|Early Ambridge from across Ohio River|
circa 1905 ?
Laughlin Memorial Library archives
used with permission
This is an view of the beginnings of Ambridge looking to the east from across the Ohio.
I don't have a date for the photo, but the large building mid-photo is the American Bridge office building, built in 1903. Until it was razed in 2014, it stood at Fourth Street and Park Road. The building looks completed in the photo, dating the photo after 1903.
Note the white sidewalk and steps that led from the front (west) side of the office to the "bridge works" mill, the buildings along the riverfront. I don't know if Ohio River Boulevard existed in Allegheny County at that time, but the section of the boulevard between the office and mill buildings wasn't constructed until the mid-1940s.
The broad street in the photo running east-west is Fourth Street, then called Charles Street. Park Road is the street running north-south immediately east of the office building. Across Fourth Street from the office is part of the park that once ran from Fourth to Eighth Street along Park Road. A portion of the park still exists between Seventh and Eighth Streets.
The houses built for the influx of mill workers on the 200 block of Park Road and, above it, Maplewood Avenue, are on the right side of the photo. Many of those homes still exist.
I don't see Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church that was built in 1919 on the corner of Maplewood Avenue and Third Street, furthering narrowing down the era of the photo. But based on the lack of development along Merchant and Fourth Streets in the photo, I'd say the photo is much earlier than that. If you see anything in the photo--or not in the photo--that would help to date it, please leave a comment.
The east side of Ambridge pretty much stops at Merchant Street in the photo except, perhaps, for a bit of Duss Avenue just below the undeveloped hill on the left side. Commercial development has already started on the 400 block of Merchant.
I don't know what the lone building on the hill above the 200 block of Merchant is. If you can identify that building, or any of the others in the photo, please leave a comment.
When I wrote this earlier today, I totally forgot that the Historic Pittsburgh site has a 1906 map of Ambridge showing the locations of buildings. When I get some time, I'll compare that map with the map with the photo.