16 Comments

  1. Marlene
    6/14/2018
    Reply

    I, too, fondly remember the Jenkins Arcade … a great place to shop, eat and spend time. But it was an antiquated building and probably not very safe due to it’s electrical and plumbing problems. It was time to let go of the past and move on. We cannot stand in the way of progress.

    • zl
      9/21/2018
      Reply

      Progress = stupidity in this case. Terrible stupidity.

  2. Liz
    6/14/2018
    Reply

    I remember Jenkins’ Arcade well, but it would be considered obsolete today. Having said that, the shops of Fifth Avenue Place are poorly laid out and there has been a lot of turnover in those spaces.

  3. Jeanine
    6/15/2018
    Reply

    It was a unique building with a multiplicity of shops. I miss the place. The only stores to go in downtown Pittsburgh are CVS and Rite Aid. Ha, what progress.

  4. Russ
    6/15/2018
    Reply

    As a former Assistant Property Manager of the Jenkins Arcade (and later a career commercial property professional), I can truly say that the building had outlived its useful life. The 17,000 people per day traffic would have ended when the unattached anchor, Joseph Horne, closed and the retail corridor that was once on Fifth Avenue disappeared. Physically, the building was a mass of disconnected and crossing utility lines, and because of all the dark corners and corridors upstairs, was a security nightmare. People will always have their memories, but it was time for the property to evolve to a higher and better use.

    • Alex
      11/27/2018
      Reply

      Hi Russ! My name is Alex and I am a student at Pitt. I am writing an essay on the Jenkins arcade for a school paper and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions to get some insight from someone like yourself who has had direct experiences inside the building. it would just be a few questions via email. If you are interested please respond to this comment and I will leave my email!

      • Russ
        11/28/2018
        Reply

        OK, Alex. Ready when you are!

        • alex
          11/28/2018
          Reply

          great! my email is alp4271200@gmail.com, if you could send me an email letting me know it is you, I will respond with some questions!

  5. Dale Abraham
    6/17/2018
    Reply

    I dispute the notion that the Jenkins Arcade had outlived its useful life. The idea that the Jenkins Arcade would have failed when Joseph Horne’s went out of business is backward. Horne’s failed because the Jenkins Arcade’s demise failed to deliver the foot traffic that Horne’s needed.

    My dentist was on the 8th floor. Supposedly, the Jenkins Arcade had more sinks than any other building downtown at the time, due to the number of dental offices in the building. I don’t remember any plumbing crises.

    The Highmark building is not a higher and better use. The Jenkins Arcade served the masses in a way that the replacement structure will never do. The building’s demise was one of the first steps in ripping the fabric of the downtown retail shopping experience. The destruction of the Jenkins Arcade, even in 2018, is unforgivable.

    Highmark could have chosen any number of other blocks to build their skyscraper. Instead, they chose to destroy a beloved monument that Pittsburghers held in great revere.
    Sincerely,
    Dale Abraham

  6. Tim Murphy
    7/27/2018
    Reply

    Never thought I’d see a letter that I wrote 35 years ago reappear. I mourned the loss of the Jenkins Arcade at the time and still feel the same! I live near Columbia South Carolina now & the Equitable Arcade building on Main Street reminds me of the Jenkins building. Thanks for the memories.

    • alex
      11/27/2018
      Reply

      Hi Mr. Murphy! My name is Alex and I am a student at Pitt. I am writing an essay on the Jenkins arcade for a school paper and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions to get some insight from someone like yourself who has had direct experiences inside the building. it would just be a few questions via email. If you are interested please respond to this comment and I will leave my email!

  7. Nikki Gillespie
    12/19/2018
    Reply

    My great grandfather and his brothers owned Gillespie’s Diamonds and Jewelry
    on the ground floor of Jenkins Arcade. The side of the building where the Jewelers were located can be seen in a well known photo of the city.

    • Nikki Gillespie
      5/30/2019
      Reply

      This is Nikki again. I know it is odd to reply to ones self, but I would like to attach the photo that I mentioned. It’s from the 1920’s. Also, it was my grandfather and uncles
      store, not my great grandfather. Could you tell me how to attach it at this late point?
      Thank you

  8. Pamela Buzzy
    5/27/2019
    Reply

    I worked at Horne’s when I was in college and would go for a soda in the Jenkins Arcade when I had a break. I think it was at either Stouffer’s or Palmer’s restaurant. My mom also purchased my prom gown at a shop there, too.

  9. Kega Ket
    2/1/2020
    Reply

    Thanks so much for posting this article about the Jenkins arcade. I searched for references to it on the Internet a couple of years ago and was greatly saddened to find out there was very little written about it. I thought everyone but me had forgotten it. My grandmother and aunts, lifelong Pittsburghers, took me there a couple of times when I was a child. I also shopped there with my father a couple of times as a tween, taking the bus into the city to shop and meet my father for lunch. My memories are a bit vague and I do not so much remember the marble as the metal work! I remember metal railings and metalwork everywhere, beautiful metal, which made it unlike any other building I have ever seen. I wish someone had pictures of the metal work. Was it wrought iron? Brass? I can’t remember.

  10. Mark
    3/21/2020
    Reply

    I grew up in western PA and have fond memories of Jenkins Arcade, as well as Hornes, Gimbals, Kauffman’s, and all the other great stores and businesses in downtown Pittsburgh. As you may know, there is serious talk of rebuilding Penn Station in New York. That structure was foolishly destroyed in 1963, a short 53 years after its dedication. People are longing for the classic places that function well and give character and beauty to an environment. I am seeing much of the same destruction and replacement, as the Jenkins Arcade, in the small city of Lancaster, PA where I now live. These replacement buildings may be modern and convenient, but they are void of the class and character of the older noble structures. When I go to New York, I spend most of my time in lower Manhattan where the old city stands in stark contrast to the unimaginative steel and glass towers of midtown. There is a history in lower Manhattan, as well as a history in Pittsburgh, PA. Please don’t destroy these noble cities.

    a

Leave a Reply to Liz Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *