1954, Residential Neighborhood Development for area north of North Ave, North Side

10 Jan

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The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Social and Urban Research just published these fascinating maps of a 1954 plan to demolish basically every Central Northside home, between Allegheny General Hospital and Birghton Ave, and replace them with large high rise apartments. “If completed, virtually all of the housing stock of the Central Northside would have been replaced by nearly five thousand individual housing units projected to be part of just 16 megalithic residential structures.”

You can almost imagine yourself wandering around the soulless plazas surrounded by a wall of modernist high rises.

Go over to Pitt’s site to see the individual maps in high resolution.


Sketch of Defenses of Pittsburgh, 1863

2 Jan

Just discovered this newish Instagram account, called civilwarpittsburgh that has some amazing history of the City’s role in the war between the states.

For instance, there were several forts built around town, some were earthen and constructed by residents “stricken with absolute fear” of a Confederate invasion.

Below is a picture of the remains of Fort Croghan, sitting above Stanton Heights.

Head over to civilwarpittsburgh for more info and history, and be sure to give them a follow. Definitely looking forward to more from this account.


1897: Press Popular Bicycle Route No. 15 – A Short Jaunt

14 Dec

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During the first bike boom of the 1890s, the Pittsburg(h) Press produced a weekly Sunday series of popular bike routes around Pittsburgh. All are accompanied by a map, some images, and a description that provides a delightful snapshot into the pre-auto era Pittsburgh.

For instance, this particular one, about a “Short Jaunt” around Wilkinsburg, Swissvale and Edgewood includes this ditty:

“There are few short runs about the two cities that appeal very strongly to wheelmen, fewer that are looked upon with any great degree of pleasure by the fair sex, but there are some really charming runs. Probably one of the most delightful jaunts and one that is most popular with the Pittsburg riders of both sex is out to “Mrs. Wagner’s place,” as it used to be known. It is called the Palmer house now, or the Cyclers’ Resort, and is situated near the station at Swissvale, about eight miles from Pittsburg. There are large elegant grounds about the house and every evening cyclists can be seen lounging on the benches under the big trees after they have done justice to a chicken and waffle supper. It is a delightful place in the cool of the evening, almost charming.”

Popular Bicycle Route No. 10- Pittsburg to Butler and Harmony, 1897

14 Dec

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Another in the “Popular Bicycle Route” series that the Pittsburg Press ran during the height of the first bike boom.

Squirrel Hill Home Sites Above the Smoke and Dirt, 1897

14 Dec

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Above is an advert and map showing some lots to build a home on Beechwood Boulevard, presumably above the “Smoke and Dirt.”

I’m digging the amenities that they are offering, like trees, Schenley Park, rapid transit, and two car lines: fare 5 cents.

2010 Census Tracts

6 Dec

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The Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC) re-released a pretty census tract map of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Bookmark this one.


Bridges of Pittsburgh – never the same bridge twice

9 Nov

This is a fun CMU affiliated project that attempts to “discover how many of Pittsburgh’s 446 bridges can be traversed without crossing the same bridge twice.”

From the organizers:

In 1736, mathematician Leonard Euler proved it was impossible to walk through the German city of Königsberg crossing each of the city’s seven bridges exactly once. His work, famously dubbed the “Bridges of Königsberg” problem, laid the foundation for graph theory and network analysis, and foreshadowed the invention of topology. We intend to create an expanded, more complex version of this famous study using Pittsburgh’s 446 bridges (Regan 2006).

Check it out here.

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