Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?

Liberty Hall, South Side

Update: Thanks to Donna Gunton (see the comment below), we know that this was a Polish hall often used for political meetings and other social events. In 1921, when the hall was built, Poland had just been reestablished as an independent country for the first time since 1795, so the name “Liberty Hall” must have occurred naturally to Polish immigrants.

The original article is preserved below so that you can see how far old Pa Pitt was wrong and how close he came to being right.

Old Pa Pitt would be delighted if someone could tell him something of the history of this building. He knows that it was put up in 1921, because the date is proudly displayed at the top of the building. He suspects, from the look of the building and from some random chatter on the Internet, that it was an ethnic club, possibly Serbian—but that is speculation. Technically it is on the Slopes side of the railroad that separates the South Side Flats from the South Side Slopes, but this lower part of the Slopes seems to be socially more connected to the East European Flats than to the German streets above. About fifteen years ago, Liberty Hall was briefly a nightclub; it closed in less than a year, and neighbors rallied to prevent it from opening again. And that is all Father Pitt knows, so he would be happy to hear from someone better informed.

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2 responses to “Liberty Hall, South Side”

  1. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on September 23, 1921: List of applications for building permits: J. Pontistowski brick auditorium at 2404 Josephine street, $34,500. John Pontistowski was a mill laborer from Poland. The 1922 Pittsburgh City Directory: Under “Halls” – Liberty Polish Hall 2404 Josephine. I find several mentions in the Pgh papers between 1929 and 1950s for politial meetings being held at this location, as well as weddings and one funeral. I am assuming John Pontistowski was part of a group involved in the Liberty Polish Hall.

    • Thank you very much for this information. The article is being updated.

      In light of your information, the name of the hall takes on new meaning. In 1921, Poland had just been reestablished as an independent country after more than a century.

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