You’ll never guess what once stood at the Point over 100 years ago. You will never guess. Read until the very end to have your mind blown.
Let me explain.
No, is too much.
Let me sum up and then we’ll go storm the castle, Inigo.
A long time ago, reader Chris sent me a link to a Google Maps-like version of an old Pittsburgh map. He sent me the link last April, and I finally found time today to click on the link after flagging it as important almost one year ago.
That’s right. It is currently taking me almost a year to get to “important” things. I’m going to write a book about time management and prioritizing and it will be called Time Management and Prioritizing: What Not to Do and When Not to Do It.
It will be a best-seller and not just because I will put pictures of boobs in it.
Anyway! So I was deep inside of the old Pittsburgh map, sort of virtually walking the old streets of Pittsburgh when I happened near the Point where I was having fun punting 100-year-old pigeons, and I saw something called the Exposition Building.
Right on the Allegheny River.
I knew instantly I needed to hunt down some old photos of the Exposition Building. What went on there? Who went there? What was it like? Have we invented TIME TRAVEL YET?
So the first thing I found was this 1900 photo of a slum near the Point, with the Exposition Building in the background (click for embiggens):
I see you there.
I love how well-dressed they are, even in a slum.
Here’s another view, looking across the Allegheny from the North Side with Mt. Washington in the distance, if I’ve got my bearings right, and let’s be honest, I might not. I lose my bearings after I make two turns. I have a two-turn bearings-maintaining limit. It’s a thing.
Here we are in 1916, workers building the Point Bridge, or maybe that’s the Union Bridge. Damn it. I lost my bearings and I didn’t even make a turn. New record.
Anyway, the Exposition Building is in the background:
This picture gives you a REAL good look at where it was located. Mt. Washington in the background, Point Bridge on the left, and Manchester Bridge on the right.
And then I saw this and my mind went KABLOOEY! Now, you’re standing on Mt. Washington, and that’s the Manchester Bridge, with the Exposition Building to the right and do you see that? Look closer.
Here’s a look in a 1905 picture:
That is a roller coaster at the Point!
A roller coaster!
AT THE POINT!
How much do you love that?!
As much as me?!
Do you want to hug?!
As far as I can tell, it would have been right about … here:
How cool is that?
You can read more about the Exposition building here, and learn how it nurtured the growing popularity of hockey in Pittsburgh. There was also a merry-go-round, ice skating rink, music hall and lots lots more.
So that’s my big discovery — summed up. Maybe you already knew? But I didn’t so I had to share it with you.
I tell you one thing, if they do invent time travel, there is no way in HELL I’m ever getting on a roller coaster in 1905 because I imagine it is would be held together with spit, soot, and hope.
Now. Let’s go storm the castle.
Also, Spit Soot and Hope would be a kickass band name.