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CANstruction 2014

03 Oct 2014 6:29 PM | Djuna Gulliver

For the third year in a row, the Pittsburgh Younger Member Forum teamed up with the Keystone-Mountain-Lakes Carpenter’s Union to enter the annual CANstruction Pittsburgh competition.

This year’s entry “Send Hunger to the Land of Make Believe” was a replica of King Friday the Thirteenth’s castle from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and was our most ambitious design yet. Constructed over the course of six hours by Karen Mueser, Linda Kaplan, Paroma Saha and Nicholle Piper of the YMF and Rick Okraszewski and Dave Plutt of the Carpenter’s Union, the castle was eight feet wide, seven feet deep and eight feet tall. The castle was comprised of a black bean curtain wall, a keep made of great northern beans, and towers comprised of pinto beans, garbanzo beans, and chicken and vegetable broth had battlements of sauerkraut and tuna fish - sure to keep out invaders if by the smell alone!

Perhaps the best part of CANstruction is the cause. All of the cans used in the structure were donated to our food bank partner, The Brashear Association, which is located in Pittsburgh’s Southside. With more than 2,500 cans of food weighing over 2,200 pounds, the castle will provide many meals for the families of Pittsburgh and we are pleased to be donating so much good food to the members of our community that need it.

While CANstruction is ultimately a food charity, there is a healthy dose of competition between the teams and six awards from the ‘Best Use of Labels’ to ‘Fan Favorite’ were up for grabs. This year, “Send Hunger to the Land of Make Believe” won the 2014 award for “Best Meal” for our suggested recipe of a Tuna Salad Sandwich and Four Bean Soup.

We would like to extend a special thanks to everyone that donated to the project including: friends, family, and members of the ASCE Pittsburgh Section, Giant Eagle Parkway Center, Massaro Corporation, Carnegie Mellon University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Greater Pennsylvania Regional Carpenters Unions, DiGioia Gray & Associates, and American Geotechnical and Environmental Services, Inc.

For more information on CANstruction please contact team captain Karen Mueser at You can also check out the CANstruction Pittsburgh website at


  • 05 Nov 2014 3:35 PM | N. Catherine Bazan-Arias
    Awesome event! DiGioia Gray's HR Director was quite surprised to find our company's website linked to the blog article.
    Link  •  Reply

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