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Pittsburgh Then and Now Paperback – March 28, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Readers are fascinated with "then and now" photo studies, in which a view from a bygone era contrasts with the same scene as it exists today. This approach is also valuable to the planner or social historian. With its history of dynamic urban renewal, Pittsburgh is most appropriate for a "rephotographic survey." This book covers 161 sites encompassing most landmarks of the city. Fewer panoramas and more street-level closeups of the neighborhoods would have added variety and a welcome note of humanity to the views. Although the author considers this a book of record, not interpretation, some captions are overly brief, and add little to the photos. Despite its drawbacks, the book is a useful supplement to the standard histories, such as Stefan Lorant's Pitts burgh: The Story of an American City (LJ 6/15/65).
- Stephen Rees, Bucks Cty. Free Lib., Levittown, Pa.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Uptown, downtown, North Side, Southside: Pittsburgh Then and Now evokes nostalgic feelings for newcomers as well as natives. . . . Smith's Pittsburgh is a treasure.”
--Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822959291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822959298
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,547,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Paul M Pleczkowski on April 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Pittsburgh Then and Now is one of the best pictoral historical books around. Everybody knows about the history of steel in Pittsburgh but few know about its local history. This book is one that tells both stories. The pictures shown range from the steel mills of the Pittsburgh area, to the different steps of the city. Each picture of the past is contrasted with a picture of the present.
During each scene there is a brief explaination about the history of the change, although each picture could easily be explained in more detail. Even though these explainations may not be in great depth they help you to decide what area of history you may want to research, such as the steel mills, the north side, or the bridges.
This book is one that I would recommend to anyone who would like to see the history of Pittsburgh. Each picture gives you a feeling of what many long time residents of Pittsburgh viewed during its change.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Orchowski on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 27 year old son decided to spend a long weekend with his 86 year young grandfather in Pittsburgh. The "Then" and "Now" photos enabled old memories and Pittsburgh's progress to be on common ground between them. Of particular interest are the early pictures of the steel production complete with the "smoke" (what we called it in the 1950s, now understood to be toxic pollution), so obvious in the old photos. Many of the photos also confirm my impression that Pittsburgh, like many of the rust belt cities, had a certain flair that newer cosmopolitan areas lack. All in all, the three of us enjoyed the weekend together, contrasting then and now.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. on July 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a fantastic guide to all Pittsburghers, and everyone else, everywhere else. I am an interior design and architecture student and this was one of the most helpful books to not only learn about my city, but to learn about who designed each building, when it was erected, and if/when it was torn down.

It contains some of the best photographs of Pittsburgh, past and present, and really makes you realize how much this city has changed. I would recommend this to anyone, whether you can read or not, whether you have been in Pittsburgh or have lived here your entire life, if youre an architecture student, or just like old time photos of how things used to be.

A must have book. I bought one originally for a friend in Philly as a "hint" to come to Pittsburgh, and have since bought one for myself, my grandparents, and family out in California.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was slightly disappointed that every single page only uses half of the page. At the very top of each page is a short description, and at the bottom is a picture. The comparison photographs are done on separate pages so that on the left page is the old photograph and on the right is the newer. This leaves the entire top half of every page completely empty.

This was extremely distracting to me as I flipped through the book. Not only does it seem like I waste of paper, but it just feels unnatural to view. The book could have put the only and new at the top and bottom, like on the cover, or done two side by side comparisons. Either way, the current set up just takes what could have been a very beautiful book and makes it feel like a chore in a way. Maybe it is something I would get used to, but as a coffee table book, it shouldn't require time to enjoy.

This is all obviously my opinion though. The pictures are enjoyable and numerous. The descriptions are informative without going into too much detail. Only the formatting ruins it for me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Photos are interesting and fun for history buffs like me. Definitely a conversation starter. But the book was published in 1990. so it's more like Pittsburgh, Then and Later--not quite NOW. I'm happy with the purchase, and will be on the hunt for more current books of this type.
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