The City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers, and the Ohio in the 1800s was commonly referred to as the “Gateway to the West.” The River flows west to Illinois where it meets the Mississippi River and was a nautical route for land settlers heading in that direction.
This angled parking lot in Pittsburgh was once used as a gathering spot for cargo and passengers that boarded steam ships that traveled through the City. Earlier photos taken of this area show it filled with goods and supplies waiting to loaded on steamships in the background.
At some point in time during the twenties or thirties, it became a parking lot, and this view courtesy of the Library of Congress was taken of it in 1938 by Arthur Rothstein. The noted photographer was working for the Farm Security Administration at the time, photo documenting the trying times of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and how both affected the nation and citizens.
Note the Iron City Beer sign on the hill in the distance – Pittsburgh has been known as the “Steel City” since the late-1930s, but was named the “Iron City” in earlier times. Andrew Carnegie and his business partners introduced the Bessemer steel-making process to the City in the late-1800s and its more durable metal that eventually led to the name change.
Tell us what you find of interest in the expandable parking lot photograph below.