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Double Play: 1910

Circa 1910. "Pittsburgh waterfront, Allegheny River." Something for everyone here: Bridges, riverboats, a rail yard and two baseball games. And a high-rise natatorium. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

Circa 1910. "Pittsburgh waterfront, Allegheny River." Something for everyone here: Bridges, riverboats, a rail yard and two baseball games. And a high-rise natatorium. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


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The street dividing the playground from Exposition Park was South Avenue. The cross street at the left was School Street. The railway yards were the Pittsburgh & Western Railroad.
All that is gone, replaced most by parking between Heinz Field and PNC Park. And previous to that Three Rivers Stadium.

Phipps Apartments / Art Rooney

The white building in the foreground is Phipps Apartments. The bell tower is atop Daniel Webster Grade School. The apartments had 6 hallways with 12 apartments in each hallway. No elevators. It had 2 flights of steps to each floor. You could hang your clothes on the roof.

Football games were played on the field in front of the apartments. The Rooney Reds played home games there. Art Rooney played on the Reds and owned a bar near the apartments.

Art Rooney later owned a football team called the Hope Harvey football team.

The history of Art Rooney and old pictures of this North Side area are here.

This site contains a photos of the Hope Harvey team with the Phipps apartments in the background.

The one below is Art Rooney’s own Hope Harvey Football Team, circa 1923. Art is not in the picture but his brother Dan Rooney is 5th from the left, back row and brother Vince Rooney is the young ball boy in front.
Photo courtesy of Vincent.T. Rooney family.


I love my town and it's always great to see old photos on this fine site. The etymology of the spelling indicates that the first recorded reference using the current spelling is found on a survey map made for the Penn family in 1769. In the city charter, granted on March 18, 1816, the Pittsburgh spelling is used on the original document, but due to an apparent printing error, the Pittsburg spelling is found on official copies of the document printed at the time. Even before the name of the city was temporarily changed to Pittsburg in 1897, that spelling variant was well-attested. Very interesting stuff at least to me anyway.

Love the bridge

I don't think I've ever seen the bridge that was in place before the current 6th Street span, the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The newer one (which dates from the 1920s) is a big improvement.

Are you sure this isn't Springfield?

I see a Duff's sign off to the left.

Building near the Bridge

The building just to the left of the bridge is one of my favorites. The open arch in the front and the open center design really makes it unique.

[The Fulton Building. - Dave]


These are great photos of Pittsburgh, but you should note that the photos taken before 1917 were of Pittsburg, not Pittsburgh. They changed the name during WWI to avoid being considered somehow Germanic, and therefore supportive of the wrong side.

[Pittsburgh's temporary loss of its "h" occurred long before World War I and had nothing to do with Germany. - Dave]


Funny how you see strange words or names somewhere and then you suddenly see them again a short time later! I was just at the University of Illinois at Chicago Physical Ed. building which has a huge painted wall that welcomes you to the Natatorium: The Olympic sized swimming/diving pool.

Where was the pool?

Wonder if the pool of the natatorium was in the basement or near the top of the building. There are architectural features that may support either location depending on the size of the pool, of course.

Got no blues today

"We had a great game today!"
"How come?"
"No umpires!"


The lines on the field at Exposition Park make it look like that isn't a baseball game going on. The Pirates had left the year before.

Anyone have a rotary phone to try out the Penn Advertising Company number?

[That's the foul line. The field was there until 1915. You wouldn't need a rotary phone -- of which there were hardly any when this picture was made -- to call 90 Grant. - Dave]

Exposition Park

The big ballfield would be Exposition Park, home of the Pirates from 1891 to 1909. The site is now between PNC Park and Heinz Field, pretty much where Three Rivers Stadium used to be.

Same View in Google Earth Today


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