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Shop at Rosenbaums: 1941

August 1941. "Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River." Medium format acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

August 1941. "Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River." Medium format acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Keenan Building

I had trouble getting my bearings until I found the Keenan Building, the domed building near the center. The top (18th) floor is rumored to have been Thomas Keenan’s bachelor pad, whence emerged many a sadder-but-wiser girl.

Wabash Bridge

was removed in 1948. It was not destroyed, it was dismantled, and much of the steel was used in a bridge down the river, commonly called the Dravosburg Bridge, actually named the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge. The bridge connects McKeesport and Dravosburg across the Mon.

The Gulf Building, now called the Gulf Tower, used to have lights on the pyramid structure at the top to give the weather forecast. Blue and orange lights let people know if it was going to be warm/cold, and if the lights were flashing that meant precipitation was forecast. These forecasts stopped sometime in the late 1980s. KDKA brought the lights back about 10 years ago, though they are now LED lights and use several colors to give the forecast. This was the tallest building in Pittsburgh until 1970.

Interestingly, the Koppers Building has a copper roof. Koppers is a chemical company, and their global headquarters are still in that building.

What's left standing

The three tallest buildings in this picture (back to front): The Gulf Tower, the Koppers Tower, and the Henry W. Oliver Building.

The Smoky City

Nothing like a deep fresh breath of CO₂, hydrogen fluoride and sulfur dioxide to get the blood flowing on an early fall morning.

Big Fly Swatting Contest Begins Monday, June 30th

Children, get ready to swat the fly!
Flies will be measured by gills, pints, quarts, etc.

could have been that year, but actually happened in 1913.

Unusual station

To the left of that long steel cantilever is an interesting little architectural oddity- the Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal Railway station. The long, barn-like trainshed covers the tracks, which entered the city at second story level from the bridge. At the rear of the train shed, you can see the “flatiron style” headhouse for the station, both of which opened with the railroad in 1904.

To the left of the headhouse, you can see the railroad’s elevated tracks for its small freight terminal- a pretty unusual structure necessitated by the decision to bridge the Monongahela on a high level. It was all gone by 1946.

All that remains

... of the massive railroad bridge and adjoining station is the two huge brick pillars, one on each side of the river. Amazingly, the Kelly and Jones Pipefittings building and the Neffco Coffee building next to it (now Fort Pitt Coffee) are still standing.

... to put up a parking garage

The site formerly occupied by Rosenbaum's department store (along 6th between Penn Avenue and Liberty) is occupied by a mildly interesting seven-story parking garage. It is very convenient for patrons of Heinz Hall, the performance venue one block north.

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