Tag: Construction

  • Central Oakland

    Central Oakland

    The cluttered landscape of the central Oakland medical-intellectual district.


    Something is always under construction.

    Back streets

    Rowhouses huddle in the shadow of the university.

    Wide view
  • UPMC Mercy Pavilion Under Construction

    Just a few blocks away from our first Eye and Ear Hospital, Mercy Hospital is building a “Pavilion” that will specialize in eye patients. Here we see it from across the Mon.

  • Win Some, Lose Some

    When he published his recent pictures of the Craig Street automotive row, old Pa Pitt promised his readers pictures of some of the other nearby buildings from the early days of the automobile. Yesterday he walked over to Melwood Avenue to get pictures of the old Chevrolet dealer and found that he hadn’t walked fast enough, because this is what it looks like now:

    Construction site

    Yes, it has been demolished for another apartment tower. Doubtless this will bring rolling waves of prosperity, though not everyone in the neighborhood is happy about it:

    Graffito: Yuppies get out

    On the bright side, the demolition revealed an old painted sign that probably had not been visible for more than a hundred years:

    Ghost sign

    Father Pitt has not been able to read the names of the two superimposed companies. This wall had been obscured by the Chevrolet dealer since before 1923, so this sign dates from the first decades of the automobile.

  • Making Lemonade on the South Side

    “When life hands you lemons,” as the old saying goes, and here is an example of someone making pretty good lemonade out of some very unpromising lemons.

    Three years ago the old St. Adalbert’s Auditorium looked like this.

    Decaying St. Adalbert’s Auditorium

    Obviously it had been abandoned, and desultory attempts at maintenance had ground to a halt. This in spite of the fact that the church right next door was still active, and indeed still is today.

    A different angle

    But now the same developer who converted St. Casimir’s to condominiums has taken this building in hand, turning it into fairly expensive condominiums under the name “The Auditorium.”

    The Auditorium

    A sign in front tells us that nine out of fourteen units have already been sold. Considering that the building was a gymnasium, auditorium, and fallout shelter built in the most undistinguished modernist style, this is a very good outcome for a building that had been a festering eyesore in the neighborhood.

  • Working on the Spire of Heinz Chapel

  • Under the Asphalt

    Carson Street shaved with streetcar tracks showing

    Scratch any major street and you’ll find streetcar tracks, as we see here on Carson Street on the South Side, currently under construction.

  • Working on the Roof of Heinz Chapel

    Workers on the roof of Heinz Chapel

    It’s easy to forget how tall Heinz Chapel is until we see people working on the roof.

    Heinz Chapel with roof work
  • Skinny Building Under Wraps

    Skinny Building shrouded

    The Skinny Building and its neighbor the Roberts Building have been bought by PNC. Here they are shrouded for renovation work. The last old Pa Pitt heard, PNC was planning on displaying art in the upper windows of the Skinny Building.

  • Demolishing a Warehouse in the Strip


    Chunks of concrete dangle from exposed floors of a half-demolished warehouse next to the Sixteenth Street Bridge.


    No one will miss this ugly building—or at least no one will admit to missing it. But it does point out a principle that old Pa Pitt has often stated: prosperity is more destructive to old landmarks than any other force except possibly war—and even then it depends on the war. When the city is prosperous, there is a strong incentive to replace older things with newer, more profitable things. Fortunately Pittsburgh has learned a lot about appreciating its old buildings, and much of what is going on in the booming Strip District is restoration and adaptation rather than demolition. But old buildings are in much more danger when the city is prosperous than when the local economy is stagnant.

    Two floors of building under demolition
  • Restoring the Observatory

    Allegheny Observatory

    The Allegheny Observatory, begun in 1900, is getting some restoration work. The architect was Thorsten E. Billquist, the sort of name one wishes one had invented.

    Entrance to the Allegheny Observatory