Two soldiers at Fort Pitt wait for the French and Indians to show their faces, or—failing that—tourists. Below, an officer explains what makes things go boom.
Ready for the French and Indians
This bridge carries eight lanes of expressway traffic over the entrance to Point Park. It was also designed to make entering and leaving Point Park a dramatic experience. Under the bridge is a footbridge over an artificial pond, and as we cross the footbridge on the way in, the Point Fountain becomes visible; on the way out, the skyline opens up to us.
The Point in 1967
In 1967, the Point had been cleared and the Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt Bridges had been built. But the old Manchester and Point Bridges were still standing. The Manchester Bridge was still in use; the Fort Duquesne Bridge was famously the Bridge to Nowhere, with no approaches on the North Side end. It was built in 1963, but did not open (with actual ramps on the north end) until 1969. The Fort Pitt Bridge, on the other hand, had opened in 1959, so the Point Bridge was an abandoned hulk. Both the Point and Manchester Bridges were finally taken down in 1970.
This old slide, taken by the late Donald Bailey in 1967, was badly overexposed to begin with, and it had been stored in bad conditions, but we were able to get a recognizable image out of it with some work in the GIMP. We thank Mr. Bailey’s heirs for donating some of his pictures to the public.
Summer at the Point Fountain
Fort Pitt Blockhouse, 2001
These pictures were taken in 2001 with an old folding Agfa camera. Of course the blockhouse, which is more than two and a half centuries old, doesn’t change much these days.
View from Point Park
Seeing downtown Pittsburgh from Point State Park, you might be forgiven for supposing that Pittsburgh had not existed before World War II. Not a single prewar building is visible; the “Renaissance” seems thorough and complete. The entire Point, once a seedy warehouse district, was redeveloped after the war, with a big chunk left open for Point State Park, and the rest covered with modernist towers.
Rainbows in the Point Fountain