Tag: Gimbels

  • Gimbels Building

    This was built in 1914 as the Kaufmann & Baer Department Store, the Kaufmanns in the name being brothers of the Morris Kaufmann who owned the Big Store two blocks away. It was bought out by the Gimbel Brothers eleven years later, and for generations of Pittsburghers this was the Gimbels Building. Its name is now officially Heinz 57 Center, but most people still call it the Gimbels Building. The architects, Starrett & van Vleck, were specialists in department stores from New York.

    Terra cotta swag and head

    Acres of terra cotta went into decorating the Smithfield Street and Sixth Avenue faces of this building.

    Terra cotta
    A different terra cotta swag and head
    Terra-cotta panel
    Corinthian capital
    Beside a window

    And of course there was the clock. It was not as famous or elaborate as the Kaufmann’s clock, but it was another good place to meet someone downtown. This is obviously a good bit more recent than the building itself: it has a streamlined Art Deco look.

  • More Views of the Gimbels Warehouse, South Side

    Entrance to 2100 Wharton Street

    More views of the old Gimbels warehouse on the South Side, now called 2100 Wharton Street. We have a couple of other angles here.

    Gimbels warehouse
    Another view
    Eastern end of the Gimbels warehouse

    The building covers almost the entire block, but leaves a narrow space for one row of old houses at the eastern end on 22nd Street.

  • Gimbels Warehouse, South Side

    Gimbels Warehouse

    Now an office building poetically called 2100 Wharton Street, this enormous warehouse covers almost an entire block of the South Side. It was built for the Gimbels department store in the 1920s, when it would have had rail access to the Pennsylvania Railroad spur that ran right down the middle of 21st Street.

    Below we see it from the riverfront, looming over South Side rowhouses in the middle distance.

    2100 Wharton Street

    Addendum: The warehouse was built in about 1924; the architects and engineers were James P. Piper and Henry M. Kropff.