Monday, July 10, 2017

American Bridge Office building, early design

The Real Estate Trust Co. of Pittsburgh, with an office at the corner of Park Rd. and Fifth St. in Ambridge, had the job of selling the new town of Ambridge to potential businesses and residents. Among the real estate company's efforts were full page ads touting the "Marvel City" in the Pittsburg Press and a multi-page sales brochure, "Ambridge, Reasons for Her Coming Greatness." The brochure is undated, but because it describes the very early stages of the building of the American Bridge Co. plant and Ambridge's infrastructure, I believe it was written in 1903.

The brochure had a number of photos of the early preparations for the new town, including a sketch of the American Bridge office that was then under construction--topped by a clock tower in the center of the roof. Seeing that sketch was the first I learned that the plans for the office had once included a clock tower. I don't know why the clock tower was never built, but it's a shame, as it would have added to the handsomeness of the office.

None of the photos in the brochure reproduced well, but I wanted to share the sketch with you, even if it's barely satisfactory:

Sketch of planned American Bridge office
"Ambridge, Reasons for Her Coming Greatness."
Real Estate Trust Co.

The caption under the sketch says:
Magnificent engineering headquarters, now building in Ambridge, where 800 engineers and draughtmen of the American Bridge Co. will be installed by Jan. 1.
Here's what the office building looked like under construction:

American Bridge Co. office building under construction
courtesy Gary Augustine

Here's a postcard showing what the office looked like shortly after completion:

"Office American Bridge Works--Ambridge, PA"
circa 1903

The office building was razed in 2014.

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