventually we got married," Stypula said.

Pointing to a young man beside him, he added, "This is one of the results of our meeting under the clock: my son Michael."

Celebrations continue Saturday throughout the day.