|Motors Square Garden - East Liberty|
|Current Modern Interior|
I did a little digging and found some old historical photographs and also a lot of history about the building. It turns out that it served originally as a public market, then went on to host the University of Pittsburgh's basketball team and also functioned as a professional boxing arena. It also was used as a new car show place, and later was converted into a shopping mall.
|Aerial View of East Liberty - Circa 1950|
Early in the twentieth century East Liberty was Pittsburgh’s motor vehicle center. A dozen automobile and parts dealers lined Baum Boulevard and Henry Ford built an assembly plant in a building that still stands today at the corner of Baum Boulevard and Morewood Avenue. In 1913 William Larimer Mellon, the head of Gulf Oil, established one of the first drive-in gas stations at the intersection of Saint Clair Street and Baum Boulevard. In the early 1960s the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh invested $68 million into a project that razed 1500 old homes, constructed new apartment and townhouse complexes, and built a suburban shopping mall in the center of the 500-acre community in the heart of East Liberty. In the right center of the photograph is the Liberty Market (better known today as Motor Square Garden), a ninetieth century, 80,000 square-foot domed indoor market where the first automobile show was held in 1914. Directly across the street to its right is the East Liberty Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Penn Avenue and Highland Avenue. The church was completed in 1935 and dedicated on May 12 of that same year.
|Motors Square Garden- 1937|
In 1988, AAA bought the property. Landmarks Design Associates of Pittsburgh redesigned it as an upscale shopping mall. The retail mall failed, but AAA expanded to occupy the building, along with a tenant, the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing.