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Pittsburgh Then and Now (Then & Now)
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:$13.51+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2004
Note well: this book is NOT the popular coffee table book of the same name: PITTSBURGH THEN AND NOW by Professor Arthur Smith (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990). I was confused when I bought my copy. The original book is larger in format and offers more content (350 pages to 144). But while the 1990 book offers black-and-white images, this new version places the black-and-white vintage photos on the left side of the spread, and brilliant full-color contempary photos on the right side. Very nice. Author Walter C. Kidney is the historian for nonprofit Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. He does an excellent job of photo selection. I also like his captions, which are longer and more informative than the 1990 book. Finally, this is a great price for a quality picture book, but my heart sinks to see that it was printed in China, not Pittsburgh, or anywhere USA.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2008
Although the photographs were interesting, I was hoping for a little more in the way of what remained, why a building didn't remain, the history of the buildings, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Walter C. Kidney, <strong>Pittsburgh Then and Now</strong> (Thunder Bay Press, 2004)

In the decade or so since collections of photobooks that are solidly grounded in place became all the rage (think Arcadia Press' Images of America books, or the myriad photobook offerings from The History Press), I've often thought that bookstores, which tend to focus on stocking local fare, are missing some great opportunities where these things are concerned; they've always struck me as being more for the armchair traveller than the local historian (who's probably seen it all anyway). I have lived for the past eighteen years in and around Cleveland, and while the Cleveland books by both presses have interested me, the best of the bunch I've found have been William Burg's excellent works on San Francisco (a city I've never visited) and Lisa Heidinger's thoughtful Arcadia book on Sedona, AZ.

While I have lived in Cleveland all these years, I grew up all over the mid-Atlantic, spending eleven of my formative years in greater Pittsburgh. Walter Kidney's <em>Pittsburgh Then and Now</em> is the first book of this type that's made me understand that there is more to these books than armchair travel; it's the first one that's really dug up that sense of nostalgia in me. Though, I grant you--I last lived in western Pennsylvania in 1990, so there's still an armchair-traveller aspect to my enjoyment of this book, I think.

Be that as it may, the "then and now" aspect of the book is an interesting twist on the usual "here's a batch of old photographs" standard: in this case, the photographs were assembled, and then a recent photograph, taken from as close to the same place and with the same angle as possible, is added for the purposes of comparison. It's a likable conceit, and it gives a much starker indication of how things have changed over the years. Again, I'm pulled back to the armchair-traveler thing, since my own last view of most of these landmarks happened over a decade before the recent pictures were taken, so I have a kind of timeline thing going on here, as well; it makes me think that, while that would be extremely difficult to put together after the fact, a book of photographs by decade of the same spot would be a truly wondrous thing. This one is a good step on the way, though I admit my own mental pictures may have influenced my enjoyment here. Others either more or less familiar with the territory may, probably will, see it differently. *** ½
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2010
This is a book book. The only problem is that a lot of the NOW pictures are currently old. they are no longer there. The history lesson was great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2007
This book places Pittsburgh as it was then on the left pages, and as it is now (although not quite up to date) on the right hand pages. I found it fascinating. There were many names I found from old Pittsburgh that have been used in the city since I can remember - and without this book perhaps I would not be able to clarify how they came to be used. Great resource for anyone who is a Pittsburgh architectural history lover. The Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation does a great job with all the books they publish/publicize. For more about Pittsburgh in book form, go to their website[...]Pittsburgh is a great city that has a lot of valuable architecture, and fortunately, a lot of it has been saved thanks to organizations like Pittsburgh History and Landmarks. This book is definitely worth buying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book as a Christmas gift for my grandfather who grew up and lived most of his life in Pittsburgh. The photos are gorgeous, big, clear and it's neat that they took the same picture decades later. The descriptions of why things were designed one way or why they changed, etc. are interesting to "normal" people, not just archetects or city planners. My grandfather reads some of it every night and loves it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2008
This book is great for anyone who is a diehard Pittsburgh fan! Photos were great and well displayed. Is there a second edition?
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on June 14, 2015
The book is exactly what we wanted as a gift to take overseas. Unfrotunately the packaging was not appropriate and one of the corners got bent.
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on January 30, 2014
love the photos and seeing what has remained and how beautiful the city is. There have been many more changes since this book was published, butt it is a nice view of the history of our city!
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on June 20, 2015
I love Pittsburgh. There are pubs that show a grimier city, but this one does a good job of showing the terrific job that Pittsburgh has done of building a post-Carnegie city.
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