Looking south down Fifth Avenue toward the intersection with Shalom Street on Friday, September 27, 1912.
The columns on the left, that can be seen in the last zoomed in photograph, belonged to the former Montefiore Hall. Constructed in 1906 by the Montefiore Hall Association, this grand building served as a social hall for many years. Inside a large “clear unobstructed dancing space of 55X100 feet” as well as an auditorium, large lobby, smoking room, and a dining room that could accommodate 500 diners.
In addition to accommodations for public events, the hall also accommodated to local secret societies, with two large lodge meeting halls that provided the societies with an “ample supply of ante-rooms, committee rooms and lockers for paraphernalia.” Around 1912, inside the old Kingsley House located at Bedford and Fullerton Street, the Coffey Club was organized by John Coffey. To begin the club he organized a group of young Jewish boys, aged 14 to 15, who included Moy Marks, Ted Kahn, Chick Meyers, Choc Levinson, Gimp Golomb, Lefty Abrams, Phil Marcuson and Biff Bremen. In 1918 this young basketball club leased the Montefiore Hall. Over the years they ranked as one of the great clubs in and around Pittsburgh. In 1923 they played the New York Celtics in the Motor Square Garden In East Liberty. This short post does not do their club justice so I would recommend looking into the old Coffey Club. In the end, they choose not to renew their lease of the building in 1928 and by 1933 they had disbanded.
The old Montefiore Hall, also known as Coffey Hall, survived the razing of this neighborhood until around 2012 when it met the same fate. I never got a chance to go inside, but I always hoped someone was going to save it. This curve, also known as the horseshoe curve or the SOHO curve is unrecognizable now. I included a picture to contrast the new apartment architecture and the old hall.
Pittsburgh City Photographer Collection
1890 and 1923 G. M. Hopkins Maps
The Pittsburgh Post
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