Category: North Side

  • Lake Elizabeth

    West Park, Pittsburgh

    The lake in West Park on the North Side, from a negative taken in 1999.

  • Point Fountain and Heinz Field

  • St. Leo’s, Marshall-Shadeland

    St. Leo’s

    If he had known that the church would be demolished the next year, Father Pitt would have been more careful to document it. As it is, he happened to be passing in 2001 with one of his many odd old cameras, and he decided to take this quick picture before rolling on. The architect was probably John T. Comès, who gave this German congregation an Italian Romanesque church, because why not?

    The church had been vacant for several years when the Sisters of Divine Providence demolished it and built a new Family Support Center. The front of that building bears a mural with a picture of St. Leo’s in it.

  • Allegheny General Hospital

    Allegheny General Hospital

    An Art Deco interpretation of the skyscraper style old Pa Pitt calls “Mausoleum-on-a-Stick,” in which the cap of the skyscraper is patterned after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. The architects, York & Sawyer, seem to have been taken with the style; they designed another Mausoleum-on-a-Stick building in the same year (1926) for Montreal. You can see a picture of it in one of old Pa Pitt’s earlier articles on Allegheny General Hospital.

    The original skyscraper hospital was a marvel of practical hospital design. Everything radiates from a central core of elevators, and nothing is more than a few steps from the elevator. Later the hospital was expanded with new buildings in wildly mismatched styles, so that the complex has become the hopeless jungle of dead-end corridors and mismatched floors usual in big-city hospitals.

  • Allegheny Center

    Allegheny Center

    The curious urban clutter of Allegheny Center, a grand plan to build a completely new urban center for the North Side that, like most such plans from the 1960s, had at best only partial success. It destroyed almost the entire core of the old city of Allegheny, replacing it with modernist blocks and apartment warehouses. The clock tower at middle left marks the old Allegheny branch of the Carnegie Library, which stands at the end of a row of buildings preserved amidst the destruction. In the foreground, some of the millionaires’ mansions of Allegheny West.

  • What’s Left of the Manchester Bridge

    The Manchester Bridge connected the Point with the North Side until 1969. When it was taken down, it left one looming black stone pier on the North Shore. After it had loomed for decades, architect Lou Astorino came up with the idea of transforming it into a memorial for Fred Rogers, with a colossal statue by Robert Berks framed by an oval cutout. Here we see the pier from across the river in Point Park.

  • Heinz Field

  • Alcoa Building (North Shore), 1999

    Two abstract views of the newer Alcoa Building on the North Shore at the end of the Seventh Street Bridge. The one above was taken with a Lubitel TLR; the one below was taken with an Imperial plastic “toy” TLR.

    Obviously old Pa Pitt is still rummaging through his large library of old pictures.

  • St. Boniface in Black and White

    More of St. Boniface on East Street. These pictures were taken with a Samsung Digimax V4, which was quite a camera in its day. Though it fits (lumpily) in a pocket, it has a Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan lens and allows manual control of everything. It is also the slowest camera old Pa Pitt has ever used, and he includes folding roll-film cameras in that calculation. It is especially slow if you set it to save in uncompressed TIFF format; then the time between shots is about 45 seconds, during which one could probably expose a whole roll of 620 film in a 6×9 roll-film camera.

    But Father Pitt has decided to make this limitation part of the artistic experience: he knows he will be taking one shot, and thus has a strong motivation to compose it carefully. He has also set the camera to black-and-white only, making it his dedicated monochrome camera. In effect he has turned it into a Leica Monochrom, but one with a 4-megapixel sensor instead of a 40-megapixel sensor. It is in fact nowhere near a Leica Monochrom, but it does take pretty good pictures. And Father Pitt paid about $8 for it instead of $8,000, so he believes his money was well spent.

    Map

  • Carnegie Science Center

    And its pet submarine, the USS Requin.