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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hotel Henry: 1908

Hotel Henry: 1908

Circa 1908. "Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." Plenty of free parking for the automobilists among us. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.

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is that a colapsed facade?

looks like the facade has slipped just above the Hotel sign. Doubt it was that old too.
Loving the website over here in the UK, Dave.


Below is the same view from July of 2011.

The hotel dick?

Notice the window, third floor on right of photo - William J. Tanney Detective Agency. If the old movies are to be believed, every large hotel had their own detective on duty (probably to keep un-marrieds out of the same room). The slang name "hotel dick" probably came in later with Dick Tracy. I wonder if Mr. Tanney hired out a detective for the Hotel Henry. Looked up Mr. Tanney and he was apparently quite an upstanding citizen. Here's a quick bio - born Elk County, PA 1865, 1890 appointed Pittsburgh patrolman, 1893 made lieutenant of police in First district, for meritorious service made Captain of Police in 1896, resigned in 1900 to enter hotel business on South Side, 1906 granted a license to conduct a detective agency. He may have died in 1918.

More than a mere hotel

"Upon a commanding site in the very heart of Pittsburgh, that glowing metropolis of untiring industry, stands a pre-eminent contribution to the city's greatness. It is a massive structure, eleven stories in height, of indestructible steel, stone and terra cotta, and bears the title of the Hotel Henry. Monumental, though unpretentious, in the solidity of its exterior elevation, it contains within its walls a wealth of architectural design, artistic embellishment, and the acme of perfection in the vehicles of service. Strong though the statement may appear, yet it is boldly made, that under no other roof in the world can be found a more comprehensive contribution to ease, comfort, convenience and utility. From sub-cellar to roof, science, mechanism and human endeavor are made subservient to the beck and call of mortal desire."


Down and around

That circular stairway fire escape on the left looks great but I think it would be unsafe.

The Spiral Staircase

Gives me vertigo!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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