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Pittsburgh
1950's
ALL THINGS PITTSBURGH
The 200 block of Dunseith Street in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood.
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
KENNYWOOD PARK
During the early twentieth century there were more than fifty amusement parks in southwestern Pennsylvania, many of which were located near Pittsburgh. The region became a
hub for innovation in amusement park rides and attractions, including parks in West View, Homestead, Monroeville, Moon Township, Wilkinsburg, and Oakland. Neville Island
even boasted its own version of Coney Island. Many of these attractions did not last past the 1910s. Kennywood Park made its debut in 1899 as a trolley park and picnic facility. It is
the longest running and most famous amusement park in the Pittsburgh area. Kennywood was located in the Pittsburgh suburban locality of West Mifflin and was built on land
owned by Andrew Kenny, who allowed the Monongahela Street Railway Company to lease his property and build a trolley park. When the park first opened, it featured a casino, a
merry-go-round, and dance pavilion. Kennywood and Idlewild Park are the two longest surviving amusement parks in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.
CARLTON HOUSE
The construction site being prepared for the Carlton House on Bigelow Boulevard
(foreground) and Sixth Avenue with Grant Street to the right and Court Place, known as
Wylie Avenue for a length of time, to the rear, in downtown Pittsburgh before the
redevelopment of the entire Lower Hill. Opening in 1952, the Carlton was the first new
hotel built downtown in 20 years. The Carlton was a prestige address and hosted a
variety of famous people including Mohammed Ali, the Rolling Stones, Richard Nixon,
Nikita Khrushchev, and Lassie. The Hotel was imploded in 1980.
WATCH THE IMPLOSION
Doctor Jonas Salk
FITZGERALD FIELD HOUSE
KENNYWOOD PARK
LEFT: Children riding the “Racer” at Kennywood Park. The Racer, built by John Miller in the late 1920s, was the third roller coaster at Kennywood and replaced the park’s original
Racer. The Racer is 73 feet tall and 2,250 feet long and is the last remaining continuous-track racing roller coaster in the United States. It is a single-track ride leaving from the
right-hand side of the station and returning on the left-hand side.

RIGHT: In 1927 a new carousel was added at Kennywood Park. This ride featured sixty-four hand-carved horses, a lion, a tiger, four chariots, and fourteen hundred lights. A 1916
Wurlitzer band organ provides the music for the carousel. William Dentzel, who carved the first carousel at Kennywood, built it for the Philadelphia Sesquicentennial Exposition of
1926. The ride was not ready to debut at the Exposition and consequently was offered to Kennywood Park. The park purchased the carousel for $25,000, but later realized that it
was too large, 54 feet in diameter, to be housed in the existing carousel building. A new $10,000 steel building was built next to the old carousel pavilion (later converted into a
food service facility) to accommodate the large structure. The carousel is listed as a historic landmark.
Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation (J&L)
Homes and storefronts in Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood before the expansion by the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation (J&L). This area was given to John Ormsby by
the Queen of England for service in the French and Indian War. The town was created by Ormsby’s son-in-law who named it Birmingham after his home city in England. Following
the war Admiral Ben Moreell served as president (1947-1952), and then chief executive officer (1952-1958), overseeing a post war modernization program to rehabilitate J&L
plants and equipment after wartime overuse. In his “Plant Improvement Program,” which he introduced in December of 1950, Moreell established a plan to create new power
sources, improve upon raw material handling, and increase speed of production. The depressed steel market of the 1970s led to a rapid decline in steel production in the
Pittsburgh area. The corporation soon began demolishing older factories with no intention of rebuilding. By 1989 most of the South Side Works and the Eliza Furnaces across the
Monongahela River were leveled. In the 1990s the few remaining buildings serve as a distant memory of the thriving community these factories surrounded.
Buildings on Fourth Street and Penn Avenue near the Point before construction began on the Gateway Center project.
Pennsylvania Railroad lines (left) are visible along with the Black Diamond Coffee & Tea Company, and the Pittsburgh Case
Sales Company, pictured in the foreground on Penn Avenue. The Point Bridge (left background) and the Manchester Bridge
(right background) are also pictured.
HOTEL HENRY
July 16, 1956 - Early in 1950 demolition took place in downtown Pittsburgh to make way for
the new U.S Steel-Mellon Building, now 525 William Penn Place. Here the old Hotel Henry
on Fifth Avenue is in the process of being razed. All the buildings in the foreground would
eventually be razed, leaving only the Mellon Bank Building, which can be seen in the left
foreground at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street. In the background (left, across
Smithfield Street) is the Park Building. The tall building (center, background) is the Oliver
Building.
Doctor Jonas Salk (center) arrived in Pittsburgh in 1947 to head the virus research center at the University of Pittsburgh. His expertise for
battling viruses was developed while he created a flu vaccine for the United States military. Soon after this achievement, Dr. Salk was
offered the opportunity to develop a vaccine against polio. This disease infected nearly 38,000 people each year in the 1940s and the early
1950s. After ten years of work, Dr, Salk, along with the work of other researchers and three strains of the dead polio virus, successfully
vaccinated more than 400,000 children, including three of his own. By 1960, the incidence of polio had dropped by ninety percent. Doctor
Jonas Salk died in 1995 having dedicated the last years of his life finding a vaccine for AIDS. Salk Hall, located on the University of
Pittsburgh campus, was named in honor of Dr. Salk.