August Wilson Home
August Wilson was born Frederick August Kittel on April 27, 1945, the fourth child (of six children) and the first son of Daisy Wilson, a native of North Carolina and Frederick August Kittel, an immigrant baker from Germany. His father was estranged from the family.
Daisy Wilson raised August and his five siblings in two rooms on the second floor, at the rear of 1727 Bedford Avenue, behind Bella’s Market. When August was 7, the growing family expanded into the floor above. When he was 12, the family left The Hill District and moved to the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh, returning again some years later.
The backyard of Wilson’s birthplace and childhood home was the model for the setting of “Seven Guitars.” The backyard of his grandmother’s house (also located on Bedford Avenue) served as the model for the setting of “King Hedley II.”
1727 Bedford Avenue was declared a historic landmark by the State of Pennsylvania on May 30, 2007. The marker, sponsored by the Heinz History Center’s African American Advisory Council, recognizes the birthplace of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and pays homage to the neighborhood that inspired him.
Co-founder of Pittsburgh’s Black Horizon Theater and the author of a cycle of ten plays that have been hailed as a unique triumph in American literature. The plays cover each decade of the 20th century and most focus on African American life in the Hill District. Two of the plays, “Fences” and “The Piano Lesson” won Pulitzer prizes for best drama in 1987 and 1990; “Fences” also won Broadway’s Tony Award. This site is Wilson’s birthplace.