A well-proportioned building little changed since it was put up. You may notice, by the way, that older storefronts always have inset doors. Why is that? you ask. Somehow we have forgotten the reason for this obvious precaution, but our ancestors had much more practical minds than we have. For fire safety, doors should open outward. If they are flush with the sidewalk, however, they can open outward right into the face of a passing pedestrian and break his nose.
Another branch library by Andrew Carnegie’s favorite architectural firm, Alden & Harlow, who also gave us (as Longfellow, Alden & Harlow) the main Carnegie Institute building in Oakland.
Solof’s was a furniture dealer, and there is nothing particularly impressive about this building except that the exterior has hardly changed at all since the building was new. It gives us a very good picture of the commercial South Side of the early twentieth century.
Camera: Canon PowerShot A590 (hacked). The picture below is a fairly large composite.
Father Pitt knows nothing of the history of this building at 23rd Street and Larkins Way other than what is written in the bricks. It appears to be an old church, probably dating from the earliest development of East Birmingham, that was later converted into four tiny houses facing Larkins Way. To judge by the style, the conversion is not recent. And that is about as much as Father Pitt can read in the bricks, so any more information or corrections would be much appreciated.
The Duquesne Brewing Company produced what used to be Pittsburgh’s favorite beer. This old building has had a hard life since the brewery closed; it was taken over by artist squatters for a while, who probably kept it from falling to pieces, but the city has no tolerance for poor squatters who claim buildings that could be redeveloped by rich people. The various attempts at redevelopment seem to get only so far, however. Right now it seems to be in the middle of one of those attempts, and for the building’s sake we may hope that this one succeeds.
No matter how trendy the neighborhood gets, the alleys in the South Side never seem to change: they’re still impossibly narrow and filled with tiny houses in a riot of textures. Above: Larkins Way. Below: Carey Way.