Pittsburgh’s Great Renaissance 1950 to 1970


Over the last month, we added 100 new images to the http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Galleries: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1950 to 1960 and 1960 to 1970.

We continue to digitize images for the Living in Western Pennsylvania 1950 – 1960 and 1960 – 1970 galleries.  These images document the biggest changes in the Pittsburgh skyline, a building boom throughout the Pittsburgh area, continued growth in the suburbs and the increase in churches and community organizations to support the growing population.  The following image includes one of Brady Stewart’s favorite clients and good friend, Brigadier Henry Dries of Pittsburgh’s Salvation Army.

Brigadier Dries (center) of the Salvation Army and Brady Stewart photographer's, Dave VanDeVeer (left), Ross Catanza (right)

Brigadier Dries (center) of the Salvation Army and Brady Stewart photographer’s, Dave VanDeVeer (left), Ross Catanza (right)

Brady Stewart Studio, Inc. 1950 – 1970

In 1950, Brady Stewart Studio was the largest commercial photography studio in Pittsburgh.  Brady Stewart, Brady Stewart Jr,. and the photographers below, photographed many parts of Pittsburgh’s Renaissance 1.  The studio worked with major corporations, advertising agencies, art studios, architects, printers, and all types of local businesses  to capture arguable the greatest 20 years of Pittsburgh’s growth in population and infrastructure.  The major construction projects included; the Greater Pittsburgh Airport, Squirrel Hill and Fort Pitt Tunnels, Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne bridges, Gateway 1,2,3,4, Gateway Towers, Hilton Hotel, Pittsburgh Press building, Civic Arena, crosstown parkway, Westinghouse Building, US Steel Building and connecting the parkway East and West through Pittsburgh.

The Studio employed between 10-15 people during this time with four on-call location photographers; Brady Stewart Jr., Ross Catanza, Dave VanDeVeer and Robert (Bobby) Pavuchak.  Brady Stewart Studio was located in downtown Pittsburgh from 1935 to 1991. First downtown location was at 812 Market Street, during the 1940’s and early 1950’s; 817 Liberty Avenue, during the mid 1950’s and 1960’s; 725 Liberty Avenue, late 1960’s through early 1980’s; 211 Empire Building and after the Empire Building and Jenkins Arcade were demolished for 5th Avenue Place, the studio moved to 227 Fort Pitt Boulevard until 1991.

Ross worked for the studio for over 15 years and went on to a successful and award-winning photographer with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Brady Stewart Photographer Ross Catanza

Brady Stewart Photographer Ross Catanza

Dave VanDeVeer  worked for the studio for over 15 years and went on to establish his own successful Commercial Photography studio in Pittsburgh.

Brady Stewart Photographer Dave VanDeVeer

Brady Stewart Photographer Dave VanDeVeer

Bobby Pavuchak worked for the studio for over 10 years and went on to a successful and award-winning career with the Pittsburgh Press.

Brady Stewart photographer Robert (Bobby) Pavuchak.

Brady Stewart photographer Robert (Bobby) Pavuchak.

The client base of Brady Stewart Studio ranged from the largest corporations and advertising agencies to the smallest mom and pop stores throughout the Pittsburgh area.  The next post will include an in-depth look at Brady Stewart Studio, products offered and clients served.

Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center Construction 1950 – 1953

The cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s Renaissance 1 was the demolition of nearly all the buildings south of Stanwix Street to make room for Gateway Center.  The Gateway Center project started in 1949 and phase I was completed with the opening of Gateway I, II & III in 1953.

Pittsburgh's Gateway Center construction 1951

Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center construction 1952

Brady Stewart started photographing the ever-changing Pittsburgh skyline  in 1904.  Ross Catanza continued the tradition photographing each new addition to the skyline from 1950 to 1965.  Other notable events were the Pittsburgh floods of 1956 and 1959

View of the New One Gateway Center - 1953

We added images of the opening of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels (1953), Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne Bridges (bridge to nowhere), Greater Pittsburgh Airport, and Mellon Square to http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Galleries: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1950 to 1960 and 1960 to 1970.

Opening of the new Mellon Square in downtown Pittsburgh - 1953

Opening of the new Mellon Square in downtown Pittsburgh – 1953

The Building Boom in the Oakland Section of Pittsburgh 1950 – 1960

Brady Stewart Studio’s relationship with Ingham & Boyd began in the 1931 with Buhl Foundation’s Chatham Village project.  Ingham, Boyd and Pratt became one of the city’s leading architects focusing on local secondary schools, universities and hospitals.  We digitized a number of architectural drawings and renderings of the various PCW proposed buildings.

Ingham, Boyd and Pratt's model of the new Pennsylvania College for Women new campus

Ingham, Boyd and Pratt’s model of the new Pennsylvania College for Women campus

Ingham, Boyd and Pratt was very busy during the 1950’s and 1960’s with a complete redesign of the Pennsylvania College for Women (Chatham University today), new buildings at the University of Pittsburgh, new hospitals in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties along with new schools in Mt Lebanon.

University of Pittsburgh new Memorial Field House - 1958

University of Pittsburgh new Memorial Field House – 1958

Pittsburgh Community Organizations during the 1950’s and 1960’s

During this period, Pittsburgh small businesses and major corporations were very active in supporting community and faith-based organizations.  Brady Stewart and Brady Stewart Jr were both soft touches when asked to provide photographic services for a good cause.  The following image was used in a brochure to create awareness and raise money for the Western Pennsylvania School for the blind.  The assignment was for local attorney, Charles K. Robinson.

Mrs. Davis and children from the Western PA School for the Blind

Mrs. Davis and children from the Western PA School for the Blind

Charles K. Robinson was also very involved in the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association and the Caddie Scholarship fund.  The Committee under chairman Charles Robinson,created the Caddy scholarship fund in 1941 and awarded their first scholarships in 1951.  Worthy students/caddies at member golf courses were eligible for the annual award.  The program continues to be a successful part of the WPGA’s programs today.

Western Pennsylvania Golf Association's Caddy Scholarship Dinner at the Edgewood Country Club

Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Caddy Scholarship Dinner at the Edgewood Country Club

The studio provided photographic services for a number of community organizations including;  Salvation Army, Allegheny Valley School, United Way, Goodwill Industries, Bethel Park Athletic Association and many more.  We also provided services for area church groups including; Pittsburgh Council of Churches, the Pittsburgh Presbytery, the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church and a number of area Catholic churches.  The next group of digitized images will include images of the above mentions community organizations and churches.

A reminder that the 100 new images can be found at  http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Gallery: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1950 – 1960 and 1960 – 1970.  And prints can be purchased from any of the images online. All proceeds are used to digitize and identify more prints and negatives for the collection.

 

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