Historical Pittsburgh Photographs of the Point-Area Before Gateway Center


We added 40 new images to the Brady Stewart Collection Archive web site and created a new Gallery – New Images added March 13th 2012. The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  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.

Renaissance 1, the revitalization of Pittsburgh’s downtown, became a reality in 1946 after the election of David L. Lawrence.  Mayor Lawrence worked closely with Richard K. Mellon, Chairman of Mellon Bank, to develop a plan transform the “smokey city” into a more livable and metropolitan city.  Most are unaware that for over 30 years (1955-1985), Pittsburgh was home to the 2nd largest number of Fortune 500 companies… next to New York City.  The list included; US Steel, National Steel, Rockwell, Rubbermaid, Alcoa, Allegheny International, HJ Heinz, Koppers, Inc, PNC Bank, Mellon Bank, Ampco-Pittsburgh, Bayer Corporation, Fisher Scientific, Gulf Oil, Joy Manufacturing, L.B. Foster Company, LTV Steel, Jones and Laughlin Steel, Mobay, Pittsburgh Steel, PPG Industries, Swindell Dressler, Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel, & Consolidated Coal.  It is clear that many of the area companies along with others would not of made Pittsburgh corporate headquarters without Renaissance 1.  As you can see with images prior to 1950, the city was a typical manufacturing city in the rust belt; unattractive, dirty, older buildings and not very metropolitan. Since I travelled extensively for business from 1975-2008, I visited nearly all of the rust belt cities and Pittsburgh is the only one that transformed itself into a spectacular skyline.  Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Wheeling, Harrisburg, Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester are examples of rust belt cities.

Aerial View of Pittsburgh - 1947

Harry Truman’s Housing Act of 1949 was the key piece of legislation that enabled the city of Pittsburgh to clear the blighted areas near the point for Gateway Center.  The Act was of great importance in that it governed the way the financial resources of the federal government would shape the growth of American cities in the post-war era. The following photographs were taken by Brady Stewart Studio in support the architectural plans of Ludgate, Lear & Company.

Point-area Companies to be Displaced by Gateway Center Construction

Some of the more well-known companies displaced by Gateway Center construction are:  Commonwealth Heating & Lighting, Demmler-Schenck, Rosenbloom Finance, M.A. Baskind, Blaw-Knox Company, Home for Aged Women, Hotel Carr, Pittsburgh Case Sales, Heyl and Patterson, Pittsburgh and WV Railways, Follansbee Steel Company, Point Restaurant and Cafe, and Esser Costume Company.  The next image highlights “old Pittsburgh” before it was transformed by the implementation of Renaissance 1 & 2.

 

Pittsburgh's Point - 1928

The next image is a street level view of Liberty Avenue at Fancourt Street (left) and Fourth Avenue (right).   Company signs in the area include; Commonwealth Heating Company, Eppy’s Parking Lot, M.A. Baskind & Company, Demmler and Schenck Co., and the Albert Brahm and Company.

Liberty Avenue and Fancourt Street - 1950

The next image is a view of the point-area looking across the Boulevard of the Allies and Third Avenue towards Liberty Avenue.  Company signs in the area, Eppy’s Parking Lots, Follansbee Steel Corporation, Wonderlite Manufacturing Co.,  Dravo Corporation, Esser Costume Company,  Amoco Service Station, and a Victory Sausage billboard.

Point-Area before Gateway Center Construction - 1950

The last image is an aerial photograph of the Point-area prior to the Gateway Center Construction.  The view is looking from the Monongahela River up Ferry Street toward Liberty Avenue and over to the Allegheny River.  The Pittsburgh Press Building is in the foreground and the Bessemer and Fulton Buildings in the background.

Aerial View of the Point-Area before Gateway Center Construction - 1950

Additional images of the point-area can be found at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list… City of Pittsburgh Street Scenes.  All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  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.

Historical Photographs of the Pittsburgh Skyline – 1904


We added 40 new images to the Brady Stewart Collection Archive web site and created a new Gallery – New Images added March 13th 2012. The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  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.

Brady Stewart started his professional photography career shooting Wabash Railroad progress photos in 1903.  His next project was shooting a panorama of the city from the top of the Empire Building (1904).  He used his father’s contacts (Homer Stewart, Treasurer of First Guarantee Trust) to gain access to the rooftop of the Empire Building to take the panorama.  The Empire Building was located on Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street and was situated next to the Jenkins Arcade for over 70 years.  Both buildings were torn down to make room for the Fifth Avenue Place.  The Empire Building was also the home of Brady Stewart Studio for over 20 years.

Farmers Bank and Frick Buildings

Brady Stewart’s objective was to capture the dramatic changes to the Pittsburgh Skyline during the early 1900s.  This image included some of the new Pittsburgh Skyscrapers included;  the Frick, Farmers Bank, and Carnegie Buildings.  Some of the painted building signs included; Pittsburgh Coal Company, J.R. Weldin & Company, Germania Savings Bank, Solomon’s Outfitters, and Geo Reineman’s Restaurant.

Arrott and People Savings Bank Buildings

The next image is looking south toward the Arrott Building, Monongahela River and South Side.  The company signs painted on buildings included; J.R. Weldin & Company, Germania Savings Bank, Solomon’s Outfitters, Geo Reineman’s Restaurant, German Fire Insurance Company, and Pittsburgh Savings Bank.

Liberty Avenue Looking East

The next image is looking east up Liberty Avenue toward the Pennsylvania Railroad Station.  Notice the three sets of streetcar tracks going up Liberty Avenue.  Company signs painted on buildings included; C.A Verner Shoes, Pickering Furniture, Rosenbaum Company, Home Trust Company of Pittsburgh, Lyle Brothers Hardware, New York Dentist, John Wallace Produce, Monongahela National Bank, Renwick Brothers Millinery, and J.C. Lindsay Hardware Company.

Bessemer Building and Allegheny River

The next image is looking north toward the Bessemer Building, Allegheny River and the North Side.  The Bessemer Building was the sister building of the soon-to-be-built Fulton Building (1906).  The Bessemer Building was torn down for the Sixth Avenue Garage and the Fulton has been renamed the Bynum Theatre.

The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  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.

New Historical Pittsburgh Photographs of Oakland


We added 40 new images to the Brady Stewart Collection Archive web site and created a new Gallery – New Images added March 13th 2012. The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  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.

We discovered an excellent image of Schenley Park taken by my grandfather from the top of Flagstaff Hill (1907).  The image includes the statue of Edward Manning Bigelow, the Electric Fountain, the Bellefield Bridge, St Pierre Ravine, and the Carnegie Institute.

Schenley Park became a reality on October 30, 1889, when Mary Schenley gave 300 acres to the City for the creation of a proper city park.  Edward Bigelow, Director of Public Works, was instrumental in securing the land from the Schenley family to create Schenley Park.  The first image includes the Bellefield Bridge which was completed in 1897. It was a single-arch stone bridge across St. Pierre Ravine and served to link the outer end of Bigelow Boulevard (formerly Grant) to the spur of land extending southward from the rear elevation of Carnegie Institute.  The Bridge was buried at the time of the filling of the Ravine around 1911-1912.

View of the Carnegie Institute and Schenley Park from Flagstaff Hill

The next image is a closeup of the Carnegie Institute.  Dedicated by Andrew Carnegie and opened to the public on November 5, 1895, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and The Carnegie Institute was Andrew Carnegie’s largest philanthropic endeavor, up to that time.  The image contains billboards of the following companies and products; Cubanola sheet music, Hershey’s Cocoa, Keech’s Furniture, Pickerings Furniture, Red Raven Splits, and Tom Keene Cigars.  It is easy to forget that during the early part of the 20th century, there were no radio and television advertisements… newspapers, billboards, painted advertisements on buildings and direct mail were the only ways to advertise.

The Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh - 1907

The next image is a closeup of the Edward Bigelow statue and Electric Fountain.  In 1894, the electric fountain, a circular basin 120 feet in diameter, was constructed at the foot of Flag Staff Hill.  The elaborate arrangement of pipes permitted a variable display of jets of water while underwater lights with revolving, multicolored lenses created stunning nighttime performances.

Edward Bigelow statue and Electric Fountain - 1907

The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  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.

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