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Frederick Law
report to the
Pittsburgh Civic Commission

Main Thoroughfares and The
Down Town District"

00 Cover Page

00 Contents

01 Down Town

02 Main

03 Surveys and
   a City Plan

04 Parks and

05 Special

06 Index

PART I: The Down Town District
Pittsburgh: Main Thoroughfares and The Down Town District
Frederick Law Olmsted report to The Pittsburgh Civic Commission, 1910

page 5

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The Down Town District

The Main Arteries

The down town district is substantially that part of the city known as the Point District. It is bounded by the two rivers and by the steep hills to the eastward and within this section of the city, as elsewhere, the basic problem is that of the means of transportation -- specifically the problem of the street plan. There is a daily circulation of inward and outward travel to be borne by a limited number of main arteries, of which those leading to most of the tributary districts are bridges. It is clear that the bridges can be enlarged or increased in number at any time when the volume of travel justifies the expense of reconstruction.

Considering the fact that Pittsburgh is a world capital in the steel bridge industry, that its busiest quarters are sundered by three of the world's big rivers, and that it is traversed in every direction by ravines which demand the construction of mighty viaducts, it is a striking and rather shameful thing that it does not possess a single bridge over its rivers that is notable among the bridges of the world either for its beauty, for its perfect engineering adaptation to its purpose, for its size, strength or amplitude. In fact, the bridges of Pittsburgh, compared with those of other great cities, are rather unusually limited in capacity and lacking in the qualities of impressiveness and beauty.


A one-span bridge across the Danube at Budapest

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Last modified on 22-Dec 1999
Design format: copyright 1997-1999 Bruce S. Cridlebaugh
Original document: Frederick Law Olmsted, 1910