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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