Category Archives: Bluff

parting shot: bluff

Extended, hopefully not too ridiculous, metaphor: Bluff is like an older Mercedes, once a luxury item now mostly ignored, partially covered, showing some signs of rust but still shining pretty brightly, sitting in a neglected lot near the river, with … Continue reading

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further improvements

After biking around for a bit, I struck up a conversation with a man who turned out to be heavily involved in Bluff’s renovation. He was planting flowers in what used to be an empty lot. He told me that … Continue reading

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fifth avenue

Fifth Avenue is the northern border of Bluff. In this shot, an entirely blighted block is in the foreground with downtown Pittsburgh in the background. As you drive eastward from Duquesne’s campus, the number of vacant storefronts increases as does … Continue reading

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duquesne university

A discussion of Bluff wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Duquesne University which occupies around 50 acres towards the western part of the neighborhood. The steeple you see in the picture is on the Old Main administration building and was the … Continue reading

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come on pittsburgh: fifth avenue high school

The Fifth Avenue High School was built in 1894 and was open for schooling until 1976. The building housed the Alpha Chapter of the National Honor Society and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. So why is … Continue reading

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public art in bluff

Central to many urban revitalization projects is an abundance of public art. Bluff is full of examples. This mural may be the best I’ve seen in the city: A painting and sculpture outside James Simon’s studio. Simon is one of … Continue reading

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paramount pictures film exchange

I saw this wild doorway on Blvd. of the Allies. Here’s the story. Starting in the 1920s, production companies had film exchanges. These were places that local theater owners could go to preview movies. Pittsburgh’s film exchanges were all located … Continue reading

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