Tag: Roush (Stanley L.)

  • Rachel Carson Bridge

    Rachel Carson Bridge

    The Ninth Street Bridge, now named for our world-changing naturalist Rachel Carson, is the third of the Three Sisters going by street numbers, but it was the first to be built. Here we see it during the recent Three Rivers Arts Festival, when the artists’ market spilled outward across its entire length.

    Fujifilm FinePix HS10.

    It is old Pa Pitt’s belief that every work of architecture or engineering ought to bear a permanent record of all the information a future historian will want.

  • Andy Warhol Bridge

    Andy Warhol Bridge

    An album of views of the middle of the Three Sisters, taken on a cloudy day and a sunny day.

    Andy Warhol Bridge with downtown Pittsburgh in the background
    Andy Warhol Bridge with Rachel Carson Bridge
    Seventh Street Bridge
    Andy Warhol Bridge with Roberto Clemente Bridge and PNC Park
    Andy Warhol Bridge and Alcoa Corporate Center

    Cameras: Fujifilm FinePix HS10; Kodak EasyShare Z981.

  • Roberto Clemente Bridge

    Roberto Clemente Bridge
    Composite of four photographs.

    The Three Sisters bridges—Sixth Street, Seventh Street, and Ninth Street—were built between 1925 and 1928 after the War Department determined that the existing bridges over the Allegheny were too low and impeded navigation. As engineering feats they are technically interesting: they had to be made self-anchoring to avoid tearing out huge chunks of valuable property downtown. As architecture they are memorable, and not just because this is the only place in the world where you can see three identical suspension bridges side by side. The Sixth Street Bridge, now named for Pirates star and philanthropist Roberto Clemente, was the most beautiful steel bridge built in America in 1928.

    Sixth Street Bridge

    On baseball days the bridge is closed to motor vehicles, which allows a gentleman in a powdered wig to stand right in the middle of it with his Kodak.

    Sixth Street Bridge plaque

    The architect was Stanley Roush, the king of public works in Pittsburgh at the time. You may think Father Pitt was being a bit hyperbolic in calling this the most beautiful steel bridge of 1928, but he was merely reading off its credentials.

    American Institute of Steel Construction—Annual Award of Merit—Most Beautiful Steel Bridge—1928
    Kodak EasyShare Z981.
  • Decorations on the County Office Building

    Eagle and county arms

    The County Office Building, which opened in 1931, was designed by Stanley L. Roush, who was the king of public works in Allegheny County for a while. Its combination of styles is unique in Pittsburgh, as far as old Pa Pitt knows. In form it is of the school Father Pitt likes to call American Fascist, the weighty classical style filtered through streamlined Art Deco that was popular for American public buildings between the World Wars, and of which the grandest example in Pittsburgh is the federal courthouse. But the details are Romanesque rather than classical—an acknowledgment of the lingering influence of the great Richardson’s greatest masterpiece, the Allegheny County Courthouse. The carved ornaments are Art Deco adaptations of medieval themes, except for the eagle above, which is not at all medieval, and which clasps the arms of Allegheny County in its talons.

    County Office Building

    The Fourth Avenue side. The County Office Building is roughly square, so the four sides are similar, except that this side lacks an entrance. But this was the side that was lit by the sun when Father Pitt was taking pictures. It took a lot of fiddling and adaptation to get the whole side of the building across a tiny narrow street, so you will see stitching errors and other anomalies if you enlarge the picture.


    An Art Deco gargoyle.

    Decorative relief
    Fujifilm FinePix HS10.
  • Corliss Street Tunnel, Northern Entrance

    Corliss Street Tunnel

    Almost all the pictures of the Corliss Street Tunnel on line are of the much plainer southern entrance. That is because there is nowhere to stand and get a picture of the northern entrance. Or at least so old Pa Pitt thought until recently, but it turns out that, with a long lens, it is possible to stand on the other side of the Ohio River and get a fair picture without being run over by a truck.

    The fall foliage is an added bonus.

    Corliss Street Tunnel

    This was the first of Stanley Roush’s tunnel trifecta: he designed the entrances to the Corliss Street Tunnel, the Liberty Tunnels, and the Armstrong Tunnel.

  • Tenth Street Bridge

    Tenth Street Bridge

    Stanley Roush, king of public works in the 1920s and 1930s, did the architectural parts of this elegant bridge, which opened in 1933. It is almost shocking that, in a city with more bridges than any other city on earth, this is the only cable suspension bridge. (The Three Sisters are held up by steel rods rather than cables.)

    Tenth Street Bridge
    Tenth Street Bridge
    This would appear to be another picture of the Tenth Street Bridge

    We don’t pay enough attention to the railings on our bridges and viaducts. They were opportunities for architects to try out new ideas in decorative geometry, and a talented architect like Stanley Roush could produce designs worth pausing to admire.

    With FNB Financial Center under construction
  • Seventeenth Ward World War I Memorial, South Side


    This little memorial sits at the corner of Carson and Tenth Streets, the intersection that is more or less the gateway to the South Side proper. Most people pass by without noticing it, so old Pa Pitt decided to document it in detail.

    Frank Aretz, best known for his ecclesiastical art, did the small Art Deco relief, according to a plaque installed by the city on this memorial. The architect was Stanley Roush, the king of public works in Pittsburgh in the 1920s and 1930s. Donatelli Granite, still in the memorial business, did the stonework.

    Seventeenth Ward War Memorial

    The left and right steles bear the names of battlefields where Americans fought.


    Many war memorials display the names of those who served, but this one sealed the names in stone for future generations to discover.

    Face of the relief

    The relief has been eroding and perhaps vandalized, but the streamlined Art Deco style is still distinctive.

    Bust of the relief
    Seventeenth Ward War Memorial
  • Smithfield Street Bridge

    South portal, Smithfield Street Bridge

    The current portals are not original; they were built when the upstream span was widened in 1915. The original bridge was designed by Gustav Lindenthal; the current portals were designed by Stanley L. Roush, who was responsible for many prominent transportation-related projects, including the entrances to the Liberty Tubes and Armstrong Tunnel and the terminal at the Allegheny County Airport.

    The bridge is the oldest through-truss bridge in the United States, and one of very few with a Pauli or lenticular truss. The piers are even older; they were reused from the previous bridge, designed by John Roebling after the Great Fire of 1845 destroyed the old wooden covered bridge that had been put up in 1818.

    Smithfield Street Bridge
  • Armstrong Tunnel

    Armstrong Tunnel

    The Armstrong Tunnel connects the Tenth Street Bridge to Forbes Avenue Uptown. It opened in 1927, three years after the Liberty Tubes. Unlike most of our tunnels, it has a curve in the middle. It also retains its pedestrian walkway, which the Liberty Tubes lost in the 1970s. The impressive portals (we see the north entrance here) were designed by Stanley L. Roush, who worked on a number of transportation-related projects, including the Allegheny County Airport and the portals to the Smithfield Street Bridge.

    North Portal
    Forbes Avenue entrance
  • Allegheny County Airport

    When this airport was built, it was the largest in the world in terms of runway footage; it is still one of the busiest airports in Pennsylvania, though there are no longer scheduled commercial flights. Moving the commercial flights to Greater Pitt meant that this airport never had to be rebuilt or modernized, so that the terminal (designed by Stanley L. Roush in 1931) is perhaps the most perfectly preserved Art Deco airport terminal in the world. It has played the airport in several period movies, and somewhere in a box or file Father Pitt has a picture of the terminal with the name “Bruxelles” replacing “Allegheny County Airport.”

    Camera: Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS.