Hawking Conspiracies on the South Side, 2000

Larouche supporter on the South Side

Father Pitt does not normally indulge in what they call “street photography,” but back in March of 2000 this scene seemed to invite a picture, and Pa Pitt’s faithful Argus C3 was in his hand.

Just think of all the things you will have to explain to your children or grandchildren (if available) about this picture. You will have to explain who Lyndon Larouche was, and that conspiracy theories like his were not part of mainstream American politics in those days. You will have to explain that this man is hawking things called newspapers, which were sort of like long-form Twitter. You will have to explain that those things on steel posts (the nearest one has been decapitated, which you will try to avoid explaining) were individualized parking kiosks, one for each parked car, which sounds like such a brilliant idea that it must be about time for a revival. You may even, if you are feeling brave, end up explaining the idea of creating photographs with light-sensitive chemicals.

Matched Pair of Victorian Commercial Buildings on Carson Street

Both could use a little spiffing up, but they are fine examples of the Victorian commercial architecture for which Carson Street is famous.

Strangely Altered Carson Street Victorian

This building has had some adventures. Originally a typical Pittsburgh Romanesque commercial building, it had a radical renovation of the ground floor at some point in the Art Deco era (early enough that the entrances are still recessed from the sidewalk). Possibly at the same time, but probably later, the second and third floors were very inexpertly done over in an aggressively modernist style: the ornaments removed, the original tall windows replaced with much smaller windows, and the remaining space bricked up. Only the top remains more or less unaltered, though its ironwork date could use a bit of restoration, and the ironwork initials have left only their shadows.

Victorian Storefront on Carson Street

This was the home of a prosperous shopkeeper in East Birmingham, one who had two full floors of living quarters above the shop, with the addition of a couple of comfortable attic rooms. The ground floor has been altered somewhat, but only in the incidentals; on the whole, the building is in a splendid state of preservation.