Jenkin's Arcade, opened in 1911 and situated along Stanwix Street between Penn Avenue and Liberty Avenue, was one of the landmark locations in Pittsburgh for seven decades. It was an expansion of the original Jenkins Building, built in 1864. Long before the advent of the modern shopping mall, downtown Pittsburgh had Jenkin's Arcade. The building housed a three-level shopping arcade with a variety of stores, professional offices and restaurants.
Along with the Joseph Hornes Company across the street, Jenkins Arcade anchored the lower end of the downtown retail district. The inside of the arcade was built around an open central area, which also acted as a pedestrian link between Hornes and Fifth Avenue. The three floors of shops and offices ringed the main hall. Above the third level was office space. The arcade was listed as a historic landmark in 1972.
The Jenkins Arcade building was eventually razed in 1984 to make room for the Fifth Avenue Place skyscraper. The skyscraper includes a two-level "Arcade Shops" on the ground level. It is an attempt to create a modern Jenkins Arcade. Except for the pedestrian traffic generated by the much larger office building, these Arcade Shops, with their larger stores, have never quite replicated the pedestrian traffic or charm of the Jenkins Arcade.
Photos of Jenkins Arcade
The Great Flood of 1936
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