PART I: The Down Town District|
Pittsburgh: Main Thoroughfares and The Down Town District
Frederick Law Olmsted report to The Pittsburgh Civic Commission, 1910
as to the local effect of the proposed cut, -- its influence on land values, and the share of the cost which ought to be borne by abutters, -- the fact stands out that the City as a whole needs the improvement in order to clear an obstruction from some of its most important general highways. Another fact, seen clearly from this larger point of view, is that the essential matter is to secure a radical reduction of the maximum gradients on the three great thoroughfare lines, Sixth Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and Diamond Street, even though the minor streets on the margins of the Hump be skimped. Detailed recommendations, as to gradients, etc., are discussed in Part V and are embodied in the accompanying plans and profiles.
Grant Boulevard Extension
Only one other thoroughfare problem is involved with the "Hump Cut," that of Grant Boulevard extension. Since the grade of Webster Avenue will be considerably lowered in connection with the "Hump Cut'" and the buildings along its lower end greatly damaged in any case, by far the best plan for Grant Boulevard is to carry it straight through to Webster Avenue and to widen the lower end of the latter to 60 feet, as far as Grant Street. The widening of Oliver Avenue to 50 feet between Grant and Smithfield Streets, and the possible widening of Strawberry Way, would, together with existing streets, provide adequate means of distribution for the large number of automobiles using the boulevard, and would at the same time create a decided local improvement.
Diagram showing the distribution of automobiles coming in town on Grant Boulevard
A Civic Center
The location of a Civic Center, where the city offices can be grouped tn a convenient and dignified manner, ought to connect with the main transportation lines. It ought, if possible, to embrace the county buildings. It ought, if possible, to occupy land which is not of such high cost as to preclude the setting apart of the open space which is requisite to the highest dignity and beauty of public buildings.