Tag: Seventh Avenue

  • 421 Seventh Avenue

    This building—a remnant of the pre-skyscraper age on Seventh Avenue—has been many things in its life. These days it is known only by its address. For a long while it was the Federated Investors Building. In 1923 it belonged to the Stevens & Foster Co., which Father Pitt believes was a maker of steel pens. In 1910 it was marked Geo. A. Kelly Co. Wholesale Drugs. Before that, it belonged to J. N. McCullough. It was built in the 1890s on the site of the First United Presbyterian Church, whose congregation had moved to the East End.

    This is another one of those pictures where old Pa Pitt has created an impossible perspective by distorting different sections of the picture differently. Sometimes the best way to tell the truth about a building is with a little bit of fakery.

    Addendum: The architect appears to have been George Orth & Brothers. Source: Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide, May 19, 1897: “On the site of the First U. P. Church on Seventh avenue, a ten-story brick building will be erected by Mr. Harry Darlington. The plans will be made by Architects Geo. Orth & Bros., Stevenson building.” The building as it stands is four floors shorter, but buildings often shrank between initial announcement and final construction.

  • Looking Up

    Koppers and Gulf Towers

    …at the Koppers Building (left) and the Gulf Building (right).

  • Renovating the Triangle Building

    Triangle Building

    The Triangle Building, originally called the McCance Block, is currently under renovation for luxury apartments. It fills what may be one of the smallest downtown city blocks in the country, so that every side of a relatively small building faces the street.

  • Letterbox in the Koppers Building

    Letterbox in the Koppers Building

    The brass letterbox in the lobby of the Koppers Building (now called Koppers Tower, because every Building became a Tower while you weren’t looking) is a stylized model of the Koppers Building itself.

  • Liberty Avenue from Seventh Avenue

    This is quite a stunning view for out-of-towners; Pittsburghers probably don’t realize how unusual it is to be confronted with such a well-preserved late-Victorian commercial streetscape, because we have quite a few of those.

  • Old Bell Telephone Building

    This 1890 building was designed by Frederick Osterling, who also gave us the Arrott Building and the Union Trust Building. It now functions as a kind of parasite on the skyscraper Bell Telephone Building next door, but it is still an impressive work of architecture.

  • The Gulf Building

    The Gulf Building, an Art Deco tower with a top modeled after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, is rendered here in old-postcard colors through the marvel of modern digital technology.