Note: When Patti went with ‘The Letter A’ for last week’s challenge, for some reason I thought it was going to be a rundown of the letters of the alphabet for the upcoming challenges. I decided to get a jump on things and went out to get shots for what I thought was going to be ‘The Letter B’ this week. So if the challenge theme was ‘The Letter B’, this is what I would have posted 🙂
This week we move onto the next letter in the alphabet for the challenge and that is the letter B. I was going to take the easy route and go with baseball but I decided to make a visit to a local historical steel town instead and get some shots for the challenge this week. The town is Braddock, Pennsylvania.
The town was named after General Edward Braddock back in 1755 which unfortunately was the year he was ambushed and killed there during the French and Indian war.
I grew up in a neighboring town and I remember Braddock being the place to shop. It was a popular alternative to going to downtown Pittsburgh.
This was one of the coolest buildings in Braddock..an eight story furniture store. The second floor curved blocked window was clear glass and displayed furniture that you could see from the street. The building is being renovated now as apartments and they fixed up the original sign and are leaving it on the building…nice!
Hollanders ( I remember going into this place as a kid to buy comic books…it was a pharmacy back then.) Now it’s being used as a co-working space for female entrepreneurs in the area. The shot on the right is how it looked back in the 50’s or 60’s. Businesses of all kinds opened up shop all along Braddock Avenue…furniture stores, jewelers, banks, restaurants, bars, hotels, clothing, hardware, two movie theaters, car dealers, doctor’s offices and a large hospital.
During the 70s the perfect storm hit Braddock…people started moving to the suburbs, shopping malls were being built, the steel industry was collapsing and as people moved out, crime and drugs moved in. Many of the old structures have been or are being demolished. It’s sad to see there are almost as many empty spaces between buildings as there are buildings now. But there has been a glimmer of hope coming from the community the past few years as new businesses have started to move in to see if they can bring the old town back to life.
Finally, a gem that Andrew Carnegie left the town…the first Carnegie Library built in the United States back in 1888.
It came real close to meeting the wrecking ball as it fell in disrepair during the 80’s but thanks to the hard work by the Braddock’s Field Historical Society, they were able to save it and in 2012 it was named a National Historic Landmark.
Hope you enjoyed a look at one of Pennsylvania’s truly historic towns. I suggest you also check out the posts for the actual theme that Amy came up with for this week, Precious Moments’ at The World Is A Book 🙂