Design for the City-County Building

This rendering was published in 1916, before the building opened in 1917; but this is how the City-County Building still looks today. “Diamond Street” is now part of Forbes Avenue, except for the remnant of the outer end that veers off Forbes for one scraggly diagonal block to meet Fifth Avenue.


The Joseph Horne Department Store was Pittsburgh’s second-biggest (after Kaufmann’s, “The Big Store,” now Macy’s). The original 1897 building was designed by Boston architects Peabody & Stearns, also responsible for the Liberty Market (now Motor Square Garden) in East Liberty; additions over the next few decades greatly expanded the store. It was still going strong in the 1980s, when it was connected by a pedestrian bridge to the new Fifth Avenue Place shopping arcade; but the Horne’s chain was sold to Lazarus, which closed this store after it built a new store on Fifth Avenue, and then closed the new store down a few years later.

The building still stands, though, and you can see on the corner the brackets that hold the famous Horne’s Christmas tree, an enduring holiday tradition that has survived the demise of two department-store chains.

Gateway Towers

This Brezhnev-era apartment building from 1964 has little to recommend it architecturally, but is there a finer location in the city? Point State Park is the front yard; the Gateway subway station is next door; the Cultural District is just up the street.

Camera: Olympus E-20n.

Second-Empire Building in Lower Lawrenceville

The front of this building is a narrow storefront, with upstairs apartments, on Butler Street; but it goes way back, and here we see the 37th Street side. The mansard roof marks it as the Second Empire style, named for its prevalence in the French empire of Napoleon III.

The Lower Lawrenceville business district was practically abandoned ten years ago; now it is a lively place, with trendy restaurants, cafes, and shops.

This one huge extreme-wide-angle picture is put together from nine separate photographs, and a few stitching errors are apparent if you look at it full-sized.

Chapel Shelter, Riverview Park

The Chapel Shelter is so named because it began life as a little Presbyterian church. It fell into disrepair, and was very nearly demolished a few years ago; but a restoration project has made this picnic shelter the gem of the park again.

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.