Tag: Firstside

  • Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company Warehouse

    Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company Warehouse

    A particularly elegant Romanesque warehouse built for the company that made bathroom plumbing fashion-conscious. Standard later merged with American Radiator to form American-Standard, still a leader in toilet technology today. The building is now luxurious offices under the name “Fort Pitt Commons.” According to the boundary-increase application for the Firstside Historic district, it was built 1900–1905; the architect is unknown, which is a pity, because it was obviously someone with a real sense of rhythm in architecture. (If you backed old Pa Pitt into a corner and asked him to guess the architect, he might say Charles Bickel, whose Reymer Brothers candy factory Uptown is very similar in many details, including the treatment of the arches.) Above, the side that faces Fort Pitt Boulevard and the Mon; below, the First Avenue side.

  • Conestoga Building

    Conestoga Building

    This was a very tall building when it opened in 1892. It’s certainly stretching a point to call this a skyscraper, yet it is in some ways the seed of all subsequent skyscrapers in Pittsburgh. This was the first building in Pittsburgh, and one of the first in the world, built with steel-cage construction, which makes practically indefinite height possible. Below we see the Conestoga Building with a couple of its great-grandchildren behind it: One PPG Place and Fifth Avenue Place.

  • Firstside

    Firstside is the row of nineteenth-century commercial buildings facing what used to be the Monongahela Wharf. At one end is the Conestoga Building, one of the first steel-cage skyscrapers; at the other is the modernist Westinghouse Building.

  • House Building

    This substantial early skyscraper right at the end of the Smithfield Street Bridge was designed by James T. Steen. It was begun in 1902 and was completed by 1905. It is now known as Four Smithfield Street.