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Pittsburgh Panorama: 1908

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, circa 1908. "The heart of Pittsburgh." Panorama made from four 8x10 inch glass negatives. Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, circa 1908. "The heart of Pittsburgh." Panorama made from four 8x10 inch glass negatives. Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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You Want Names of Buildings?

If the center street is Smithfield, then the mid-rise building to the left with the white awnings at the corner of fourth Street is the Standard Life Building. It was built in 1902 by Alden & Harlow, Pittsburgh's leading local architectural firm of the era, The Standard Life Building was originally an office building that housed the Pittsburgh Bank for Savings. It has been converted to studios and apartments.

A taller building behind it would be The Park Building, one of the oldest surviving steel-framed structures and the first high rise in Pittsburgh to have automatic elevators. Built by industrialists David and William Park in 1896, the 15-story Park Building is adorned by what Preservationists call “the most beautiful cornice east of the Mississippi”.

As mentioned earlier, the steel-framed, building under construction is the Henry W. Oliver Building. It is 25-story, skyscraper at 535 Smithfield Street, across from what is now Mellon Square. The building was designed by Daniel Burnham and built 1908-10.

Panoramic Wonderings

Over on the right side, I wonder what that row of pointed objects is atop the hill off in the distance to the left of Bailey-Farrell.

Maybe someone here could clear this up, because I haven't the slightest!

[Houses! - Dave]

Smithfield Street View

At center is Smithfield Street. Just to the right in the foreground is the old Post Office (replaced with a new building on Grant Street in 1934). Steel framing under construction is the Oliver Building, completed in 1910.

Does anyone know what the metal standpipes with the funnels next to the top are? Great picture! I love Shorpy.

Coincidence? I think not

The sign for Kaufmann's in the background. The Pittsburgh retailer for whom Frank Lloyd Wright built Fallingwater was named Kaufmann.


I would almost kill to have this cleanly colorized, so I could use it as my backdrop on my model railroad. This is amazing.

Thanks, Shorpy-folk!

Multiple Glass Negatives

Wonderful cityscape.

Are these glass negatives stored/organized in a way that you knew that they would create this panoramic? Or, does this take a sharp eye and memory?

[Click here. - Dave]

Come, Oh Come to Pittsburgh

Some will remember my title as a song by Schwartz & Dietz, made famous by Beatrice Lillie.

The Keenan Building (left, with the dome) and the Allegheny County Courthouse (right, pointed tower) remain familiar landmarks. I hope someone will identify other buildings.

I would guess that the street at the center is Fifth Avenue, but would appreciate a correction.

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