The Blockhouse, Point State Park

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This short, homely building is affectionately known as the Blockhouse and was built as a strong defensive structure that would provide covering fire in the event of an attack on Fort Pitt. The blockhouse dates to 1764, making it Pittsburgh's earliest building and the oldest authenticated structure west of the Allegheny Mountains. Probably because it stood by itself outside the walls of the once-great fort, the Blockhouse escaped demolition when the fort was dismantled.

By the early 1900s, the Point had deteriorated into a slum. Henry Clay Frick wanted to turn the area into a commercial district, so for $2 million, he purchased the entire Point property. Everything, that is, except the Blockhouse. Frick tried to buy the old building for $25,000 and move it to Schenley Park, but the Daughters of the American Revolution would have none of it. The dispute eventually made its way to the state Surpreme Court, which ruled in favor of keeping the Blockhouse at its current location.

And so it remains a survivor at the Point. These days the Blockhouse is open to the public. There is no charge for admission.

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About Pittsburgh Revolution
Post-Gazette staff photographer Steve Mellon set out to capture Pittsburgh from all angles. Using a tripod and his digital camera, he took numerous photos and then stitched them together using software.


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