Tag: Storefronts

  • The Southern Side of Western Avenue, Allegheny West

    947 Western Avenue

    Western Avenue in Allegheny West is an eclectic mix of buildings, from grand mansions to humble rowhouses to Art Deco storefronts. Here are some of the buildings on the southern side of the street, photographed late in the day when the sun was glancing across them.

    939 Western Avenue

    This house, now the Parador Inn, was one of the fine houses put back in top shape by serial restorationist Joedda Sampson. It has a detailed history at the Allegheny West site.

    911 Western Avenue
    Fujifilm FinePix HS10.
  • Boylan Building, Beechview, in 1930

    Boylan Building in 1930

    The Boylan Building in Beechview, as photographed on February 18, 1930, by a Pittsburgh city photographer.1 We can see that the second floor was an open space useful for all sorts of things—a bowling alley and pool hall, but also dances and basketball games. The barber shop at the left end prominently advertises that it is a UNION SHOP; non-union barber shops were prone to mysterious explosions.

    The picture below was taken in 2021 (and nothing substantial has changed since then), so we can see how sensitively this building has been restored for use as a community center. The corner entrance on the left has been filled in, but on the whole the building is pretty much as it was almost a century ago—except that it’s in better shape now.

    Boylan Building in 2021
    1. Thanks to our alert correspondent David Schwing for pointing this picture out in the Historic Pittsburgh collection. We have brightened the picture just a bit to make the details of the building more visible. ↩︎
  • A Splendid Commercial Building in Manchester

    1401 Columbus Avenue

    Columbus Avenue is at the ragged back end of Manchester, where there are still many crumbling and abandoned buildings. This one, however, has been beautifully restored; it is the home of a marketing company that obviously sees the value in having a landmark building for its headquarters.

    1887 on the date stone
    Terra cotta
    Floral ornament
    1401 Columbus Avenue
    Kodak EasyShare Z981.
  • Corner Building in Point Breeze

    6741 Reynolds Street

    Acute-angled intersections are common in Pittsburgh, and in business districts they produce some odd-shaped buildings. This one in Point Breeze has been tastefully modernized with an eye for what is most distinctive about it. The oriel over the entrance on the corner is especially appealing.

    Corner building
    Oriel and corner entrance
    Canon PowerShot SX150 IS.
  • Victorian Commercial Building on Sarah Street, South Side

    2616 Sarah Street

    Formerly a storefront with apartments above, but the storefront—as with many backstreet stores—has been converted to another apartment. The well-preserved Victorian details are picked out with a colorful but tasteful paint scheme.

    Dentils and diamond
    Kodak EasyShare Z981.
  • Ziegler Block, Mexican War Streets

    Ziegler Block
    Composite of six photographs.

    This substantial building in the narrow Mexican War Streets was probably put up in the 1890s; it belonged to I. Ziegler from the beginning of the twentieth century at least through 1923, and it was built on land marked as belonging to F. Ziegler in 1890. It is a whole little civilization unto itself, with a three substantial rowhouses, two storefronts, and apartments.

    1300–1306 Buena Vista Street
    Nikon COOLPIX P100.
    Sony Alpha 3000 with 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4 lens.
    Door to No. 1304
    Perspective view
  • Second Empire Storefronts in Sharpsburg

    914 and 916 Main Street

    These two Second Empire storefronts could use a bit of paint, but the buildings, which probably date from the 1880s, have kept most of their decorative detail. The bricks show that the ground-floor fronts of both sides have been rebuilt, but the one at right probably looks very close to the way it looked when the building was new, and it could be a good model for restoring the one at left.

  • Italianate Buildings on Market Street

  • Old Storefronts in Sharpsburg

    814 and 816 Main Street

    Father Pitt knows nothing about this pair of storefronts other than what he can deduce from their appearance. The narrow dormers are typical of the middle nineteenth century; with their Italianate brackets and windows, these buildings look as though they were put up in the 1870s, or possibly the 1860s. On the whole they are in a very good state of preservation. Now that Sharpsburg is filling up with art galleries and breweries, perhaps they can be profitably restored.

  • Store and Apartments by J. E. Cole, Hill District

    2909 Centre Avenue

    So far this is the only building old Pa Pitt has identified as designed by J. E. Cole, about whom he knows nothing other than that Cole designed this building. The storefront has been modernized, but otherwise the building is in near-original condition. The corner is an obtuse angle, and Father Pitt wonders whether the unusual seam at that corner was the result of the architect’s original plan, or of the low-bidding contractor’s refusal to trim the bricks properly without an extra payment. It was imitated many years later by whoever added the modern storefront.

    Dwelling House Savings