Frank & Seder Department Store, 1927

Frank & Seder

An image from an advertisement in the National Vaudeville Artists’ Annual for 1928. You and your dancing poodles are invited to shop here. This building is now under renovation, and with the removal of some later accretions the shadows of the Frank & Seder signs are visible (see the recent photos here).

101 Smithfield Street

101 Smithfield Street

In the little corner of downtown Pittsburgh near First Avenue there are still some half-blocks that never entered the skyscraper age. Here we can see some of the humbler pre-skyscraper commercial architecture of Pittsburgh. The first floor of the front of this building has been heavily altered, probably by someone who wanted to make it look more Victorian and ended up making it look more 1978. But the rest of the building is a typical small Italianate structure of the 1870s.

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.

Frank & Seder

Kaufmann’s was the Big Store, but Frank & Seder, facing Kaufmann’s across a whole block of Smithfield Street, was hardly small. The building is now under restoration.

The restoration has peeled away later accretions, and we can see the shadows of an old sign at the corner of Forbes Avenue.

Two layers of ghost signs still memorialize the old department store to pedestrians on Fifth Avenue.

Compare the photograph to this illustration of the store in 1927.

Kaufmann’s Clock from Fifth Avenue

The famous Kaufmann’s clock, seen from the east on Fifth Avenue.