Pittsburgh History: Evolution of The Point and Skyline 1948-1990 Vol. 3

Renaissance I (1949-1972)

After World War II, Pittsburgh began to transform itself into a major metropolitan city.  Long regarded as a smokyand dirty  industrial city with terrible standard of living, city leaders were determined to change the perception and reality of the claim.  Mayor David Lawrence and financier Richard K. Mellon embarked on pulling business and labor leaders together to remake the city.

The leaders used the Federal Housing Act of 1949 to obtain the funding required to begin the transformation.  The Act was of great importance in that it governed the way the immense financial resources of the federal government would shape the growth of American cities in the post-war era. Pittsburgh became the first major city to undertake a modern urban-renewal program in May 1950. Pittsburgh was infamous around the world as one of the dirtiest and most economically depressed cities, and seemed ripe for urban renewal. A large section of downtown at the heart of the city was demolished, converted to parks, office buildings, and a sports arena and renamed the Golden Triangle in what was universally recognized as a major success

The first major project was to design and build a new business district (Gateway Center) near the junction of the Three Rivers.  Completed in 1953, the three new Gateway Center buildings became the center piece of the city’s skyline for over 30 years.

The next major change to the skyline occured in the late 50’s and early 60’s.  During this time, new buildings were added to the skyline; the Hilton Hotel, Gateway 4, the Gateway Towers along with two new bridges.  The new bridges replaced the much older Manchester Bridge that connected the Point with the North Side and the Point Bridge that connected the Point with South Side.  The new Fort Pitt Bridge and Tunnels significantly improved the commute from the growing southern suburbs.  The c0nstruction of the Fort Duquesne Bridge, affectionly known as the bridge to nowhere, was started in 1963 but  not finished until 1969.

The late 60’s and early 70’s brought another round of new buildings that dotted the emerging Pittsburgh skyline.  One Oliver Place (K&L Gates) , the Westinghouse Building (11 Stanwix Street), One PNC Plaza and finally the US Steel Tower.  Photos of this transformation can be viewed at the Brady Stewart Collection web site – http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.

Other city projects completed during this time were the building of the Civic Arena (Mellon Center), Allegheny Center Mall (North Side), Three Rivers Stadium (North Side), and the Greater Pittsburgh Airport (Moon Township).




Renaissance II (1976-1988)

With the election of Mayor Richard Caliguiri in 1976, the city began a new chapter in the Evolution of the Point and Skyline.  Richard Caliguiri renewed the public-private partnership which allowed for private funding of development through the public authority.  The skyline exploded with the building of 4 new skyscrapers; BNY Mellon (formerly One Mellon Center), PPG Place, Fifth Avenue Place, and One Oxford Center.

Additional buildings completed during this time were the CNG Tower, Federated Tower, the David Lawrence Convention Center, and the Westin Hotel.  Other notable construction projects completed during this time included, the Pittsburgh International Airport, the Light Rail Transit System (subway), Station Square (South Side), and the Pittsburgh Technology Center (former J&L Steel site).

If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email bstewartphoto@aol.com.  Additional Images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.


About bradystewartcollection
The Brady Stewart Collection of photographs, made by Brady Stewart, Brady Stewart Jr. and associates of Brady Stewart Studio Inc., consists of photographs taken in and around Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Lake Erie, Lake Chautauqua, New York, Southwestern Ohio, Washington DC, Niagara Falls and Idaho. The historically significant collection spans most of the 20th century (1900-1990) and includes a wide array of Black &White, Sepia and Color photographs on Advertising & Products, Buildings and Churches, Children, Homesteading in Idaho, Manufacturing & Equipment, People & Lifestyle, Pittsburgh City Scenes, Sports and Transportation. The Brady Stewart Collection encompasses over 20,000 glass plates, prints and film negatives of all shapes and sizes. Today, Brady Stewart Studio is a fourth generation photography business. We are one of the longest operating family-owned commercial photography studios in the United States (1912-1991, 2008-). The Collection Images can be viewed at our hosted web site, www.bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com

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