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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Pittsburgh Panorama: 1908

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.

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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.

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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