All rights reserved.
Pittsburgh
1950's
ALL THINGS PITTSBURGH
The busy corner of Sixth Street and Liberty Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh.
In the right foreground is a trolley car operated by Pittsburgh Railways Company (PRC).
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
PHOTO RESTORATION DONE BY THE STEELCACTUS FOUNDATION

ADDITIONAL VERBIAGE BY THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
Chatham College
Chatham College was originally founded in 1869 under the name Pennsylvania Female College,
one of the earliest liberal arts colleges for women. In 1890 it became the Pennsylvania College for
Women. Enrollment had doubled by 1940, and Andrew’s son Paul and his wife (who had lived in
the Mellon mansion since 1921) donated their house to the college in that year to be used as a
student center. In 1955 the institution changed its name to Chatham College, in honor of William
Pitt, the first Earl of Chatham. The Laura Falk Hall of Social Studies, the central portion of the
three-part main academic building on the Chatham College campus, is pictured on the right. The
other two portions are the Arthur E. Braun Hall of Administration, and the Coolidge Hall of
Humanities. The building is located on the site of the college’s first building, Berry Hall, and was
built in 1953. Today, Falk Hall houses most of the faculty offices as well as several classrooms.
The non-denominational chapel, now called the “Campbell Memorial Chapel,” (left background)
was built from 1948-1950 and construction of this new chapel was funded by almost $500,000 of
anonymous gifts. The building is located on top of a hill overlooking the center of campus and
Woodland Road. On the inside the auditorium seats over 800 people and the lower floors contain
other smaller rooms used for various purposes. The tower above the chapel used to house
Carillonic bells that would be rung every evening.
Chatham College - Mellon Hall
The ivy-covered Andrew W. Mellon Hall, is presently used by
Chatham College to house many of its administrative offices,
including the President’s office. The structure was originally
built for the Laughlin family (Jones and Laughlin Steel) in 1897,
and Andrew Mellon bought the mansion in 1917 and performed
significant renovations on it, including adding tennis courts,
bowling alleys, and a swimming pool. Chatham College was
originally founded in 1869 under the name Pennsylvania
Female College, one of the earliest liberal arts colleges for
women. In 1890 it became the Pennsylvania College for
Women. Enrollment had doubled by 1940, and Andrew’s son
Paul and his wife (who had lived in the Mellon mansion since
1921) donated their house to the college in that year to be used
as a student center. In 1955 the institution changed its name
to Chatham College, in honor of William Pitt, the first Earl of
Chatham.
The University of Pittsburgh campus, located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, featuring the 42-story Cathedral of Learning (center) the
tallest gothic styled building and second-tallest education building in the world. To the right of the Cathedral is Heinz Chapel (right center), and
beyond it to the right is Mellon Institute with its distinctive pillars.
In the lower left foreground is Forbes Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates until June 28, 1970.
On May 18, 1950, a demolition ceremony was held at the future location of Point State Park to kickoff the beginning of the Renaissance
program aimed at reviving the City of Pittsburgh. During the mid-1940s the Point was in an extreme state of deterioration. The area
included freight yards, a terminal, largely unused railroad tracks, riverbanks littered with debris, and the grand Exhibition Hall that had
held its last show in 1918. The Allegheny Conference on Community Development brokered pollution-control program in the 1940s
explicitly influenced the decision of the Equitable Life Assurance Society to invest in planning the Gateway Center project, which led to the
development of Point State Park. The park was completed in 1974.
Equitable Plaza
The Liberty Tunnels, or the “Liberty Tubes” as they are known locally, were built in 1924. The
Tunnels which have a total length of 5889 feet, helped alleviate the problem of motorists going
over or around Mount Washington to get to the South Hills suburb of Pittsburgh. The boring was
completed in July 1922. By January 1924 the tunnels were substantially complete and opened to
traffic. Officers counted the number of vehicles entering and the hours of use were limited to keep
the exhaust gases from building to dangerous levels. In 1928 a mechanical plant with four tall
stacks was built over the center of the Tubes to draw exhaust and provide a constant supply of
fresh air. Four years after the completion of the Tubes, the Liberty Bridge was completed, opening
on March 27, 1928. The Tubes carried approximately 25,000 vehicles in 1932 and in 2000 the daily
average traffic was 63,027 vehicles.
Phipps Conservatory