Pittsburgh – Then and Now

I have always been a fan of old photographs of cities, especially Pittsburgh. Since we had lived near there much of our lives, I always found it fascinating to see what was once there, so one day I took a bunch of old photos I found online (Pittsburgh History website), printed them out, and tried to line up the ‘today’ shot.

Given that many of the old buildings are still there I had hints to getting the correct angle and size. The ‘today’ photos are actually from 2009 so I am certain there have been  a few changes, but I recently rediscovered this post and realized it needed edited.

 

Then – Forbes Field   Now – University of Pittsburgh Law Library

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Mon Wharf – note a few of the smaller buildings along the river are still there. 

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Kaufmanns – Sadly since 2009 this venerable store has closed

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6th Street – you can still get lunch on the corner, only now it is a 7-11.

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Another 6th Street view closer to the bridge

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Smithfield Street Bridge

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7th and Smithfield

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Smallman Street in the Strip

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The Mon Wharf from the Smithfield Street Bridge – They still park on the Wharf and the cars still do occasionally get flooded.

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Liberty and Grant – The train station is still the large building on the right, only now it is a small section on the side. 

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Fort Pitt Boulevard and Smithfield Street – The large building in the old photo was another train station, long torn down.

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Forbes Avenue in Oakland – The large building in the background is the Cathedral of Learning – built in the late 1920s early 1930s.

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Boulevard of the Allies & Smithfield Street – amazingly little change here.

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Forbes Avenue near Pitt – no 15 cent gas now.

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Boulevard of the Allies ramp to the Liberty Bridge

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Civic Arena – Sadly too this one of a kind building was torn down, yet to be replaced by anything other than a lame parking lot. Tearing this down was the equivalent of taking down the original Penn Station in Manhattan.

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Fort Duquesene Boulevard and the Allegheny River Bridges

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Fifth Avenue in Oakland

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Forbes Avenue towards Market Square. This too has changed significantly since 2009. 

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Fourth Avenue & Smithfield

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The Point from Mount Washington – Pittsburgh has had one of the most impressive transformations in the world, from an old steel town to a center of education and research.

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Penn Avenue

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Gateway Center – This was the start of the Renaissance of Pittsburgh.

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Liberty Avenue

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PJ McCardle Roadway and Grandview Avenue

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Craig Street in Oakland

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Washington DC – June 2018 – Museum of American History

Our final stop was the Museum of American History, also known as America’s attic. There is so much to see starting with – Children’s TV icons…

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A shirtless George Washington?

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A tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.

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Early computers.

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Early money.

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Commercial advertising standards.

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Batman’s ride.

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A collection of model ships.

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Washington DC streetcar.

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In the transportation hall they had a couple of displays of life in the 1950s.

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And a feature of the growth of the suburbs.

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Julia Child’s kitchen.

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And her awards.

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Early telegraph.

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The random eagle.

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A section about Latino’s in America included this cool Statue of Liberty only featuring a Latino woman holding tomatoes.

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There was a section about democracy in America, including a stunning presentation on voting in America, and how often people have tried to control who can vote so they can stay in power – it sadly continues to this day.

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Presidential election tchotchkes.

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A 1940s voting machine.

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A collection of protest signs.

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Another room housed mechanical items – an early sweeper.

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Finally in the presidential section was a collection of street signs named after presidents. The Museum of American History is a sensory overload – in my opinion it is second to Air & Space for museums in DC.

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Bellevue, Ohio – May 2018 – Mad River and Nickel Plate Railway Museum

While I am a fan of all types of transportation, I am not a train fanatic like some. Still, even though we had recently been to a major train museum in Pennsylvania this Saturday brought up another opportunity to check out one closer to home – The Mad River and Nickel Plate Railway Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.

The drive up to Bellevue paralleled a major rail line, and a stop in the town of Bucyrus to check out their historic station was interrupted as we waited out a 150 car freight trian.

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Eventually we made it to Bellevue and the Mad River – Nickel Plate Railway Museum. The name requires some explanation – Mad River is flows for 70 miles across Ohio. It gained it’s name from the ‘mad rapids’ that occur along much of the river.

The New York, Chicago and St Louis Railway was founded in the 1880s, but was based in Cleveland. It was given the nickname Nickel Plate from a local newspaper who thought it’s financial prospects were ‘nickel plated’ – or very good.

 

 

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The museum has an indoor area with a number of small artifacts including dinnerware and waiter uniforms.

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One of their prized possessions is the bell from the Lincoln Funeral Train.

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In addition to the rail rolling stock they have a couple of nicely restored trucks.

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What sets this rail museum apart from the others is nearly all of the cars are open for inspection, including numerous cabooses.

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Outdoors are many more rail cars – including numerous box cars that house even more artifacts. Below is a telegraph desk.

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They also have a nice collection of tools – note the ‘track level’

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Many of the cars are connected together to pass between them. All have been restored to original vibrant colors.

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A small station was brought from a nearby town.

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It too is restored to original condition.

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The cars are fairly packed into their yard – but as the rain came this was welcome.

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A manual brake on a car.

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They also have a beautiful postal car.

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As well as some switching lights.

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A diesel locamotive.

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The venting on the side gave it an aerodynamic feel.

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Literally across the tracks was an area with a few more restored cars, as well as a couple un-restored ones next to some cool giant, empty concrete silos.

2018 05 19 196 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

But alas we have reached the end of the road. This rail museum is well worth the visit, with their great collections in the rolling stock that allow you to actually go in and check them out.

Given that Bellevue is on multiple active rail lines the constant train whistles in the background made it even better. It was all very cool.

2018 05 19 205 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

Hershey, PA – May 2018 – Antique Automobile Club of America

The Antique Automobile Club of America built a nice transportation museum near Hershey, Pennsylvania. More commonly known as the ACCA Museum, it houses a number of automobiles, trucks, buses and motorcycles.

Currently the very cool Hershey Kissmobile is displayed at the front entrance.

 

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The building has 3 levels, with a nice lobby featuring a beautiful ragtop.

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Many of the cars are located within themes.

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The museum has a nice mix of automobiles and trucks – all restored to original condition.

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A full Atlantic Gas Station is displayed, complete with the Service Truck.

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The lower level features the Bus Museum.

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Their current primary exhibit is on Tuckers.

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Three fully restored Tucker’s are shown.

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Cleveland – March 2018 – A Revisit to the Piston Powered Show

Since we have ran out of things to do in Ohio, we are now revisiting some of the better events, including the Piston Powered Show in Cleveland.

Held at the million square foot IX Center, this event features ‘anything with a piston’ including cars, boats, planes, motorcycles, snowmobiles and others.

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A custom bike

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Surf’s up on Lake Erie!

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A chopped Beetle.

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As noted, the place is huge – with the airplane being dwarfed by the indoor ferris wheel.

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Some artists were customizing on the spot.

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Lanterns on an antique fire truck.

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The Cleveland Corvette Club.

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Customized 1950s Ford pickup truck.

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Clearly a winner.

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Hey Scoobie…

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Columbus – October 2017 – A Day at the Zoo

The Columbus Zoo was sponsoring a car show, which seems a bit strange, but then again they do commercialize a lot of things.

The cars were quite nice, and with the water park and other amusement rides providing interesting backgrounds, it was a good day for a car show. Plus there were animals later.

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Tacoma, Washington – September 2017 – LeMay Auto Collection

Harold LeMay made his fortune hauling garbage in Tacoma, Washington, but his passion was cars. At his death he owned a record 3000 cars. Today the collection is split into two separate museums.

The first is housed at a formers boys school with a number of buildings.

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The gymnasium make a great setting.

 

 

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Sliding doors!

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The had cars stacked 3 high in some places.

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The second museum was in downtown Tacoma and was more formal.

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A Rambler with a Ferrari engine.

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