Tag: Boulevard of the Allies

  • Keystone Athletic Club

    Keystone Athletic Club, now Lawrence Hall

    Two universities in Pittsburgh have signature Gothic skyscrapers. Everybody knows the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt, but Lawrence Hall at Point Park University is also Gothic and also a skyscraper. By a strange coincidence that probably no one else in history has noticed (this is how dedicated old Pa Pitt is to you, his readers), it is within a foot or two of being precisely half the height of the Cathedral of Learning. (Cathedral of Learning: 535.01 feet; Lawrence Hall: 265.72 feet. Source: Emporis.com.)

    It was not always Lawrence Hall, of course. It was built as the Keystone Athletic Club in 1927; the architect was Benno Janssen, who also designed the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, the Twentieth Century Club, and the Masonic Temple, all in Oakland, and a remarkable number of other prominent buildings in the city. The Depression was hard on clubs; the Keystone Athletic Club (doubtless saddled with debt from building a skyscraper clubhouse) collapsed in 1934, and after that the building was a hotel until Point Park College picked it up in the 1960s. It was renamed for the Renaissance mayor David Lawrence, and now it anchors the ever-spreading downtown campus of the university.

  • Victorian Commercial Buildings on the Boulevard of the Allies

    Among the few human-sized buildings left in the area, these two at the corner of Stanwix Street are dwarfed by the skyscrapers around them. The large windows suggest workshops of some sort on the upper floors; the tasteful ornamentation suggests prosperity.

  • United Steelworkers Building from the Boulevard of the Allies

    Architects Curtis and Davis enlivened what would have been a simple square box with a distinctive diamond-grid facing that continues down into the pillars at ground level.

  • Under the Boulevard of the Allies

    A view eastward on Second Avenue under the Boulevard of the Allies viaduct. Below, the relief and inscription at the Grant Street entrance to the viaduct.

  • 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.

  • Eagle on the Boulevard of the Allies

    Matched eagles guard the Grant Street entrance to the Boulevard of the Allies viaduct, built after World War I and named in a fit of residual patriotism.