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Pittsburgh ~ 1930's
ALL THINGS PITTSBURGH
THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
In the 1920s, new university chancellor John Gabbert Bowman declared that he had a vision for a centerpiece "tall
building" for the university. The 14-acre Frick Acres property in Oakland was soon purchased and plans for the campus
shifted focus from the hillside to a neo Gothic Revival plan that today comprises the Cathedral of Learning, Heinz
Memorial Chapel, and the Stephen Foster Memorial buildings. By 1925, Bowman had settled on a design by Charles
Klauder for the "tall building": an attention-getting 535-foot tower whose great height, with open spaces all around,
would suggest the "character that ought to be in an educated man." The building's "parallel lines going up and up...would
express courage [and] fearlessness" and it would "unify Pittsburgh into a community conscious of its character." The
Cathedral is "cut off" flat at the top to suggest that its lines, like education, have no ending. The building was financed
by donors as well as a campaign to collect dimes from local school children. Bowman was a persuasive leader and
although the Great Depression intervened, the Cathedral of Learning, on which construction was begun in 1926, was
finally finished in 1937. Today, it remains the second-tallest education building in the world (the tallest in the Western
hemisphere) and contains an equally-impressive interior highlighted by 26 nationality rooms.
PITTSBURGH CRAWFORDS & HOMESTEAD GRAYS THRIVED THROUGH THE THIRTIES
The Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays were Negro League franchises based in Pittsburgh. Both teams played at Forbes Field
during the majority of their history, and both were perennial title contenders capturing as many as 14 titles with 12 future baseball Hall of
Famers between them. The Grays were founded by Cumberland Posey in 1912 and survived baseball integration until disbanding after the
1950 season. The Grays fieled 12 future hall of famers and qualified for six straight Negro League World Series and seven total winning three of
them throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Prior to the creation of the series the Grays captured several back to back league titles. Where the Grays
succeeded in consistency (using Washington D.C. as a secondary "home" market to raise funds in their last decade of play) the Pittsburgh
Crawfords were arguably the best team ever fielded if only for less than a decade. From 1931 to 1938 Gus Greenlee assembled a squad of five
future hall of famers and won what some researchers have determined to be six straight titles--though some in the era before the World Series
are contested. The Crawfords even built the first exclusive Negro League stadium in Greenlee Field as an alternative to Forbes Field. Always
under pressure from the Great Depression and war rationing the Crawfords sold off much their talent in 1937 and 1938, many of whom fueled
the Grays dynasty a few seasons later. Just as the Crawfords before them and all Negro League teams facing integration with Major League
Baseball the times of championship caliber baseball as entertainment and sport in Pittsburgh would come to an end within a generation. For
the baseball fans of the 1930s and 1940s however no city could match Pittsburgh's variety and quality in the sport.
ABOUT THESE PHOTOS:
ALL PHOTOS ON THE 1930 SITE WERE TAKEN FROM THE PITT DIGITAL LIBRARY
http://digital.library.pitt.edu/pittsburgh/

PHOTOS RESTORED TO THEIR ORIGINAL BRILLANCE BY THE STEELCACTUS FOUNDATION
A Wreck on the Boulevard of Allies
BATTLESHIP PITTSBURGH