Category: Bluff

  • Old Main, Duquesne University

    Old Main, Duquesne University

    The idea of a skyscraper university did not originate with Pitt: in 1885, this building—a supertall by 1885 standards—put all of Holy Ghost College under one roof. The architect was William Kaufman, and the building cost the enormous sum of $150,000. The roof originally had a cupola, which must have had amazing views of the city when the smoke parted for a while.

    The building shortly after it was built, from Allegheny County Centennial, 1888.

  • Mellon Hall, Duquesne University

    Mellon Hall

    It is surprising to discover, considering how many of his buildings sprouted in other cities, that this is the only building by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Pittsburgh. (The IBM Building in Allegheny Center was by his architectural firm, but the design was actually by one of his minions in his Chicago office.) It is an unusually long and low building by his standards, but it is otherwise a typical Miesian black box on stilts. Here we see it from across the river with a long lens.

    Mellon Hall
  • South Side, Bluff, and Lower Hill

    A view from the South Side Slopes. Below, a closer look at part of Duquesne University and Mercy Hospital on the Bluff.

  • UPMC Mercy Pavilion Under Construction

    Just a few blocks away from our first Eye and Ear Hospital, Mercy Hospital is building a “Pavilion” that will specialize in eye patients. Here we see it from across the Mon.

  • View from the South Side

    A composition in cables and roofs, with the Bluff in the background and the U. S. Steel Tower behind that. This picture was taken in September of 2019, but not dredged out of the archives until now.

  • The Bluff


    Seen from across the river. It seldom occurs to us when we drive on the Boulevard of the Allies how precariously the highway is perched on the edge of a sheer cliff.

  • Mercy Hospital

    Pittsburgh’s first hospital is also our last remaining Catholic hospital, operating as part of the UPMC empire under an agreement that allows it to retain its Catholic principles. It sits at the top of the Bluff, and if you have to be sick one consolation may be that your room has a swell view. In this picture, the UPMC logo lowers symbolically over the complex from the top of the U. S. Steel tower.

  • Cranes on the Bluff

    Cranes at Mercy Hospital, where a new Vision and Rehabilitation center is going up.

  • Old Main

    Old Main at Holy Ghost College, now Duquesne University, as it appeared in 1888.

    Source: Allegheny County Centennial, a publication from which we’ll be featuring quite a few more pictures.

  • The Bluff

    Mercy Hospital and part of Duquesne University seen from across the Monongahela.