These tiny houses at the corner of 24th Street and Carey Way were probably built as rental properties, meant to be the cheapest possible construction that could still be rented as a “house” rather than a tenement. They are what old Pa Pitt might call Baltimore-style rowhouses, where the whole row was built as one building, although in Baltimore the building would typically cover a whole block. The ones on 24th street were built between 1903 and 1910; the ones around the corner on Carey Way were built between 1910 and 1923. Yet we notice that, in those days, even these utilitarian shoeboxes for poor millworkers were not allowed to show their faces in public without a proper ornamental cornice.
This is also an excellent view of a typical Pittsburgh system of utility cables.