Growing Up in the Frank House

“Everything about this house was created to make it an extraordinarily livable home, and it was… a wonderful, exciting, happy place,” recalls Alan. Celebrities dropped in on birthday parties. Family and neighborhood events took place around the pool. One day a week, at Cecelia’s suggestion, only French was spoken. And because of Cecelia’s commitment to the Pittsburgh community, guests of all ages, races and nationalities came to visit and stay. William S. McEllroy, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was a close family friend and frequent guest. During the era when much of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was being built, Bill McEllroy was recruiting outstanding scientists and physicians such as Jonas Salk. He brought many of them to the house, where he and Cele would convince them to move to Pittsburgh. Another of Cele’s good friends, Vira Heinz, was a regular visitor. The home was the setting for countless meetings where they worked together for the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, and the Civic Light Opera. And because of Cecelia’s close ties with the Pittsburgh arts community, the house was frequently the scene of opening night cast parties. One year, upon hearing that the cast of a Broadway musical performing in Pittsburgh had nowhere to go for Christmas, Cele said to the producer “Bring them over,” and so everyone, including the stagehands, celebrated Christmas with the family.

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