Category: North Side

  • Katsafanas Coffee Co., North Side

    Katsafanas Coffee Co. inscription

    In about 1925 the Katsafanas Coffee Company bought this building on North Avenue on the North Side and had the front completely redone in an ultramodern style. Father Pitt does not yet know the architect who supervised the remodeling, but it was obviously someone of rare taste. A renovation of the remodeling, carefully preserving what was preservable, was supervised by Pfaffman & Associates, a firm that has worked on some of our most outstanding restorations and on the sui generis Gateway subway station.

    Front of the Katsafanas Coffee Co. building
    Katsafanas Coffee Co., tea importers & coffee roasters; packers of high grade coffees teas and spices

    This sign was painted by the A. E Jones Sign Co., which is still in business at 507 Tripoli Street in Dutchtown, and still doing hand-painted signs.

    Cameras: Sony Alpha 3000, Fujifilm FinePix HS10.

  • Allegheny City Stables, North Side

    Allegheny City Stables

    About five years ago we looked at the Allegheny City Stables in the middle of its adaptation into loft apartments. Now the renovation is complete, and a new apartment building has gone up next door, making this block of North Avenue much more inviting. Technically it is across the street from Allegheny West, but it was the Allegheny West Civic Council that saved the building, and socially it forms part of today’s Allegheny West rather than the rest of the “Central Northside” neighborhood as designated on city planning maps.

    Perspective view
    Sony Alpha 3000.
  • PNC Park

    PNC Park

    A large composite picture (7.6 megabytes, in case you’re on a metered connection) of the ballpark as seen from the Andy Warhol Bridge.

  • Alcoa Corporate Center, North Shore

    River side of the Alcoa Corporate Center

    The headquarters of Alcoa since it moved out of the Alcoa Building, and now also the headquarters of Alcoa’s spinoff Arconic. The river side of the building is all curves and exposed aluminum, naturally.

    Alcoa Corporate Center
    Andy Warhol Bridge with the Alcoa Corporate Center behind it
    Alcoa Corporate Center
    Curves of the Alcoa Corporate Center

    Cameras: Fujifilm FinePix HS10; Kodak EasyShare Z981.

  • Bridge and Stadium

  • Moderne Industrial Building on the North Side

    900 West North Avenue

    A streamlined industrial building on North Avenue. We suspect that the part now filled in with red diamonds may have originally been a storefront or showroom for the business.

    Entrance with the inscription “Abbott / 900”
    Galveston Avenue side
    Sony Alpha 3000.
  • Pittsburgh Tag Co. Building, North Side

    Allen Kirkpatrick & Co. building

    This building seems to have been put up for Allen Kirkpatrick & Co., but for years it was the home of the Pittsburgh Tag Co., as this ghost sign tells us. It has been vacant for some time.

    Pittsburgh Tag Co. ghost sign
    Sony Alpha 3000.

    The Pittsburgh Tag Company was founded in 1927, as we find in the Paper Trade Journal, December 15, 1927:

    Pittsburgh, Pa.—The Pittsburgh Tag Company, care of Charles F. C. Arensberg, 834 Amberson street, Pittsburgh, recently organized with a capital of $50,000, plans the operation of a local plant for the manufacture of paper tags and kindred specialties. Mr. Arensberg will be treasurer of the new company; James M. Graham and Jonathan S. Green will be directors.

  • Allegheny Auto Spring Co., North Side

    Allegheny Auto Spring Co.

    You might think this was a building that had been abandoned a century ago and somehow pickled in an unusually intact state (though a few bricks have crumbled off the top). But in fact the Allegheny Auto Spring Co. is still in business, still serving the people who need auto springs and need them done well. The painted signs are legible, so why replace them? Thus we have a glimpse of the Pittsburgh of the early automobile age surviving into the twenty-first century.

    End of the building
    Sony Alpha 3000.

    The building itself predates the current business. It was probably built in the 1890s; in the early 1900s it appears on old maps marked “Wisconsin Granite Co. Lessee”; in 1910 it is marked “Paint Whs.”; and in 1923 “Thompson & Co.” Old Pa Pitt does not know when the Allegheny Auto Spring Co. moved in, but it has to have been a couple of generations ago at the latest.

  • Row of Houses on North Avenue

    Row of houses on North Avenue

    These are what old Pa Pitt calls Baltimore-style rowhouses: that is, rowhouses where the whole row is built as one subdivided building right against the sidewalk (as opposed to the typical Pittsburgh terrace, where the houses are set back with tiny front yards). Since North Avenue is the neighborhood boundary on city planning maps, these fall into the “Central Northside” for planning purposes; but socially they formed part of the wealthy section of Allegheny that includes Allegheny West across the street.

    Rowhouses on North Avenue
  • Sunset Reflected in Allegheny Center