Friday, March 27, 2015

The Pittsburgh Buildings of Henry W. Oliver

The Henry W. Oliver Building, located in Pittsburgh's downtown business district, was completed in 1910. It was designated as a historic landmark in 1974. I worked in this building for 10 years and, while I still remember the slow elevators, I can appreciate it's history.
Henry W. Oliver Building
From Pittsburgh, How to See It, 1916

According to probate records, Henry W. Oliver died on February 8, 1904. His will, which can be viewed on FamilySearch, indicates his wishes with respect to the erection of buildings in Pittsburgh:

"Having in my lifetime offered to the City of Pittsburgh, a certain lot of ground situated on the Northwestern corner of Tenth and Bingham Streets, Pittsburgh, for the erection of a Public Bath House, together with an endowment for the support of the same, I hereby authorize and direct my Trustees to carry out my said offer during the existence of this Trust, if in their judgement the best interest of my estate will allow then to do so; if the offer cannot be carried out by the said Trustees during the existence of this Trust, I request my wife and daughter to carry out said offer as soon as convenient after the termination of the Trust.
I further authorize and empower my said Trustees to improve my real estate by erecting such buildings and structures as shall seem best to them and to make such contracts, bonds or instruments of any kind as shall be necessary for the purpose."

The bath house he mentioned in his will became known as the Oliver Bath House and still exists today as a community swimming pool. It is located in Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood and was presented to the city on June 17, 1915. (Love the old car parked next to the building!)

Oliver Bath House
From The American City, 1915

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