End of the Line for Gateway Center

A kind reader who signs himself “Matt” had an excellent suggestion:

Any interest in photographing or featuring the old Gateway Center Station one last time before it closes forever this weekend?

2009-10-30-Gateway-Center-04

It was never a beautiful or impressive space, but of our trio of odd underground stations, Gateway Center was the oddest. It will soon be replaced by a gleaming new station that will doubtless be more convenient and more beautiful. But old Pa Pitt confesses that he was always sneakily proud of the old Gateway Center station when he brought out-of-town visitors downtown. They might come from cities with more expensive or more comprehensive subway systems, but few subway stations are as just plain weird as Gateway Center was.  Notice, for example, the low-level platform, now closed off by a rail, that was built to accommodate the old PCC cars when they still ran the Overbrook route—a feature shared by all three of the underground stations downtown.

2009-10-30-Gateway-Center-B-02

The weirdest aspect of Gateway Center, of course, was the loop. Visitors riding the subway for the first time were always alarmed to see the station they wanted flashing by on their left, as though the car had somehow just missed it. Then came the long squealy loop that threw everybody to the right-hand side of the car, and finally the car re-emerged into the station, this time with the platform on the right side.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

We’ll see more pictures of the old Gateway Center station shortly. Meanwhile, the subway ends at Wood  Street until further notice, except for the next few weekends, when it ends at First Avenue.

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5 thoughts on “End of the Line for Gateway Center

  1. Well, I’d actually hoped I’d hear back from the illustrious Father Pitt via email for a story I was writing for Saturday’s Tribune-Review… some of these musings might’ve made for good reading on paper as well.

    In addition to the quirks you mention, the station houses Port Authority’s buried treasure: the $15 million Romare Bearden mural “Pittsburgh Recollections,” for which the authority is still raising money to reinstall at the new station.

    Alas, you’re the only person (blog?) I found in nearly a week of seeking who expressed any pride or interest in that strange, dark little station. Aside from this entry and my article tomorrow, I wonder if the old Gateway Center Station will have slipped away into history, unheralded and unloved.

  2. Awww, I heard about the new subway under the Allegheny, but I didn’t know Gateway Center was being demolished and re-furbished. I’ll miss it… I remember when my grandpa would take me on the subway, and I’d watch the train go by, turn around, and let us on. I’ll definitely miss this station.

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