These are Pittsburgh’s lost buildings. They are the ghosts of Pittsburgh’s romantic, historic past. We can’t visit them now. We can only be haunted by the everlasting effects of “progress” that deemed these buildings disposable. The next time you walk down Smithfield Street, remember the Old Post Office and City Hall. All we have in their place is a parking garage and a small black building that looks like a shoebox.
“Urban Renewal” efforts of the 1950s and 1960s attempted to remold America’s old urban city centers into suburban-like office parks, and in the process destroyed countless irreplaceable historic buildings and neighborhoods forever.
Pittsburgh is the seat of Allegheny County and with a population of 307,484 is the second-largest city in the U.S. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With a metropolitan CSA population of 2,661,369, it’s the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia and the 22nd-largest in the U.S. Pittsburgh is known as both “the Steel City” for its more than 300 related businesses and “the City of Bridges” for its world record 446 bridges. The city also features 29 skyscrapers, two inclined railways, a pre-revolutionary fortification, and the source of the Ohio at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny. This vital link of the Atlantic coast and the Mid-west cuts through the mineral-rich Alleghenies and made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Virginia, Whiskey Rebels, Civil War raiders and media networks.