Tag: Fifth Avenue

  • Warner Theatre Sign

    The Warner was one of the great silent-movie palaces downtown, but it had the misfortune to be placed far from the theater district along Penn Avenue. In the 1980s most of it was demolished for a shopping arcade, leaving the classical façade on Fifth Avenue and the distinctive lighted sign, with the word “Theatre” replaced by “Centre,” because the shopping-arcade and movie-theater industries share an assumption that British spellings attract more customers. The shopping arcade, like most arcades downtown, gradually transitioned to mostly offices. But the sign still dominates the view down Fifth Avenue.

  • A Very Tall Building for 1888

    The Hamilton Building stood at 91 and 93 Fifth Avenue, which, if the addresses are the same, would put it right about where the May Building is now. The owner, a dealer in pianos and cottage organs, was obviously very proud of its astounding height. But the skyscraper age was about to begin, and in a few years this would be just another inconsiderable storefront downtown, soon to be replaced by a skyscraper itself.

    Source: Allegheny County: Its Early History and Subsequent Development, 1888.

  • 242 Fifth Avenue

    This ostentatious little building on Fifth Avenue is in need of some restoration. Something could be done with the ground floor to make it more in sympathy with the upper storeys without spending the immense fortune it would probably take to recreate the original classical front. Even a simple modernist glass front would be more harmonious.

  • Cast-Iron Front on Fifth Avenue

    Restored a few years ago, this is a fine example of a Victorian cast-iron façade.

  • Grotesque Face on Fifth Avenue

    This small piece of the old façade sticks up over the undistinguished tiles that cover the rest of this Fifth Avenue building. It must have been quite a façade when we could see the rest of it.

  • Wreath at the Fifth Avenue Place Arcade

    Fifth Avenue Place replaced the beloved Jenkins Arcade, and in order to soothe the feelings of appalled Pittsburghers the new skyscraper included a shopping arcade in the lower floors, connected by a pedestrian bridge to the Horne’s department store. It was very successful early on, and even now, with Horne’s long gone, it manages to keep most of the storefronts filled. For Christmas the colossal clock over the Liberty Avenue entrance is surrounded by a colossal wreath.

  • Base of the Tower at PNC Plaza

    The base of earth’s greenest skyscraper, as it called itself when it was going up, is all shiny curves and lights and reflections.

  • Decorations on the Buhl Building

    The Buhl Building on Fifth Avenue, one of Benno Janssen’s earlier works, is covered with terra-cotta reliefs in Wedgwood colors.

  • Fifth Avenue Place from Fifth Avenue

    It is one of old Pa Pitt’s endearing quirks that he likes to take pictures with a bus coming toward the viewer.

  • The Mellon Institute

    Benno Janssen, whose many designs helped define the Oakland Civic Center, created perhaps his most monumental work here. The huge columns are cut from single pieces of stone—the largest monolithic columns in the history of the world. And Father Pitt, through the magic of computer stitching software, brings you perhaps the only complete face-on photo of the block-long Fifth Avenue façade on the entire Internet. Below, a picture from the corner of Bellefield and Fifth.