King's Bargain Store in the East End. Notice the price of gas?
Beralducci Bros Manufacturing Company on the East Side. Malcom Berger writes "That is Berarducci Brothers who used to be on 5th Ave, one block east of Coursin (can't remember that street name). They made all kinds of pasta machines and meat grinders, etc. food processing machines. Used to walk past their showroom windows a lot."
Shrader's, Verdi and Scott Janitor Supplies and Hartman's Hardware (718 5th Ave) on 5th Ave
Looks like Memorial Theater in left background on 5th Ave. Notice the cost of a breakfast on the right. Tom O'Neil writes "That is G.C. Murphy's cafeteria again. Murphy's also had a large restaurant on the second floor. The largest in town.
On the G.C. Murphy cafeteria photo with Memorial in background, the alley is Tube Works Alley. Has anyone ever been in a more classy movie house than the Memorial Theater? That place was like a European opera house. Being torn down and not saved as a National Historic Site is a disaster. Fancy carpeting, statues, architecture, wow, what a place it was. Just its entrance from Fifth Avenue to the concession stand was larger than one of the screens today found in the multi-plex theaters. The Memorial and Liberty showed the first run films. The "classy" ones, though they didn't get them until some time after Pittsburgh did. The Victor and Capitol were for the B movies and re-runs."
Harold Blid's Pharmacy
Picture of the infamous "Brick Alley". Brick Alley was noted for it's many "Houses of Prostitution". The first house on the left belonged to my Uncle, David C. Jenkins Jr, which was a house of prostitution. The next house belonged to Gladys Ailstock. She ran a kinda "speakeasy". The last house on left belonged to Bessie Moore, which was a house of prostitution. The tunneled building was the Peter's Packing Company, which was a meat packing plant. For the sake of accuracy and based on my experiences in that neighborhood I am saying the following: I only remember seeing 2 white prostitutes working in any of the houses there in all the many years I lived at 121 9th. Street. They were only there for a couple of days as I remember. The females that worked and lived in the houses were black. All the "Johns" that visited the prostitutes were white. The city officials knew that the houses were operating as such, but turned their heads. Every once in a while there was a "police raid" but it was for political reasons as the whole neighborhood knew when and what houses were going to be "raided". We would sit on our porch at 121 9th to wait for the "Paddy Wagon". Also I remember being in one of my Uncle's house during a Christmas Holiday and seeing City Officials visiting to receive their case of liquor.
Tom O'Neil writes "Gads. Whenever I went out of town as I got older, the first thing people would ask you about or comment on was Brick Alley!!! "I'm from McKeesport, PA. " "Oh, that's where Brick Alley is? "Never failed. My brother was a police lieutenant and as you said the operators were always told of a raid held for public relations purposes and city officials never forgot to go there for their Xmas gifts."
The Club Car Diner on Lysle Blvd
Coursin Street and 5th Ave. Modern Lunch in the middle. Coursin Street sign on right pole. Also notice the shape of the street light globes.
Tom O'Neil writes "The store next to Modern Lunch was McKeesport Candy Company for a time before they moved. They made no candy like Tris Anne on Market Street, but distributed ready made candy to stores, also cigarettes.
Next to the candy store was Clyde Shaw realtors. This was the 2nd largest realtor after William C. Buck in town. Shaw was perhaps in his late 30's or early 40's. He did a lot of rentals and selling in the 5th and 6th Wards. He had a good reputation as opposed to Buck. My Dad had no use for Buck. He used to talk how he was what we'd call a "slum lord" and he'd buy homes that were falling apart and rent them for what he could get and not fix. My Dad said he owned most of the First Ward and it was a disgrace with what he got away with there.
Buck would buy Tube City Brewery and was accused of mixing bad batches of beer with good to save money, and really driving the brewery out of business so when Government surplus food was brought out he could store it there, especially items like cheese and butter. He figured he could make more money charging for storage than he could on beer. Don't know the truth of this but sure remember hearing it from many people over the years including bartenders."
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Site created 17 July 1999. This page last updated 25 July 2000