820 Liberty Avenue

820 Liberty Avenue

A splendid Victorian commercial building from 1881. The huge windows suggest showrooms or possibly workshops; the northwestern exposure would have given those rooms bright even lighting all day. Next door is the Baum Building, built as the Liberty Theater.

Ready for the French and Indians

Soldiers at Fort Pitt

Two soldiers at Fort Pitt wait for the French and Indians to show their faces, or—failing that—tourists. Below, an officer explains what makes things go boom.

Officer

Portal Bridge

Portal Bridge

This bridge carries eight lanes of expressway traffic over the entrance to Point Park. It was also designed to make entering and leaving Point Park a dramatic experience. Under the bridge is a footbridge over an artificial pond, and as we cross the footbridge on the way in, the Point Fountain becomes visible; on the way out, the skyline opens up to us.

Gateway Center

Gateway Center

The modernist ideal of towers in a park has seldom been more successfully implemented than at Gateway Center, and old Pa Pitt attributes much of that success to the attention given to the park part of the deal. The landscaping is exquisite and always well maintained. A burbling fountain in the middle of adds water and subtracts city noise. It’s a glimpse of the urban paradise that was always in the modernists’ heads when they designed their buildings, but which they hardly ever succeeded in getting out of their heads and into the city.

Fountain
One Gateway Center
Landscaping
Gateway Center